Written by our Founder and CEO, our Celebrations Pulse Sunday Letters aim to engage with our community. From sharing stories to welcoming your ideas, we want to help you to express, connect, and celebrate the important people in your life.

As we approach National Sons Day on March 4, we are reminded of the power of this occasion. It’s a reminder to let your sons – and all the younger men who are your neighbors, friends and colleagues – know how much you admire them and the great job they are doing.

Jim has two sons and Chris has one. We always try to let them know how proud we are of who they are, what they’ve accomplished, and, in Jim’s case, the great fathers they have become. We admit that we don’t say it as much as we think we do or should. (Then again, as Jim says, “No one ever complained about being appreciated too much.”)

You might pick out a trait you like about your son or recall a tough moment or a great laugh that you shared. Write it out first, even if it’s just some quick notes. It could be a memory from a school play, an academic achievement, or a sports game. Jim remembers that his own son James, at age 8, was not the athlete that he turned out to be as he got older. During a baseball game, James stuck out his glove and caught the ball as the team erupted in cheers. Jim will never forget James’s expression of delight, shock, and surprise.

National Sons Day reminds us to take inventory of our relationships. If you have a son, think about your relationship: What’s the ideal father-son or mother-son relationship that you would like to have?

Photo of Jim McCann and his grandson

As Connectivity Council member Dr. George Everly reminds us: “Nurture the relationships you have, rekindle the relationship you’ve lost, create the relationships you wish you had.” What type of relationship do you want with your son? Share it with him. Work to align on a common vision.

Even if you do not have a son, this is a chance to reach out to the younger men in your life and share how you feel. Many of us have people in our lives who aren’t biological sons, but who might as well be.

This is an important day to remember to use your power and express your feelings to a younger generation.

We wanted to take a moment to share some stories from our community about different types of sons. Whether they are young or old, near or far, having a son is a blessing.

Military sons

Margaret’s son fought in the Vietnam War and was tragically killed in combat. For Margaret, who was a widow, her son was the leader of the family, and she wasn’t sure that she could continue without him.

The family persevered, and her son’s loss brought the family so much closer together. There is not a day that goes by where Margaret doesn’t think of her son Patrick. The love for him has lasted her lifetime but in a different way. She recalls, each day during her prayers, all the wonderful memories she has about her son, and she reminds her family constantly about how special he was, and they should be grateful for having him in their lives as long as they did.

A photo of older parents welcoming their son home after a military tour.

Supporting our sons

Caroline’s son is in college, and he came home during his semester break in December with some news. He told his parents that he is gay. Caroline and her husband were taken aback, and they sought out everyone they could for answers as to how to respond to Michael. Times have changed, she was told, and being gay is no longer a scarlet letter. She and her husband Robert told Michael that nothing has changed and that they will love, support, and be proud of him for the rest of his life.

Sons with special needs

Our parent’s son, Kevin, was born with developmental disabilities. Our parents did all they could to give our brother all the love, support, and help that they could. Every Saturday, they’d rent space at a church or a school for recreation and social program for families with children who have developmental disabilities.

Our parents also taught us, through their actions, it’s important as siblings to band together to make sure we continue to support Kevin. Siblings have responsibilities too.

And we’re “on it” Mom and Dad. We started Smile Farms in 2015 to help people like our brother find meaningful work opportunities in agricultural settings. We meet many parents of disabled children through our connection to this community and they have a different set of needs and responsibilities and yet we meet the most extraordinary parents.

We are proud of Kevin and the great work he’s done at Smile Farms. It’s impacted his life – and ours – in countless ways.

An array of sons under the sun

There are stepsons, adopted sons, half-sons, sons-in-law, prodigal sons, athlete sons, artist sons, and just about every type of son under the sun.

Whatever type of son, or sons, you have, be sure you celebrate them. And just so we don’t favor one child over another, also remind your daughters that National Daughters Day is on Sunday, Sept. 25, so they will get their day in the son…sun!

Happy National Sons Day to all of our sons wherever and whoever they may be.

All the best,

Chris and Jim

Author

Jim McCann is the founder and chairman of 1-800-FLOWERS.COM, Inc. as well as a business leader, author, and philanthropist with a passion for helping people deliver smiles. Devoted to helping others, he also founded Smile Farms, a 501(c)3 organization that provides meaningful jobs in agricultural settings to young adults and adults with developmental disabilities.

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