Without their Dad my kids would not even be here, but that is pretty much a no brainer. It is actually far more complex than that. They would not “be” here in the sense that who and what they are and the struggles they face would look so much different.
I was not made to be a single parent and while I may have been able to rise to the occasion if I had no choice, there would also have been no cell phones, no ballet lessons, no soft ball, no homeschooling. No house actually, quite likely no car, on account of the fact that we wouldn’t have been able to afford such things. No mom at home either, my kids would have been left to their own devices while I worked long hours. The time the dog got into a fight and had to go to the vet, the day the water line broke, the time the bad guys tried to break in, all of these responsibilities and challenges would have been left in the hands of my kids and they would have had to grow up way faster than they did.
I know these things, I was the oldest, my parents were not parents, and my little brother was often sick. I had to grow up way too fast without a Dad, with a mom who was more like a child herself. These things change your life, they taint you, and some 50 years later I am still trying to recover from those generational curses that were placed on me.
Without their Dad my kids would never have been able to grow up feeling entitled, knowing they are loved, taking things for granted. Sometimes they do you know, and I grind my teeth, torn between regret over having given them too much and fear that I did not give them enough. Gratitude, I wish I had taught them about gratitude more because that really is the key to happiness. I wish they did not struggle so hard with faith. I wish and I ponder, waffling between regret and pride, and I over think every moment of parenting, but one thing I am certain of, their Dad made being a mom possible.
And I chose a great Dad for them.
Father’s Day is a day of triumph for me, of victory, it reminds me of those generational curses broken, it reminds me of reconciliation and healing with my own father, it reminds me of my heavenly Father and His great love for His children, and it reminds me of my own husband and all the things he gave to our children, the possibilities realized, the great love and patience he has shown.
He continues to show. It’s not a job that ever ends.
I call him the spare parent, the extra set of hands, my back up plan, but these are all pet names, terms of endearment, in truth he really is the glue that holds us all together. A few times we did stay married “for the kids” and while the experts will tell you that’s bad, I think the experts are all wrong. The sacrificial nature of love calls for many such leaps of faith and often they soon pass anyway, children all but forgotten, until one day you realize it’s not just about the kids anymore, but more like the camaraderie of wounded soldiers, bound together forever by memories of battle.