Sunday, June 21, 2009

Father's Day and Our Fatherless Child

Someone asked Shrike yesterday if she and I are planning to do anything for each other for Father's Day.

Um, no. We're not fathers.

Of course, we celebrate Father's Day, and so will Peeper as she gets older. She will honor her grandfathers and her great-grandfather, and her uncles - just as we do.

And if, at some point, she finds herself in a classroom or at a summer camp somewhere making "Happy Father's Day" crafts, she can make them for any - or all - of those guys.

Or, I suppose, if she'd prefer, she's welcome to make something for us instead.

(Hell, the tools and barbecue grills - and even the neckties - on those things are probably more "us" than the flowery, girly stuff she'll be bringing home at Mother's Day.)

I honestly don't think that's going to be a big deal; I can't imagine she'll be the only kid in her class without a father, even if she is the only one with two mothers.

Sometimes I do wonder, though, what it might mean to her that she does not have a father, or whether it will even be a big deal to her at all.

Of course, there is a man out there somewhere whose sperm helped to create her, but he was never her father, so unlike most fatherless children, she's not lost anything.

I like to think that she will not miss something she's never had, that she will consider herself lucky to have more mothers than most of her friends, that she will find whatever male influence she needs in her grandfathers and uncles and family friends, that she will think in terms of the two loving parents that she has, and not in terms of the Y chromosome that neither of us possesses.

I hope that I am right.

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