Father’s Day Without A Dad
We all have circumstances in our lives that we don't want to be a part of, and sometimes there is nothing we can do about the situation. This is one of those week's for Ethan and I. I have noticed that he has been a bit melancholy lately. A little more whiny and emotional.
Last night I couldn't get him to go to bed or sleep for the life of me. As I found myself, getting upset and at my wits end at 1am, knowing my alarm would go off at 4:30a, it makes life a little rough. I had been up every hour telling him to go to bed. First it was the bathroom light that comes on, "I have to go to the bathroom." Then, the kitchen light, "I'm thirsty." Then the yelling down the hall, "Momma I can't sleep." Then the TV goes on and I yell, "turn it off and go to bed." Then he finally comes and stands in my doorway, "Momma can I sleep with you tonight." I said, "will you go to sleep" and he said yes. As he climbed into bed with me I noticed the tiny tears that were caught in the corner of his eyes. I leaned over and kissed him on the forehead and he said, "I Love You Momma." To which I replied, "I Love you too baby, please go to sleep."
This morning the same thing followed, he didn't want to get up and get dressed. He kept sniffling. I kept asking him what was wrong and he kept saying it's my allergies. Then he tells me he doesn't want to go to daycare and can he just stay home.
It finally dawned on me why my 9-year old is struggling, he's having trouble sleeping, his appetite isn't what it should be and he's just sad. This week is rough on him. It's Father's Day this weekend. My 9-year old son is without a dad and has been for a very long time, but it doesn't mean it doesn't hurt his heart when this time of year rolls around. I don't think a child ever gets used to that.
Through no fault of his own, he drew the short end of the stick when it came to fathers. Some men weren't meant to be a dad and unfortunately the children they leave behind suffer.
As a single mom, I struggle with this every single day, "why does my child have to go through this and why can't things been different? Why couldn't his biological father step up and do the right thing?"
I see the hurt in his eyes when I take him to Boy Scouts and all the other little boys are there with dad and here he is again with mom. I see the hurt, when he sees a dad and son playing catch or throwing a football in the front yard in our neighborhood, or when one of his little friends talks about their awesome daddy. Then he always gets asked about his dad, and he struggles to find the right answer, which is usually, "I don't have a dad."
Even though I play both roles for him, sometimes a boy just needs a dad.
So I understand why he hurts during this week. I finally got him to admit the reason he wants to stay at home instead of going to Summer daycare. It's the Father's Day crafts. "Why do I have to make them, Momma, I mean who am I gonna give them to?"
I always tell him he can still do the crafts and make them how he wants them and just bring them home.
"I guess I can make them for you, Momma, you are my mom and my dad, " he said to me, "You do your best as both."
It breaks my heart in two when I see him in pain and it's a pain that I can't fix. It's a pain he probably will never stop having. I can't imagine what goes through a child's mind when they are faced with something this massive. I know he feels he did something wrong or wasn't good enough. I see the yearning and want in his eyes for a dad of his own.
I know I struggle with the hurt he feels. I feel like I have let my child down somehow, even though I wasn't the one who let him down. I also know that he is in a better and safer situation than he would have been in if dad was still around. However, I still take on that guilt.
So to all the moms who deal with this same thing on a daily basis, I feel your pain and your struggle. Being a mom and a dad is tough.
To all the dads who choose to be a part of their children's life and love them like you should, thank you.
To those dads who don't get to see their kids as much or as often as they would like, thank you for still being in their lives and loving them, taking care of them, and doing what you can to make them feel loved.
To all the dads who play mom and dad, you are a very special man, and this Sunday is all about you.
To the stepdads who step in and co-parent with dad and even those stepdads who become dad, thanks for playing dad role to these kids and loving them just as much.
To the adoptive dads, who have stepped up and loved a child who wasn't his own. Thanks for being a man that thought these kids were some of the most important people in the world and stepped in when bio Dad decided other things were more important than having a relationship with their children. You are a very special person.
To the Uncles and Grandpas who have stepped up as well to be dad to these kids, you have no idea the impact you have in these children's lives and especially in their hearts.
If this were a perfect world no child would have to feel this way, they wouldn't feel like they are missing out on something or that they are something less.
So hug your kids a little tighter tonight and let them know that they are loved no matter what. No matter if they have a dad or not, or a mom or not, or both parents, just let them know how special they are to you.
I know this isn't an easy subject to talk about, and I know that I'm not the only one that struggles with this on a daily basis, but I just wanted to share the struggle.
So, to those who are a dad (including moms who take on both roles).
Happy Father's Day!!!