Last year, I made a big deal out of making my baby girl say “Happy Father’s Day” to me. Actually, each year I have done it since I am single mom with no contact or support from baby daddy and no consistent male figures in Princess D’s life, and I work hard to try to take care of the “Dad” chores and activities. If that even makes sense.
This year, she brought home her homemade Father’s Day Card from school. “Je t’aime Papa” it proudly proclaims and she read it to me with as much pride as those words shouted out. So I said to her, “Who’s that card for?”
“You, Mama!” she enthused, “Because you are my Mommy and my Daddy.”
I smiled, sadly, as she continued to tell me how she put the buttons on the drawing inside and cut out the necessary pieces. Sadly because my heart always hurts a little when I think of what Princess D is missing out on. A father figure, a male role model in her life, who can give her the things a mother cannot. Even an uncle who was around a lot would do but she has none of these things. And my lack of dating means no temporary dads either – which might be a good thing, I just don’t know. But my heart hurts nonetheless when I think of this sweet, kind, beautiful, smart and talented little girl who is going through life without even knowing who her father is, because that is how baby daddy wants it.
The next day, we were walking our foster dog along the beach when Princess D suddenly looked at me and said, “How many days until Father’s Day? One… one. One! One more day till Father’s Day.”
“That’s right,” I smiled because you can’t help but catch a kid’s excitement. It’s like the warmth of sun after a week of rain, every time.
“And you are my Father and my Mother because really, I have a father who lives in a different city. But when you have a father who lives in a different city they come to visit you, right? So my father isn’t really a father is he?” Princess D gave me her hypothetical analyasis of what a father really is, with a huge grin on her face and a voice full of confidence.
“Yes,” I replied, tears threatening to spill from my eyes, “That would be right.”
Then she laughed. “So my father isn’t really a father. You are. You are the best Mommy in the world.”
Off she went, after those words, running down the beach outside our house, laughing and singing like she always does, and although I know my heart will still hurt a little when I think of her without a father figure in her life, I also know she is more than OK with it. And it seems, she isn’t really missing out on too much from her life either.