Today is father’s day! My kids got to make special crafts for their dad, who got to sleep in this morning and make the day schedule; which meant spending the day at the pool with his children. Some dads have a special idea of what they want for their special day, but it seems like for most of them, spending quality time with their family, usually their kids, is what comes at the top of the list.
I look at my children gravitating around their dad and realize how fortunate they are. My four year-old daughter even asked me to not join them at the pool today because she only wanted daddy; mostly because I said no to desert because she didn’t eat her lunch. She was hungry for ice cream but surely not for her veggies. I gladly obliged to her request, even though staying home meant doing laundry for me.
As I let them slip away, I think of my oldest daughter and the question she asked me earlier. “How do you celebrate father’s day when you don’t have a father?”. My first reaction was to remind her that you can’t have a baby without having a father, which meant everyone had a dad. Some of us just happen to not know them. However, I knew where that question was coming from. One of her friend is known to not have a father. She lives with her mom, period! And I know that this idea of growing up without a dad has been a concern to my daughter. All her friends have a father, even the divorced ones and she can’t even imagine her life without her dad in it.
I didn’t want to tell her, but I was that child once, before my mother remarried and gave me a father! My first thought was to say: “Well, you don’t celebrate!”; because that was my case. I just didn’t celebrate! Father’s day was just a reminder that I didn’t have anyone to call dad, but I wasn’t really sad about that either because I had male figures in my life, my uncles whose presence gave a balance to my life.
“It is the same as for people whose dads died, or live far away!” I tried to explain. “They don’t get to wish them happy father’s day either. But you know what is the most important thing?” Her eyes were set on me. She was obviously eager to find out what was the most important thing besides having your father in your life. “The most important thing, I repeated, is that they still have their mothers in their lives. And you know, sometimes, it is the other way round. You have kids who only have dads and not mothers and those don’t get to celebrate mother’s day either. And when Tricia (one of my best friend) gets to adopt her child, chances are he/she will grow up fatherless too unless she marries someone!”
“Well, I hope she marries a man because if she marries a woman, then her baby will have two moms and no dad!” I smiled. At seven, my daughter was aware of same-sex marriage. Like most kids her age, she believed that everyone could just marry whomever they wanted. Before I could explain that even though Tricia didn’t marry after getting her baby; her dad, like all the men around us could always step in from time to time and play the father figure when needed, my butterfly daughter was gone.
I hope deep down she is aware how lucky she is, not only to have a dad, but to have a dad who loves her and her sister unconditionally and who will always put their needs before his. A dad who, not matter what, will always be their number one dad in the world, and what dad doesn’t want to hear that, not just on this special day, but every day of his life.
Happy father’s day!