This morning we got up super early for a Sunday. We loaded the boat with our rod and reels and headed off to fish for our supper. It’s a good thing we had a back up plan as no fish were biting today in this heat despite the variety of crickets and worms we offered them.
We returned home soaked in sweat, but we weren’t bitter about “wasting” the morning. It wasn’t wasted at all because we were together, my husband and I. The children wanted to sleep in, so we went together to share one of the many things we love and have in common.
My parents arrived not too terribly long after we returned from our fishing trip as we were having a cook out for Father’s Day. The meal was delicious as we feasted on hamburgers and hot dogs, which is my dad’s favorite. We laughed, we swapped stories, and we enjoyed our time together.
After my parents left this evening, my daughter turned to me and said, “Happy Father’s Day, Mom.” She said these words to me and then elaborated on why she chose to celebrate me today, also. Yes, I was both Mother and Father to her for all of these years after her father left when she was just a year old. I had to be there for her in every way, and I stepped up when he stepped out. I never hesitated. She was my responsibility, and I wrapped my arms tightly around her and vowed to do everything within my power to help this precious little girl succeed and embrace life. I taught her about God, how to be polite and use your manners, the facts of life, as well as all of the things in between. And she has grown into a beautiful young woman. My heart is so completely proud of her.
A few years after my divorce, I started dating a man that is now her step-dad. He knew when we started talking that I had a daughter, but I would not allow him to meet her until I knew for a fact that he would be around for a long time to be a part of her life. I did not want her to get attached to any man again just to have them leave. Our hearts could not take it. When I was sure, though, I introduced them. Later we married when she was four years old, and he has helped to fill the role of the father figure.
I realize that Father’s Day is hard on a lot of people for various reasons. Either they are bitter because their father wasn’t that good to them growing up and they never had the father figure they had always longed for, or maybe their father passed when they were little and they’ve had to live their lives without their father. It’s just a hard day for so many. Then, there are Mothers who had dual roles in their children’s lives just as I have. Maybe they divorced when the child was real young as I did, or maybe the father wasn’t in the picture at all from the moment they found out they were pregnant. Whatever the case, the mother had to do and be both to their child – Mother and Father. I applaud all ladies who have been there in this capacity and thank you for not caving under the tremendous pressure, but, instead, embracing it and excelling for your children’s sake. Moms, you ROCK!
Here’s to Father’s every where. Whether you’re the father that has been there every step of the way giving all you’ve got for your family (like my father), or whether you’re a step father that truly stepped into the picture and loved these children with your whole heart and made them your very own (like my husband) … or single or divorced mothers that never skipped a beat as they lived, loved, and saw it as their sole purpose in life to nurture and care for their babies in every possible way (like I have).
We celebrate you all!