I'm legally considered an orphan. Did you know that? As a child, if your father dies, you are labeled an orphan.
Grade 2 was my first fatherless Father's Day, and I in no WAY wanted it ruined for everyone else. Why would I? I sent the T-Shirt I made in school to my Uncle Ken. Was it awkward? Maybe.... I don't really remember. But I also don't remember wanting my classroom teacher to cancel the Father's Day celebrations. I don't remember feeling left out. I don't remember hating it. Do I remember missing my Dad? 100%! Still do. Do I remember wishing I had a Dad to pick me up, swing me around, love me, hug me, play with me, and celebrate with? Absolutely. Never would I want to take that away from some other child though. Ever. That's terrible.
Many of us grow up without Dads. I get it. It sucks. You know what though?? It's OUR journey. It's our cross to bare. It's never a fault of our own, but it's our life to maneuver. If in grade 2, my teacher had cancelled the Father's Day projects to protect my fragile heart, what would that teach everyone? My Dad had only died 2 months before. Nope. Mrs Olsen handed me a shirt and asked if there was a super man in my life I could celebrate instead. It was what my precious heart needed. I didn't want to be singled out. I was already different enough now being fatherless. She did the right thing.
We also need to stop making it about Moms. Girls, we have a day. Let's leave this one to the guys, OK? It doesn't matter who you are, if you are a human, you have a contributing man in your life. Maybe thats all he did was give you life, maybe he wasn't the man you needed, but that doesn't justify making today about Moms. Let's celebrate the good ones. Let's celebrate the men who gave life, stuck around, stepped up, and have hung on for the ride. Let's for one day step aside and help these kids celebrate the amazing men in their lives, or lets help them celebrate just who THEY are because they are half him! Most of us chose the father of our children. Why make the child feel bad for that? Pick something to celebrate! Just not us.... Help our children look farther past that like Mrs. Olsen did with me. There are a ton of amazing men in my life who helped me along the way. Ones who set the bar, ones who gave me a fatherly hug, ones who were just present. Each one played a role in being a father figure, and I love and appreciate each and every one of them.
When I started dating I remember thinking to myself.... "Do I want this guy to father my children?" I think because of my own experience, that was a question really close to my heart. It was a big decision for me!
I chose THIS guy, and I'm so glad I did. I wanted someone strong, stable, grounding, and loving. He has proven to be all of the above.
When Morgan (our oldest son) was 5 months old, Jody was diagnosed with cancer. I remember a dark, stormy, January night at around 2:00 AM, I was up nursing Morgan with tears streaming down my face. I was praying;
"God, please don't ask my precious son to grow up Fatherless. This was MY journey. MY cross. Please, please don't ask this of him too. If you do have this as part of the plan for his life too, God I promise to do all I can do to bring good, strong, godly men into his life. We will be OK. We will be alright. If You ask this of him, Morgan and I will be fine."
Then, I remember stroking the precious head of my contented first born son, my tear drops landing on his soft, sweet face, and saying out loud to him;
"No matter what, we've got this. You and me? We're going to be fine."
That same night I also felt God's peace wash over me with a promise that it wasn't what He was going to ask of Morgan. Relief brought on another onslaught of tears. God has kept His promise.
This incredible man that my kids get to call Dad is chosen. Hand picked. Loved. ❤️
Let's not take this away from them. These kids. These Dads.
When my boys were little and Jody was first working up north, we had some long nights the boys and I. I couldn't wrestle with them. I couldn't replace their Dad. So, we improvised. There were nights they ran around and I sat on the couch and shot at them with a nerf gun. There were nights I let them toboggan and snow board down our stairs. There were nights we danced our hearts out to loud music. I parent alone a minimum of 6 months of the year. A lot of us do. We don't replace their Dads. We just do our best to fill in where we can.
So, lets stop. Lets stop the super woman status and celebrate men. Good men. Strong men. Contributing men. Lets give them their day back and step away.