Father's Day is coming up so quickly.
This year, it's going to be different than ever before. Last year, they didn't see their dad either, but they still sort of knew he was around and in their lives...
It's been an emotional week, not only for me, but for my sons as well. While Collin, who is three, doesn't express himself as well as Spencer, I am lead to believe that he is dealing with some emotional turmoil and confusion as well.
Spencer, who is 5.5 now, is able to vocalize himself better, and is quite intelligent, and able to really pinpoint his emotions quite well. All of the talk on TV, radio, day care, Sunday School, and among his peers about Father's Day seems to be stressing him out quite a bit. He asked me tonight why he doesn't have a dad anymore. I told him he has one, but that his dad is still making poor choices and I do not know how to reach him. We talked about God also being our father. While he is very smart and has great faith already, that concept is hard for him to grasp, I know. We said extra prayers for his dad tonight at bedtime.
At work (daycare) this week, a lot of time was spent working on Father's Day crafts and art all around the center. I took the lead on creating the gift from the children I work with, and helped out with the gift in the baby room. Each one brought joy for those children and parents, but also pain for my own children.
I have, admittedly, had some selfish "why me and my kids?" moments, moments where I personally felt betrayed and abandoned. But for the most part, each time something revolving around Father's Day was mentioned or done, I felt such loss for my children.
My two-year-old daughter who doesn't really understand what a daddy is, my three-year-old son who vaguely remembers having a dad, and my five-year-old son who misses his dad so much that he seems to be on his mind constantly...
I try to talk them through it. We talk about how Father's Day is for dads, but also for grandpas and uncles and men in our lives who love them. Each of my children made their art for Papa Web this year instead of me, hoping that helps them associate the day with the love of other family and close friends instead of the dad who up and walked out on them.
But my momma heart aches. It aches to know the right way to approach the tough questions, for the perfect answers, for the way to show them how fiercely I love them and others love them despite what they're missing.
I can only relate to my children somewhat. I can relate in that their dad up and left me too, left this gaping whole in my heart and life, left me wondering if he thinks of them or if they'll ever see him again on this side of eternity.
But I have my dad in my own life still. Fortunately, my children have my dad in their lives still. I could have lost my dad this year, but by the grace of God, he survived a stroke and has been on the mend. I have a dad I can call, text, visit, hug. I have a dad who lets me cry on his couch and tells me he loves me.
And that makes my heart hurt for my kids even more somehow. Because I have had a dad for 32 years, and Spencer had his dad for 4, Collin had him for 2, and Norah had him for 1... And he wasn't fully there for most of that anyway.
I know as years go by it will get easier and tougher; easier for them to understand a Father's love through God, through extended family, and through friends. They will see and better that you don't NEED your biological dad to have fatherly love and influence. It will get tougher as the questions become more intense and the quest for understanding grows deeper.
If you pray, and are willing, please spare a prayer for my children this weekend. I know I am praying that they see joy, feel love, and have peace, especially Spencer, as they likely hear about Father's Day at church on Sunday. I pray the good memories and love outweigh the ache in their little hearts, and they are able to carry on and grow stronger as they see the day through.