But wait! Father’s Day is a month away! Oh yes, I know. You know who doesn’t know? My inbox. It is raining Father’s Day adverts and messaging in my email right now. And with all of the emails it has become harder and harder to not get thinky about the day.
I promise you I am mostly a shrug it off person when it comes to this day. I have written before about how I am TOTALLY ok about Father’s Day. And I am. I spent my childhood and most of my adulthood celebrating my grandfather and my uncles on this significant day in June. I had someone I could dedicate an arts and crafts project to. I had a person to call. There was a designated spot in my heart that was filled. I did not miss out.
Even though I was not raised with a dad or father or whatever. I couldn’t pick out the guy in a lineup and he wouldn’t know me if we ran into each other on the street. It happens. It’s life. It’s the end result of a bad marriage and a wonky custody arrangement that played out like like a movie from the 70’s.
And as much as it wasn’t “normal” I know there are MANY people walking around who grew up like me. We were raised by strong and brilliant and capable and awesome women and we couldn’t tell you jack about our father’s. Child support? Ha ha. Birthday gifts or cards? Surely you jest. But I never felt empty. On the contrary my life was so full and wonderful.
My son has been raised to embrace the reality that there is no normal when it comes to families: we are all different. Some families have fathers and some families do not. See? No biggie? And it hasn’t been. Not really.
Until now. As a single mom by choice I opted my kid out of the father experience. And I am still figuring out the balance. I assumed I would have people in my life that would rise up and fill in the spaces. I thought my child would have more family, more backup. All of that was in place while I was trying to become pregnant. It was only after the death of my grandmother that the extended family dissolved and I watched part of the foundation I had taken for granted evaporate.
I am seven years into parenting my son as a solo mom and I think I over-talk and over-stress a bit around the fatherhood topic. This year W has become very invested in baseball and I have sat on the sidelines on more than one evening quietly having a pity party for myself because there was no one but me there to cheer him on. No hyper enthusiastic dad yelling at him to get into ready position. No Pop playing warm up catch before games. Just me. I hope I am enough.
That is honestly the big question that arises when I react to Father’s Day stuff. I think the day is great and I absolutely think dad’s should have their special moment. But we are a family without a dad – is that enough? Am I enough? Would he even know if it wasn’t?
Image Credit: Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, Washington, D.C. 20540 USA