If you are a regular reader, you will remember the day that I missed the BBQ and felt terrible. Well…what I didn’t tell you then, was another aspect of the day that made me pause.
As we were gathering my son’s things, I pointed to the crowded counter and said, “Are you supposed to take home one of those bags?” It was easy to see, that the bags each held a special present and from the time of year, I guessed they were Father’s Day gifts.
“Oh, that’s not important to me because they are Father’s Day presents and I don’t have a father.”
He said it without emotion and continued out the classroom door with his backpack and lunch pail. He turned around to look to see if I was following him.
I stood still for a moment and looked at all the decorated bags and for that moment, I felt sad for him.
The next day, he brought home his brown bag. At the top of the bag it said, “Happy …. Day!”
“So, what does this mean?” I knew what it meant, but I wanted to interpret his feelings behind the adjusted message.
“Well…I decided that even though this was supposed to be a Father’s Day present, I could make it a present for a happy day.” He looked at me as if he was searching for permission to switch the rules of this holiday. “I think you are right! It can be a family gift that we all enjoy on this happy day.” I smiled and he smiled back. The expression on my face must have satisfied him because he was very happy with my answer and went about his day.
Inside the bag, was a mug that had been covered with Mine Craft characters. We decided that the dining room hutch was a safe place to keep and admire this treasure.
I know that future Father’s Days might have a larger impact on my son. I know that there will be more questions and that those questions will not be reserved just for the month of June. I know that this was not his choice and that Father’s Day played a part in our discussion of adopting.
Here’s what I know…my son is loved in a full and complete way. He has people who adore him and he is the center of my universe.
As a teacher, I have mixed feelings about this holiday. Is it necessary that I visit Pinterest to find the perfect shirt and tie card for my students to make? My son is not the only example of the adjustments that kids make to this holiday…emotional divorces, death or other male figures in a child’s life that deserve the card more than the father. If I’m being honest, I think about this each year with ALL the holidays and the make up of my classroom. Will I offend? Will I cause a family or student stress? Will I pour salt in a fresh wound?
I know that my son’s teacher thought about this…she is thoughtful and might have helped him make the necessary adjustments. I’m sure next year, there will be another pencil holder or picture frame and WE will treasure it just like the mug 🙂