Last night we celebrated; “Day of Meaningful Adult Males in Our Lives-Day.” Not the name that was agreed upon 100 years ago, when Father’s Day was first celebrated in this country. But then again, donors and adoptive families were not likely whom our forefather’s had in mind when designing the scope of the day.
This was marked by a handsome freshly caught piece of salmon, local corn, a salad and peas from our own container garden-and a bakery blueberry pie. This was the menu requested by the one and only Uncle Buncle, the most present and meaningful adult male in our life today. Having been apart from each other for a few days (insert golden lake water, loons, bullfrogs, kayaks, canoes, the great friends who hosted us and Sam at the helm of a Boston Whaler here), the reunion energy around here last night was something akin to popcorn on a sugar buzz.
The presentation of the #1 Uncle gifts after dinner was a sweet reminder of what an amazing job of normalizing the holiday our preschool does. I basked in what a great thing we have going here, and how damn near perfect a meal I can cook if I want to.
Then I tripped over the elephants asleep on the kitchen floor this morning. The birth father and the donor take up a lot of room in the kitchen, and in my heart. I meant to address you last night, I wanted to tell them but they were not listening as they rolled over, and knocked over the sink. I wanted to thank you for the wonderful men you helped to create, and all of the ways in which I have fallen in love with the traits that you have clearly bestowed on them including charm, musical ability, athletic genius and must figure out how to take it apart and put it back together-ness. Those snoring elephants, wanted no part of my-next-day-if-I-had-only-thought-to-mention thinking.
After making a cup of coffee, I tried another approach: honesty. Last night, I just wanted it to be about what they have in their lives. By have I mean-who they can reach out and high five, and kiss, and hug, and climb all over-and not who they can’t. The elephants began to stir. You are both here all the time, I whispered, as I scratched them behind the ears, in pictures, and stories, and the ways I tell them how you must have gotten that move from your donor, or that smile from your birth father, because it sure is suave and will level a room in about five years… The more I explained all the ways that we do honor them here, and can honor them more the smaller my elephants seemed to become. Now one is the soft plush elephant under Marcel’s arm, and the other has crawled back into the picture of Sam’s birth father on the shelf.
For me another close call, a reminder that what I don’t have (a relationship with my son’s biological fathers) is not the same as what they don’t have (a relationship with their biological fathers). My work is to honor what they do have- deep and meaningful relationship with many men in their lives (several of whom are pictured below), and the certain grief and confusion of not knowing the two amazing men without whom I wouldn’t be Mama C.
To all the significant males in our lives we love and cherish you. A slideshow to honor those of you unlucky enough to come in contact with my camera in the last few years: