What I really mean when I say ‘I don’t want anything for Father’s Day’

Fathers DaySix years ago this September, my daughter was born. Three days and two hours later, we held her as she left. Her first name is Violet. Her middle name is October.

I continue to be her father.

Since then, I have been gifted two more children. One through adoption and the other through biology. That number may grow. It may not.

I’m not really leaning one way or the other. Got my hands full around these parts, but would certainly welcome the opportunity to grow my love once again.

But, each June, since those Violet September days, Father’s Day blindsides me like a blitzing linebacker racing past my rookie tight end. I’m lifted and slammed to the ground, wind knocked from my body.

“What do you want for Father’s Day?”

The question is honest, generous and kind. (My wife is a rock star. She would deliver whatever it is I request. I know this.)violets-wallpaper-14523

“Nothing.”

The answer is also true.

Well. Kinda.

The truth of the matter is that what I really want for Father’s Day is to be allowed to stay on the floor an extra 45 minutes with the family, playing Star Wars, rather than popping up to take a phone call. I want to take individual food orders from each of the kids, whenever they want to eat, and not be afraid to load the dishwasher for the entire day before worrying about pushing “start.” I want to splash in puddles in my sneakers, focusing on the boys’ laughter while our calves get splattered with mud.

I want to talk about Violet.

But this isn’t an indictment of those dads among us who do, in fact, desire a thing on our day of recognition. You do you, dad.

This is, however, an honest entry for those who say “Nothing.”

Sometimes we really mean it.

Well. Kinda.

Kyle Belanger

Written by: Kyle Belanger

Proud father to three children (in order: one deceased, one adopted and one biological), Kyle is constantly navigating the worlds between actively grieving and openly gloating. Learn more about Kyle here.

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