Father’s Day and Bill Cosby’s chocolate cake

Does anyone else out there remember the old Bill Cosby bit from “Bill Cosby: Himself” about giving his kids chocolate cake for breakfast?

I have to admit that I don’t remember much about the rest of the routine (OK – a few other bits, but those are for another day), but the chocolate cake deal still makes me laugh.

You see, he’s describing a time when Dad became the greatest father in the world because he let the kids have chocolate cake for breakfast … and they even sang about it, “Dad is great! He gives us chocolate cake!”

Of course, that only lasts until Mom sees them eating chocolate cake for breakfast – at which time the kids insist they asked for eggs and milk, but Dad forced them to eat chocolate cake.

Now, taking the situation as a real one (and not just a comedy routine) this certainly sounds like one of those times when, in the moment, it really wasn’t too funny at all.

Mom is angry.

Dad is stuck for answers on his lack of nutritional prowess.

The kids are just plain freaked out because of the confrontation.

But afterwards … later… and for years to come, it just gets funnier and funnier. And it’s certainly something anyone would ever forget.

The History Channel online tells us that the first celebration of a day honoring dads was on July 5, 1908, at William Memorial Methodist Episcopal Church South (now Central United Methodist Church) in Fairmont, West Virginia, to honor 361 men who were killed in an explosion the prior December in a nearby town.

In 1909, during a Mother’s Day sermon in Spokane, Washington, Sonora Smart Dodd, whose father – Civil War veteran William Jackson Smart – raised her and her siblings after the death of their mother, was inspired to establish a day showing her father just how thankful she was for him. Because Smart was born in June, Dodd established June 19, 1910, as the first official Father’s Day.

Fourteen years later, President Coolidge recommended that Father’s Day become a national holiday, and in 1966, President Johnson designated it to be the third Sunday in June. Father’s Day was instituted as a national observance by President Nixon in 1972.

It’s been more than 100 years since the inspiration that became Father’s Day in our country. Millions of dads have been celebrated over that century. But not one of them compares to the dads in your life. Make this the year that you tell them so!

This weekend as you’re looking at plans for Father’s Day, think about adding something into Dad’s special day that he – and your kids – will remember for a lifetime. Two of my favorite ideas:

• Take a simple photograph of the kids’ hands in Dad’s each year. Place them in an album to watch how they grow and change over the years. What a priceless picture-memory of the connection between children and their dads!

• Cut out some little cards in the shape of a tie and let the kids decorate them. Write on them “Dad is great because” and let everyone in the family answer the question on their own card. Place them around the house in places where Dad will find them in the morning – with the coffee filters, under the lid of the shaving cream, pinned to the bath towel, in the sock drawer. He’ll be thrilled with the praises to start the day! Be sure to collect them and collage them in a memory album each year and make part of the special day looking back to see how the sentiments change over time and as the kids grow.

Who knows … it might be kind of fun to start another new tradition on Father’s Day – chocolate cake for breakfast anyone??

Wishes for blessings to each and every Dad out there this Father’s Day for all you do to shape the lives of our children.

“Any man can be a father. It takes someone special to be called DAD.”


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