Right now I have two cards in my purse. They are both for my husband. The first one is a card I gave my husband on the day we finally made it to embryo transfer after two cancelled IVFs and one IVF resulting in no embryos to transfer. Inside I wrote, “No matter what happens…today we are a mommy and a daddy with the same hopes and dreams for our children that any parent has. Love, your baby girl (but hopefully not your only baby for long).” The day he opened it, he put it in my purse to take home and it hasn’t left since.
I can’t bear to throw it out. We were so happy that day. So hope filled. It was one of the best days of my life. But what do you do with a card like that? Where do you keep it?
The second card is a Father’s Day card I bought several weeks ago. It has a picture of a golden retriever on the front and I wrote a cute message from Bo inside. I have to admit that this card is slightly passive aggressive. Tony isn’t ready to say that he will ever want to pursue parenthood again (whatever that would mean). I’m not ready to say that I want to accept child free living for the rest of my life. We are in limbo. This is OK right now.
I bought the card in a small way to remind him that fatherhood is out there. I bought the card because I want a card from him saying, “When we are healed from the disappointment of five failed attempts at IVF, when we are ready, we’ll do whatever it takes to become parents…if that’s what we decide we want to do.”
I’ve happily carried this Father’s Day card around for weeks, ready to launch my passive aggressive assault.
But then earlier this week I reminded Tony (in a totally innocent, non-passive aggressive way…for real. I have no problem admitting when I’m being passive aggressive.) that Bo needed to go to day camp on Friday for the dog Father’s Day party. (I know Liz…we do some crazy crap for our dogs here in the States, but I hate for Bo to miss a party.) Tony was less than enthusiastic and snarked back something to the effect that he didn’t need to participate in some dumb dog Father’s Day party.
I’m so stupid. Why would I think that he needs a card (even one disguised as a cute message from our pup) to be reminded that he’s not a father? I know how he feels. On Mother’s Day my aunt sent an email to all the women in the family wishing everyone a happy day. She addressed it to everyone whether a mother, an aunt, a cousin, or a puppy mom. I wasn’t the only non-mom recipient of the email. She’s a non-mom herself. I felt conflicted though. On one hand I was happy to be included, but on the other hand I felt like the girl invited to the party by default because someone’s parent said that the whole class had to be invited.
And so, I think we will ignore Father’s Day this year. Both of our fathers have passed away. Tony’s not a father. We’ll just continue to celebrate each other as a loving couple with a fabulous dog, and eventually our ideas about parenthood will come together with time.