Tuesday, April 20, 2010

missed moments

Sometimes I sit down to write a post and the words don't really come easily. I will have an idea of what I want to say, or the feelings I want to convey, but I struggle with the sentence structure and finding the exact words. This is one of those posts.

Today Emily (chatting at the sky) was talking about Missed Moments. The kind that you overlook when you are overwhelmed, like that wonderful man sitting beside you who promised you forever and gave you a ring. It got me thinking of another man, a father.

This is my friend Ashley on her wedding day, obviously. And that is her dad, right where he should be.

I didn't have that moment. Well, I had the walking down the aisle moment, but it wasn't my dad. I had borrowed dads. Men I loved and who loved me and who knew my dad and were honored to stand up for him, but it wasn't the same. I missed that moment. I would give anything to have it back, but that wasn't my choice.

I've been thinking about all of this because of several reasons. At my school this past year, there have been three dads that have passed away, all to some form of cancer. They were fathers to children in the fifth and seventh grades, and they had been sick for some time. These deaths were not a surprise, but they were horrible. Such young students to lose a father. I lost my father when I was 20, and these kids are 10. Those ten years make such a big difference, I think. So much left to be done in a child's life; lessons to be taught by the father in your life. Not that they can't be taught by someone else, but that they are what we think of as dad things. Changing a tire, hitting a baseball, hammering a nail, etc. Missed moments.

I think too of these birth fathers, and their role in all this. Here I sit, waiting for a couple to sign away the rights to their child, selfishly removing a child from his or her father and mother. Now, in reality, my husband will probably be a better father than most of these birth fathers, but it is still a bond that remains. Parents are important to a child, and these birth parents won't be involved much. Missed moments for them, too. Things like taking first steps and riding a bike and going to kindergarten and the prom. Missed moments.

Maybe the thing to think about isn't what's missed, but what's gained. Though that side may seem smaller, I guess it's there. My dad didn't walk me down the aisle, but he did instill in me the passion for learning. He gave me my quirkiness, and my crooked teeth. My students fathers hopefully left behind something for them too, and I hope our birth parents will feel they can be involved at some level, to maintain the connection. Maybe there won't be so many missed moments ahead, if I can remember to stop and look around.

What are your missed moments?


Ann - Building a Nest said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Melissa Stover said...

so fitting that you tied that in with a birth father and your husband who will be a real father. it really makes you think.

emily said...

this was lovely, friend.

Lost in Space said...

I lost my dad at 25 and have many of those same missed moments...an uncle to give me away and my brother for the "father"-daughter dance. I'm sorry you missed out on all this too.

I think often about the losses that all members of the adoption triad might face and the thoughts can be pretty overwhelming.