In a college bookstore, they had a shelf of mugs emblazoned with the school name and “Mom” or “Dad” or “Grandparent.” I’ll bet they have been selling this same style of mugs since the ivy first started growing on the side of the building.

Mom/Dad/Grandparent mugs are vestiges of a traditional school environment that is disappearing. Where are the mugs that say: Daughter, Step-Mom, Aunt or Husband in recognition of the non-traditional family and growing adult/graduate enrollment? Why isn’t the school courting Sister or Brother as a way to fuel their pipeline for future student populations? What about the mugs that use colloquial references to parents: Pops, Gramps, Nana or Momma? Or in languages that represent a large portion of their student body: Padre, Madre, Mare, Papi, Maman, Baba?

Today as we celebrate Father’s Day, think of all the dads who should be recognized, and also the other members of the family who support you. There may not be a mug for Step-Dad or Uncle, but for many people, those relationships have been invaluable. Raise whatever glass you have in a toast to them.


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