Is It Okay To Buy Your Mother a Card on Father's Day?

Plain and simply... Yes. It is perfectly ok to to show your appreciation to a mother who picked up the slack where your father lacked. Looking back now I wish I could have given her more. She was and still is everything for us. I can't imagine how hard it was. There are 3 of us and we are all spoiled! When were little our Christmases and birthdays were plush...I mean laid out every year like we lived in aisle 9 at Toys R Us. I remember not being able to sleep the nights before just knowing that the next days were about to be EPIC. Even now, being in my 30's, I still look forward to gifts from my mom... and she never disappoints. My mom did damn good by us. She wasn't always nice but she was very good to us. I realize now having a daughter of my own that you can't be your child's friend and expect them to respect you. My mom was the greatest at teaching me just that. I never had to depend on anyone else because she was always there to check me when I needed it. She was always there to fight for me when I need her to. But most of all she was there to hold me and love me when I needed her to. 

My mom made some major sacrifices for us. She went above and beyond to do all the things I needed her to do.  She is still and always will be the shining example on which I base my life and all my major decisions. Without her I would be nothing and I am forever grateful for everything she has taught me and done for me. But need and want are two completely different things. 

As a mother, you can be everything to your child. You can be there for them every waking moment, catering to them and guiding them and praising them through their every accomplishment.... But for some children, there will always be a question... "Why isn't my dad here?" or "Why doesn't my daddy love me?" or even "Am I doing enough to make my daddy want me? And there's absolutely nothing you can do about it. Naturally as children grow older, they get more inquisitive and want to know more and the answers are never easy.... Because as a mother you really don't know why or what keeps a man so attached to his children. As a mother you are hard wired to your children from birth. But a man... a man has  to have a different experience... a bonding experience.

To me, it seems like if a child is separated from their father early in life, the father misses that bonding experience, that connection. But that doesn't keep the child from wanting that connection. I remember wanting that connection when I was younger. In our house there was no second opinion or no second option. There was no playing my dad against my mom to get what I wanted because he simply wasn't there. As far as I know he didn't have any input on any decision made in our lives. And I always wondered if he even wanted that privilege. Literally the only time we ever talked about my dad was when it was time to go see him in the summer and on holidays... And even then I wondered why we always had to be the ones who packed up and traveled for days to go see him. (It wasn't until later in life that I realized we didn't make those trips just for him but to be closer to my moms side of the family and to get to know our cousins.) I felt like him being the adult, he should make more time for us and offer to come see us. I think I was just jealous of the kids I went to school with, who had both parents in their lives. It just always seemed like they had all the fun... the family trips, all the pictures... being able to choose which car they wanted to ride to school in. Stupid stuff really.

All of those questions really shaped who I dated and why as I got older. I knew whoever they were, my mom had to love them because her "you don't even exist to me" game is to strong. I knew that he had to be someone who could give me all the attention I needed , because being the oldest of 3 you don't always get the kind of attention you want. And I knew he had to be someone who knew what it meant to be a good father. 

My mother never talked bad about my dad to us. And we have never not celebrated Father's Day... we just celebrated differently. I do remember buying my mother a Father's day card or two... I should have bought her a cape. But she will never be my dad and she can never fill that void... and we will never get that time back. I just thank God for all the lessons I learned by not having a father around. And most importantly knowing  a good man when I see one, so that my daughter will never have to know what it's like to be without her father. Everyone always says they want give their children everything they didn't have when they were a kid. And being the young woman my mother shaped me to be has allowed me to do just that. He is everything to her and we can't imagine life without him.

 To all the single moms out there who got Father's Day cards, I salute you. It will never be easy to do it all on your own and do it well enough to have your children praise you for it. Not too many of us were groomed to have that strength. And Happy Father's Day to all the dads out there who at least try to make an effort. I realize there are a lot of good men stuck in bad situations. But,  just because you're not in your child's life every day doesn't mean you can't be a great father. A daily phone call can mean so much to a child that doesn't quite understand yet. And it makes an even bigger difference in their understanding when they get older too. And to my dad... Happy Father's Day and thank you for finally showing me who you really are. Regardless of what anyone thinks I can't help but love you.

 

-des