Don’t forget the ‘father’ on Father’s Day
by Sharon Hall | June 18, 2017 7:30 am
Last Updated: June 18, 2017 at 8:31 pm
As we celebrate Father’s Day this year, some will observe the day and some may see no reason. Remember that a father or a mother does not have to be a birth father or mother.
For whatever reason in your life a parent was absent, take a moment to reflect on what you believe a father or mother should be. Then take another moment to remember if there was ever a person in your life who always seemed to be around when you needed them.
A person who, even if they weren’t always there, when you called on them they were willing to give you a hug, a kind word or pull you through emotional times in your young life.
Those are the people whom we should also recognize on Mother’s Day or Father’s Day.
On Father’s Day each year, my son, Allen, calls my husband, Tommy, who has been a wonderful dad to both my kids, to wish him a happy Father’s Day. He also calls me and says “Happy Father’s Day, Mom.” That gesture never needed a question; he silently knows, and so do I.
For seven years I raised my two children as a single parent, and I made those days as happy and as cozy as I possibly could for them.
I wanted them to remember their childhood as happy times. Every Friday, we had a pizza and movie camp-out with mattresses in the living room. We had birthday parties on birthdays with magic shows and even a mini-farm brought to our house on several birthdays.
We had superhero sleepovers, princess sleepovers, bring-your-teddy-bear sleepovers. I decorated each bedroom with pullouts from comic books from ceiling to floor so their rooms took them to an imaginary world of wonder every day.
After my husband, Tom, came into our lives, he took the parties a step further with bouncy things and the works. As a single parent the hard times came often but I waited until my children were all tucked in after a bedtime story before I let my feelings surface. We got through difficult times with God, a plan “A” and a plan “B” – one of them always seemed to work.
Deciding what moments to be a father figure to my son were the most trying as a single parent. I remember when my son Allen was 6, I saw him peering out his window watching a dad throw a baseball to his son. It saddened me to see him wonder what it would be like for a dad to throw a baseball to him. It was time for a plan “B.”
The next day, I bought some baseballs and two gloves. I remembered that the Yankees were my favorite baseball team. I purchased two “NY” baseball caps, one for him and one for me. He still wears “NY” baseball caps to this day, not because it was a fad, but because he holds those times dear to his heart.
During basketball season he played basketball. Michael Jordan was his hero. He wore only Air Jordans for his shoes growing up and, somehow, I acquired a life-size Michael Jordan cardboard figure and sat it in his room. During football season he played football; yes, I threw a football to him, too. Each year, until I felt it was time to let go, I made it a point to go outside and throw that ball to my son.
After remarrying, my husband, Tom, eventually went to war after the Sept. 11 incident. I stood in for him with our son, Ben. We played street baseball with the neighborhood kids; my house remained the favorite in the neighborhood for many years. The year my husband returned from Iraq, I tore my rotator cuff playing street ball – that was the year I retired my Yankees baseball cap and glove.
Sharon Hall is the editor of The Manning Times