Last year I remember wanting to go overboard for James. I wanted to take him out to a fancy dinner, buy him a growler of his favorite beer, shower him with gifts, I wanted to do it all. He didn’t want that. He was still processing. I’m so grateful for organizations and support groups who helped me realize that he his allowed to grieve in his own way. Just because I wanted gifts on mothers day didn’t mean he was the same. It also didn’t mean it would be the same each year. Fathers grieve and fathers get to call the shots on their day!
This Father’s Day we got to celebrate him fathering two children. It could be that he’s pregnant with his second child, or it could be that he’s had more time to see for himself just how incredible he truly is. Either way, he’s more open to the idea of being celebrated. I made a reservation at our favorite Greek restaurant and bought him gifts. I’m so proud of the man he is and I’m also proud he is allowing himself to be cherished for the incredible dad he has been to both of our kids.
We’ve spent over a year learning what it means to parent a kid who has died. Our grief has shifted and taken many forms. I’ve watched this happen in myself AND in James. He did mention that he might go his entire life without being able to fully acknowledge that he is a father. If I’m honest, I think I’m still having to push the word mom on myself, too. However long it takes for us to fully dive into these rolls, its ok. We’re parents.
To me James will always be the best dog dad, loss dad, plant dad, and pregnant dad. I’m proud to call him my parenting partner.