Sunday is Father's Day, a time to honor dads around the world for their hard work, selfless dedication and love for their children.

For most of my life, I have sought ways to honor my father for all that he has done for me. Now, with a daughter of my own, who is now seven, I'm on the receiving end of Father's Day.

It's truly an honor to be a dad. But it comes with a price.

A few years ago, the government calculated the cost of raising a child from birth to 18 and came up with $160,140 for a middle income family. Talk about sticker shock! And that doesn't include college tuition.

But $160,140 isn't so bad when you break it down. It translates into $8,896.66 a year, $741.38 a month, or $171.08 a week. That's a mere $24.24 a day. A little more than a dollar an hour.

Still, you might think the best financial advice is, if you want to be rich, then don't have children. Actually, it is just the opposite.

Let's see what you get for $160,140:

andbull;Glimpses of God every day.

andbull;Tickle fights under the blankets.

andbull;Sitting up high in a tree and watching the world go by.

andbull;More love than your heart can hold.

andbull;Butterfly kisses and bear hugs.

andbull;Endless wonder over plants, animals, weather and black holes.

andbull;A hand to hold, usually covered with jelly or chocolate.

andbull;A partner for blowing bubbles, flying kites, building sandcastles and exploring tide pools.

andbull;Drawing pictures of dogs, carving pumpkins, playing hide-and-seek, and making up new words to old songs.

andbull;Being a hero, with the power to rescue a favorite toy, vanquish monsters from under the bed, and allow stay-up-lates every once in a while.

andbull;Witness the first step, first word, first successful pancake flip and, eventually, but not too soon, the first driving lesson and first date.

andbull;Discover the magic of Nancy Drew mysteries

andbull;Be with someone who loves you every day.

The list goes on and on.

When you think about it, for $160,140, us dads are getting a lot of bang for our bucks. And the return on our investment never ends!


Speaking of Father's Day. I did a little research about its history.

Father's Day is celebrated each year on the third Sunday of June, a practice that began nearly 100 years ago, primarily because of the efforts of Mrs. John B. Dodd.

Dodd lived in Washington and in 1909 she came up with the idea of celebrating Father's Day. She wanted to honor her father, William Smart, a Civil War veteran who had brought up his children single-handedly on a farm after his wife's death during childbirth. It was this selfless love and quiet heroism that Mrs. Dodd wanted to celebrate on a day she called "Father's Day."

In 1924, President Calvin Coolidge enthusiastically supported the idea of a national Father's Day. But there were no proclamations to make it official as yet. It was only in 1966 when President Lyndon Johnson signed the presidential proclamation declaring the third Sunday of June as Father's Day that it became officially recognized.

Father's Day has become a day to not only honor fathers, but all men who act as father figures. Stepfathers, uncles, grandfathers and adult male friends are all honored on this day.

Happy Father's Day to all!