I gave him a card but no gifts. It was actually a weirdly appropriate father's day card that was mostly about what a great husband he is and how glad I am to be with him on this journey of parenthood. (Nice one, Target). He didn't get emotional on me, but I teared up when he read it because I just kept thinking about what kind of silly little craft project involving handprints and finger painting Eliza and I would have put together for him. It could have been such a different kind of morning, you know?
After breakfast (he made omelets), we decided to go for a walk in the park. It was humid and hot but not quite stifling yet.
|Cooper, Me, and 38 Weeks of the Deuce|
As if that weren't bad enough, she had a sort of mental breakdown after the trauma of her unexpected swim and the general exhaustion of walking in the heat, so when we returned to the car, she refused to jump up into the back seat.
HOWEVER, she also refused to allow David or me to lift her up into the car. This meant that the two of us were hovering over her, afraid to touch her but trying to encourage her to "Load up!" while she threw a barking/growling/snarling/lunging fit. Her eyes were rolling and I seriously thought she might start foaming at the mouth.
We tried to get a blanket under her legs so we could lift her up in a sling, but she kept attacking the blanket and her leash in her effort to bite us.
|TOTALLY MISLEADING PHOTO. |
DO NOT BE FOOLED BY THE SMUSHY PRESHUS SWEETNESS.
After several minutes of this, I finally hit the end of my patience, dragged her around to the other side of the car, and used the momentum to lift/drag her by her leash/collar/neck into the back floorboard. When we got home, she was still being totally hateful and she kept trying to bite David (who tried to gently help her out of the car), so he finally hosed her down in the backyard because he couldn't pick her up to put her in the bathtub without her drawing blood, and we HAD to get the pond-stank off of her.
So we had a parenting pow-wow and decided that Little Mac had lost her park privileges for next time.
|Wut-ever. I not sorry. U guyz suck.|
|Here. I givz u stink-eye. Ur welcome.|
It was a busy morning at the park--lots of bikers, joggers, roller bladers. I got a lot of sympathetic smiles from women who passed us on the path as I
My throat seized up. We gave her fake smiles in return, saying nothing. Then we turned off the path to walk around a small lake and David muttered, "Yeah, thanks for that."
I gave him a squeeze, but what was there to say? We are so lucky that the Deuce is currently hiccuping away in my belly, but seriously. Ouch. As though we needed ONE MORE REMINDER that we weren't pushing a stroller with an 18-month-old baby in it.
So we strolled along off the path near the pond, away from other people. We paused in the shade of the cedar trees around the pond and watched a bird with a crawdad in its beak.
|Isn't that creepy? We never saw the bird actually eat the crawdad. It just stood there holding it.|
Then we headed back to the car with only half of our family with us.
* * *
Share is a national organization for bereaved parents. We have occasionally attended a local group here, and have met some great people and found some relief by attending a few meetings, especially in that first year. I did not want to belong to a "grief support group" but I'm so glad that this organization exists. This year, they sent out a you tube video for father's day, about how grief works differently for dads. You can view it here.
The part that sticks with me is the part about "fixing the problem." David has talked about how stressful it was for him in the early weeks and months when I was crying
It feels like a long time ago that our grief was so sharp and all-consuming. But I can remember it very vividly. (Oddly enough, I can't remember father's day last year. At all. I tell you, Summer of 2011 just didn't really exist for me.) I'm so glad we made it this far.
And maybe that lady at the park is right. Maybe next year will be the first father's day with more happy than sad.