When I was a kid, my dad deployed or went on detachment often enough, worked long hours, hardly ever felt home. When he did get back, it was always a bit of a struggle re-adapting to having him there. It was not always ideal, but I can see more clearly now having a son of my own and being a working mom, that my family was always doing the best we could. I always had a roof over my head. I always had good health/dental insurance. I always had plenty of food to eat. Those things, those blessings, are easy to take for granted as a kid, but my struggles as a single mom have clearly shown me otherwise. My dad was and continues to be an awesome provider. He had the strength to stay sane in a family with four alpha females and together with my mom raised three amazing women, the first of whom was me.
My dad taught me some of the most important life lessons I have learned. Taught me to be honest, a trait that has defined who I am almost more than anything. He helped me see that being very emotional and being logical is possible. That I never have to give up my dream, never have to compromise or diminish my standards to be on someone else’s level. He is the reason picking a toolbox/tool shelf is the first thing I do when I move. Confidence with laying tile floors, changing out ceiling lights, belt sanders, stud finders, laser levels, table saws and a variety of basic tools is a skill I appreciate more and more as I get older. My love for fixing things and almost anything do-it-yourself started as a kid, begrudgingly helping him with the current project in the garage. I did not appreciate those times then, but I certainly do now. I promise to make my hurricane help me out as well, to give him the same confidence.
My dad is so great that he was promoted to grandpa! He continues to be one of the most positive, fatherly influences in the hurricane’s life. I will be forever thankful for my family allowing us to move back in with them, for watching my son as I worked on myself and our future, for loving him as much if not more than they love me. He is blessed with some awesome grandparents!
Then there’s the boyfriend. He met me at a low point in my life. He respected me as single mom, living with my parents, trying to make the best life possible for my son and I. He watched many bath times, observed my parenting style in every situation possible, and was always okay with my son coming first in my schedule, in my life. There will be no step in his title. He is already a dad, even though we don’t have a kid of “our own” just yet.
And of course there is my ex-husband, because you did mention still checking in on this blog now and then. Without you I would not be a mom. We made the cutest kid (biased of course!) and I hope that we both continue to grow into inspiring, loving co-parents of this smart, sweet, hyper little hurricane. Your presence in his life does matter, as do those of your family, and will be always be important. He will never be able to say that he comes from a “broken home,” but rather from a village, surrounded by many adults who love and want the best for him.
Happy Father’s Day to the amazing fathers like mine, to the ones who help heal broken hearts and to those other single moms doing it all on your own.
Love, more love and light,