My Second, First Father's Day as a Single Mom
We were separated just two months when Father's Day arrived. I didn't marry my son's father. Upon discovery of the bun in the oven, that baker flew the coop. But this time... This time I had done things differently. Correctly.
Yet, it hadn’t made a difference. I didn’t really realized how angry the demise of my marriage made me until that day. Prior to Father’s Day I felt sad. I felt disappointed. I was little embarrassed. And I was lost. Single momming…again…had not been my plan.
But when Father’s Day arrived, my anger hit me like a train.
Seriously? How could this man, who made so many promises prior to, and on our wedding day, fail us? How could he reveal that he had priorities that preceded his family? How, when required to choose, did he fail to choose us? How does one DO that? I mean seriously. How hard is it to put your family first? To fulfill your obligations?
And what was wrong with me?? Why did I, how could I, repeat my poor selection in males? My little family had struck out. Twice. Gone were my dreams of a nice house with a picket fence, a dog, a cat, happy kids, and a life of love and joy.
Angry? You bet your sweet patootie I was angry! I had been robbed! Robbed I tell you! I wasn’t going to get a “normal” life. I wasn’t going to have the fairy tale with the happily ever after. I was a single mom again. I wasn’t sure what was going to happen next, but I was darn sure I wasn’t going to like it.
Fast forward 16 years, to Father’s Day Eve. I am sitting at my kitchen table, in my nice house (that I bought by myself), looking out at my picket fence (ok, it’s not the kind with actual pickets, but still…), brushing my cat away from my keyboard (the dog passed away a year ago), planning tomorrow’s menu with my kids.
One dad is having a mid-life crisis and is out discovering himself, and the other decided not to see his daughters, but rather to use the day to begin his vacation with his newest wife. (Some things never change.)
Happily, anger is no longer a holiday guest. I feel enormously blessed. Turns out, I had the exact life I envisioned. I just created it by myself. It wasn’t easy. Nothing worthwhile ever is. I can honestly say that my life has been filled with so much joy and so much love that I almost feel guilty. I absolutely never saw that coming.
Watching my son make better decisions as a father because, “I knows what it’s like not to have one”, and seeing my daughters embrace their strength, uniqueness, and independence, is delicious icing on a thick, flavorful cake that was years in the baking.
Yes, I will celebrate Father’s Day this year. And what I will celebrate...is me.