May 28, 2009

During the first year N and I were dating, we grabbed dinner at a Steak n Shake. Over a basket of french fries, I watched with amusement (and some trepidation), as he taught the little boy sitting across from us how to blow through his straw so that the straw wrapper propelled across the table, hitting whoever was sitting on the other side. The little boy’s dad thought this was hilarious. The mom was more dubious.

He’s so good with kids. They gravitate to him, knowing that here is a kindred spirit, someone who can toss aside the dressings of adulthood and throw himself wholeheartedly into a game of airplane, catch, tag, or make-believe, someone who can inspire them to new heights of goofiness and laughter.  A year ago, he let his small niece feed him blueberries, a food he normally won’t touch with a ten-foot pole.  Coming from her little fingers, though, he acted like they were the most delicious things in the world.  He thinks kids, all kids, are wonderful things, and I know he was very excited about having his own, that he was eager and ready (as any man can be, at least) to be a daddy.

Now Father’s Day is less than a month away. I’m already hyper-aware of it, and while I don’t know what to do for N, I want to do something. Something that lets him know I see him as a father, that I remember that he lost Teddy, too. Something that honors the way he was there for me and for his son during those very hard days. Something that honors the fact that he still holds his son in his heart even though he can’t hold him in his arms. Something that recognizes his love and loss.

And also something that doesn’t make him feel like I’m pressuring him to remember, or like I want him to remember and feel the same way I do about Teddy. I want him to have the option of burying his head in the sand and hiding from the day if he wants. We both grieve, but we grieve differently and I try to respect that and walk the line of sharing, but not pushing. I suspect I often err on the side of caution, and most of the time, that’s probably not so terrible. Come June 21, however, I need to have a plan (even if it’s tiny and simple) in place.

Any ideas about how you might mark Father’s Day, whenever it may fall for you? Or about how to show appreciation for a babylost dad?



  1. I hear you. I’m in the same dilemma, and totally dry with ideas as to what to do. If I think of anything I’ll give you a shout.

  2. Oh Father’s Day is so soon in the States after Mother’s Day. We thankfully have a much bigger break and Father’s Day is in September. I’m not sure I could handle all of that again now. Wow, so horribly unfair to the babylost.
    I get what you mean about your hubby, though. Simon is much the same way with kids. It breaks my heart I could not give that to him.

  3. You know, I don’t remember what we did last year on Father’s Day. I don’t think we did anything to mark the day (the same way we did Mother’s Day). I remember scouring hallmark for some kind of appropriate card but came up empty handed.

    I might do something this year, even if it’s just cook his favorite breakfast.

  4. I would have a card, at least on hand. Last year I found one that was about how life doesnt work out but i’m glad hes around. it was perfect, and he loved it and kept it set up.

    I also got him a stick family set of stickers for his car from the internet, and the little angel baby has “MISSED” under it. It worked for him, he likes a way to let people know – in some kind of ‘guy’ way – that he still misses his baby.

    I think this year will just be a card.

  5. I am planning to get a card and to buy a couple of black shirts for my husband. They can be an outward expression for days when he misses our son. Eventually, they will become part of his wardrobe.

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