Robb was a pro at celebrating Mother’s Day. We didn’t have many years together as parents, but he was always off the charts on the day that honored one of my roles in our family. I was honored with meals of my choice, bouquets of flowers, prolific cards, and handmade treasures from our toddler or preschooler sons. Most sacrificial of all, he relieved me from the task of any and all diaper related duties for one day.
The key to his success, I am now realizing, was his nature to plan ahead. When Mother’s Day came, he was ready.
And yet, somehow, when Father’s Day routinely came a mere five weeks later, I don’t think I was every truly ready. At least not in the ways he had been.
One year, he came down for breakfast (donuts purchased the day before) to find me scrambling to get the boys to sit still at the kitchen table and scrawl their names in crayon across the Father’s Day cards (also purchased the day before).
I blew it.
We talked about it later in the day, in that way that sinks in my stomach with the knowledge that this opportunity came and went, I didn’t sieze it, and while every day should be Father’s Day, it wouldn’t be written on the calendar or on the Hallmark cards for another 52 weeks.
I blew it.
I’m not sure I ever got it right. I don’t say that as a plea for affirmation, and maybe I’m just recalling through a dim glass because I miss him quite muchly today. But I just don’t recall ever putting forth the effort he extended each and every year.
I think I thought nothing could say it well enough, big enough, sure enough. I wanted to give bigger than I could, so I ultimately gave much less than I should. I guess I thought I had more years, more chances to do it right.
Happy Father’s Day, Robb. Thanks for making me a mom, for doing the first five years with me, and for generously giving me all of those diaper-free days.
If I woke up next to you this morning, I like to think I would have had a most spectacular plan to celebrate you. I like to think I would have planned ahead. Things rarely go as planned, but I’d still like another chance.