When someone wishes me happy Mother's Day in May, I smile and gush a little over the joys of being Mancub's mom. There's no denying that I feel I was born to be a parent. Little did I realize when I became a mother that I'd fill the role of both parents. Mancub's father and I divorced in '99 and, for the most part, I have carried the load of taking care of business. They'd spend time when I was working on weekends, but if I wasn't working Mancub was with me. Financially it all rests on my shoulders, as well.
So, in 2005 we packed up what we could carry on a plane and moved to Illinois. Mancub's father didn't follow as hoped or tentatively planned. He packed up what he could carry in a van and moved to Texas. Since that time there is little visitation and periodic communication. Mancub welcomes any and all that he can get from his dad. Yes, when he isn't looking I roll my eyes and try not to gag. It's trivial to me, but monumental to the boy.
Each year when Father's Day makes its appearance on the calendar I become squeamish. Do I remind Mancub that he's welcome to call his dad? He's his father, but Cletus is not what I envisioned as a dad for him. I'm disappointed in my choice, but there isn't a lot I can do.
Well, there is a lot I do. I bought him his first razor and taught him to shave his face. I'm desperately trying to teach him to ride a bike. I may not be able to teach him how to swing a bat or throw a football, but I have to be enough woman to wear the pants in this household. Mancub's father is welcome to be part of his life as much as he chooses. I have no control over the amount. That ball is in his court. While it's easy to not have disputes over the manner in which he is raised, I pray for Cletus to wake up and smell the coffee. He's missing out on someone phenomenal ... and I get all the glory.
Today, my friend and co-worker, Jennifer, was leaving to spend the day with her husband on their anniversary. Before she left she motioned for me to come to her. With a handshake and a 'guy hug' she wished me a very happy Father's Day. This isn't the first time a friend wished me a happy Father's Day, but whenever it occurs I well up with tears. I'm more deeply touched with such a sentiment than the wishes on Mother's Day. That's not to say that those sentiments aren't warmly embraced. It's the fact that people recognize that I am both parental roles to my son.
Mancub did buy his dad one of those sound cards. It's sitting in a pile awaiting postage. Perhaps I subconsciously failed. I did take him shopping for the car 4 weeks ago, though. Partial credit?
I want to take the opportunity to wish all the fathers that read my blog a very joyous day. I hope you're active in his/her/their life. It doesn't take a village to raise a child. It requires love that comes from home ... even if that home only has one parent.
Happy Father's Day!