Joanne and I never considered what we’d do on Father’s Day when Zadey was born. Even today, I’m not really sure what there is to think about. But, over the years, the question has inevitably been asked “what do you do on Father’s Day?”
The truth is, it was a holiday we could easily overlook with Zadey until she started Kindergarten. Then Father’s Day is celebrated at school, cute crafts are done, and Zadey has no father to make these things for.
I have met lesbian couples who do have a father in their children’s lives, and this makes the answer easy for them. But, Zadey is adopted. There is no man in her life that plays father figure. But, while we anticipated school crafts coming home for “Dad,” Joanne and I talked about the men in her life that she could make them for.
What about Happy Uncle’s Day? What about Happy Grandpa’s Day? What’s the problem with changing the wording so that she could celebrate someone else important in her life?
Truthfully, it has never come up. That’s not to say however, that Zadey doesn’t know what Father’s Day is. She knows Joanne and I call our dads, and the kids at school have dads to make those cute crafts for. But, her life is different. And in these times, not having a dad is not out of the ordinary.
Father’s Day in Kindergarten
When Father’s Day in Kindergarten approached I had a quick talk with Zadey… “If you make something for Father’s Day, just make it with Grandpa in mind.” She said “okay” and went on her way.
At the end of the year, before Father’s Day, she brought home her craft. Her teacher, knowing she has two moms, had her make something different, for both her moms… just like she did on Mother’s Day. It was a very sweet gesture, and one that we recognized was special and unique to us. And because we were often in the classroom, her teacher knew Joanne and I well.
Father’s Day in First Grade
On Zadey’s last day of school she brought home tons of artwork, work sheets, crafts she had done while at school. Included was her little craft for Father’s Day. She showed it to me, saying that she had made it for Papa (my Dad), but she liked it so much she wanted to keep it. I didn’t see a problem with that, and she hung it up in her room.
Our Father’s Day
I used to think about all the ways we could honor our parents on Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. But, because there are no family gatherings for such “holidays,” I feel like they’re just another day. I don’t expect breakfast in bed on Mother’s Day, and I don’t know the last time I actually saw my own dad on Father’s Day.
And, it’s not that I wouldn’t want to be with my dad. But life is busy, we don’t live very close to each other, and we’ve never made plans for it.
Father’s Day & My Boys
Their “father” has made the decision to not be in their life. And, Joanne is. Though she toyed with the idea of not parenting, she says more often than not that she can’t not parent them. In fact, she already does, she is all they know for a second parent.
So, when the time comes that we need to acknowledge Father’s Day with my boys, we’ll do the same with them. Their school crafts can be made for themselves, us, Grandpa, Uncle, Godfather, whoever they choose. Ultimately, it’s up to them. And I really feel like giving my kids control of what they celebrate on Father’s Day, keeps them feeling positive about the day, rather than they’re missing something.