Holinger: Daughter’s Day and Son’s Day every day? Duh!

Facebook. I love it. I hate it.

A little less than a year ago, I published two books. To help get the word out, I joined Facebook.


I’d heard the horror stories. The misinformation. The depression that follows seeing your “friends” post photos of dinners you weren’t eating. The disappointment following the number of “likes” you expected (200), but didn’t receive (2). Seeing your own post and wondering who that old fat guy is holding up a book of poetry only to have your wife say, “Hey, you don’t look ALL that bad.”

Not that all the above horrors occurred, but enough to make me second guess my going online.

The pluses, however, outnumbered the minuses. Reuniting with friends unseen for decades. Getting my books into the hands of people I knew from childhood, former students, colleagues and even some folks I didn’t know. Getting plumber recommendations.

But the most compelling reason to stay with Facebook? Keeping up with today’s zeitgeist. That is, what’s going on in the world beyond the fauna and flora outside the window above my desk.

See, Facebook taught me about Daughter’s Day and Son’s Day. Because I had no clue.

I get it. Parents need Father’s Day and Mother’s Day to remind their children to pay attention to them at least once a year. Dads can blame turn-of-the-20th-century Methodist woman Anna Jarvis from West Virginia for making them buy flowers after getting off the Metra before heading home the Friday before Mother’s Day.

It took 58 years after Mother’s Day became official for Father’s Day to appear on our calendars. Talk about dads being an afterthought!

A couple of months ago, Facebook photos began cropping up with the arms of loving moms and dads around their daughters, everyone beaming like the police had just returned their runaway girl. A few days later, parents were hugging their sons.

“Why?” I wondered. I mean, from whence did these aberrations come?

No one really knows, not even Wikipedia: “While we were unable to identify the creator of National Son’s and Daughter’s Day, we did find ... an article in the Aug. 20, 1944, St. Joseph News-Press/Gazette in 1936 [when] J. Henry Dusenberry first pursued the idea of a Sons’ and Daughters’ Day.”

National Day Calendar wrote, “National Son’s and Daughter’s Day on Aug. 11 brings parents and their children together for quality time. On this day, be with the joys of your life.”

Alternatively, “When is holiday” apologizes, “Concerning what day World Daughters Day in 2020 is … we haven’t managed to achieve good results. …. Contemporary mass media don’t share any pieces of information about the establishers of this great day, as well as about the reasons to celebrate it just on Sept. 23.”

In other words, these children’s days moved in like a summer afternoon cloudburst. Frankly, if parents do their job daily, we don’t need special days devoted to our children. Might as well have a National Dog Day (which I’m sure we do, but I’m too lazy to look it up – I’ll spend the time feeding and patting my dog instead).

My wife and I decided not to post even one loving photo with our son or daughter. We didn’t need to let any friend know how much we love Jay and Molly.

Duh! Every day should be Son’s and Daughter’s Day. Parents, make sure your children know it.

• Rick Holinger’s book of poetry, “North of Crivitz,” and his collection of humorous essays about life in the Fox Valley, “Kangaroo Rabbits and Galvanized Fences,” are available through local bookstores, Amazon, or Contact him at