Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Wine, Moose Tracks And Missing Daddy

I’ve written about my Mother’s Day and how really terrible it was this year. So, I think it’s only right that I should put down my Father’s Day as well.

It has been a tradition in my family, started by my oldest daughter, Sarah, that my kids celebrate me on Father’s Day. I’m a single mom and have been for years, so in their way, they see me as ‘Dad’. I don’t necessarily like it that they think of me as dad. I am a poor fill in across the board. I don’t do car repairs. I don’t do algebra. I have come to terms with the fact that even tho I try to fulfill both roles as mother and father…I fall short.

My Fathers day gifts of years past included Valentino perfume, Calvin Kline perfume, bras, always a special dinner and homemade cards, and this year I was taken to the Renaissance Festival at a local winery. It was a really fun day. Hot. Really HOT!! Zech did archery and ogled the big breasted wenches (what else would a 17 yr old boy do?), and Bekkah shopped and bought some trinkets. We ate smoked turkey legs like heathens and wore flower wreathes in our hair.

Sarah hung around the gypsies and the fortune tellers. She lugged the grandbaby around enjoying all the attention that was cast her way for having such a great baby. And he is.

All in all it was great. Topped off with a trip to the winery where I purchased my favorite white, Lake Anna White. And a short cut to our favorite ice cream palace for sugar free moose tracks. Yum.

Later that same night, I had a wonderful date night with my 17yr old son. It's really kind of cool that this young man still wants to hang with his mom. He craves that time together.

Such a bittersweet day for my family.

Bittersweet for me because I have spent the last 8 years of my life as a single mom. I have watched my children grow into good people. I have seen them transition from children to adults. I have held them while the cried over Absent Dad. I have wiped the tears when it was the daddy that they wanted and worse yet, that they needed. I have listened to the harsh words, rightfully spoken about a father that just isn’t there for them. They are pissed that Absent Dad has chosen to remarry and raise another women’s children while Absent Dad has children that need and want him. I have watched this wound become an ulcerated sore to their hearts.

It’s bitter because I have tried to be the mom and dad. I have tried to fool myself into thinking that I am enough for them. And I have woken up to the realization that I will never be able to fill that void that Absent Dad left behind. I just can’t. I have stopped trying. I can only be the very best mom that I can be. And hopefully, THE Father will step in and fill the void left unfilled. You can hear me say to my kids at any given moment that “I have a bigger dick than most men I know” or “My balls are sweaty” or even better yet is my t-shirt that says “I have the dick so I make the rules”….all this is in jest…my kids know that I try….and they support me by honoring me…the MOM on Father’s Day.

In all of my experiences that stand out for this Father’s Day tradition is when we were walking into church this Sunday as a group and I told the associate pastor “Happy Father’s Day” and he smiled and thanked me. Then as eloquently as Bekkah can be, she turns to me and says “Mom, Happy Father’s Day”. Associate Pastor looked surprised, then he smiled warmly. Acknowledging what that simple phrase really meant to me.

I have passed this honor off to other single mom’s I know. Best Friend calls me every year to pass on the tradition one single mom to another of our blessing to each other of “Happy Father’s Day”. And this year as I stood in line at the grocery, my favorite checker girl was busy scanning. I knew she was a single mom raising her daughter alone. And as I stepped up to pay for my purchases….I let it happen. I spoke the words that brought that young, tired, very alone single mom to tears…when I wished her “Happy Father’s Day”.

So my friends….if you know a single mom. Just simply acknowledge that the life and burden that they carry is indeed a hard cross to bear. It doesn’t sound like much, but I for one believe and live by the belief that words are one of the most powerful things that exist.

Honor those moms out there. And honor those single dads out there too on Mother’s Day. It isn’t easy to be both parents. And the wise ones of us who walk this road, realize that we can’t be both parents. But it sure is sweet to be honored for our efforts and for our hearts for our children living with Absent Parents.

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