Finally… A Proper Father’s Day

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I hate to put it that way… proper Father’s Day… when, what can be considered “proper” with all the terribly sad things that are happening all around the world today? Grieving fathers who lost their sons too soon. Grieving children who lost their fathers, too soon or not. But then I remember why this holiday was created in the first place… like many other holidays… to celebrate what good there is, in spite of the bad and evil all around. To give thanks to God for what he’s given us… the various gifts we celebrate on these days. To be reminded about what we should be thankful for all year.

I realize these days we set aside to celebrate certain people or events are painful for some {as a sweet lady recently put it regarding the particular day we set aside to honor fathers}.

My first Father’s Day after my dad died was very difficult. And like the past two Mother’s Days proved to be for us, Father’s Day has also been difficult for us as a family. Like all celebrations around here, there is the joy with equal parts pain. We both {Mr. B. and I} felt sadness this past weekend. My not-so-transparent and not-easily-vocal-about-it husband even mentioned to me that he had been feeling a lot of sadness about Anysia these past several weeks… likely because of all the celebrating that was taking place for Izzy’s birthday. I’m sure it stirred us both, even sub-consciously at times, to think about celebrating him without her. It’s like we always feel something’s missing. We felt it going to and coming back from Florida, as well.

As a father, I’m sure my husband’s Sunday was full of a sense that there is an unfillable hole… a part of fatherhood that was almost within his grasp, but that he’ll never get to have.

Anyway, I know Father’s Day can be like this for many. Simultaneously painful. Still, we celebrate and hopefully remember the good things. I remembered my dad on Sunday. Probably not as much as I should have taken the time to do. Perhaps I should have put together a little album of photos of him somewhere along the way, so I could look at him and remember. Now that I write it, I think I will do that.

What I hopped on my blog to do today, though, is celebrate and remember the other father in my life… Izzy’s father. And I thought I would create such an album for him to go see whenever he wants, especially for such a day when he no longer has his father physically with him either. I started my post on Sunday night, but couldn’t get around to finishing it. It took me what time I could devote to it just to round up all the photos of Mr. B. with Izzy and Anysia since he’s been a father these past 4+ years. I knew I had many photos of them together, but I didn’t realize just how many until I started gathering them.
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For my post, I’m including my most favored shots {three of which were taken by two other photographers… by one when I was in my hospital bed during those six hours that Anysia lived, and by another who took family photos of us when it was still just Izzy, Mr. B. and me… which is the shot below where Mr. B. is holding Izzy upside down}.

But I also included the slide show of my album of all the photos of Mr. B. with our children, which is below the favorites shots I included here. It contains several photos of the three of them since day one… in chronological order, as far as I know. I’m certain there are many more pictures I could add to the slide show, all hidden deep in the many photo folders on my drives. But doing so would make an already large photo album and slide show even larger, so I thought I’d leave it where it’s at for now. Some day, when I get around to organizing all my photos, I’ll keep adding to the flickr album. There are also a ton of wonderful shots I wanted to include from our most recent Florida trip and from Izzy’s fourth birthday celebrations, but I’m saving those for when I post about each of those two events in the near future. {Although, there are a couple of sneak peek shots I included in the slide show below.}
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View More: http://sherahgphotography.pass.us/anysia-bateman
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As for my post title… I said “proper Father’s Day” because it seems like this year was the first year that we actually celebrated Father’s Day properly.

That’s because, unfortunately for Mr. B., Father’s Day always lands on, or shortly after Izzy’s birthday. So, his first Father’s Day was also the day we brought Izzy home from the hospital. It was sort of hard for me to do anything special that year. I was rather drugged-up, sewn-up and sore that day. The next year, we did a big 1-year birthday bash for Izzy, and it took everything out of me that might have been left for doing something for Father’s Day. The following year, we didn’t do a party for Izzy, but I was pregnant with Anysia and extremely nauseous. I discovered how difficult it is to plan anything when you are vomiting all day, even just a regular day. For Mr. B’s fourth Father’s Day, we had another birthday party for Izzy turning three. That party was the day before Father’s Day, and once again, we were exhausted come the day meant to celebrate Dear Dad.

But this year… there were no births, birthday parties or pregnancies to compete with.

Actually, last Saturday, my friend brought her hubby and four kids over for a barbecue, and since it was only one week past his birthday, I thought we could all celebrate Izzy’s entrance into a fifth year of life together. I figured, when there are four kids in one family and they come over for a barbecue with their mom and dad, you might as well call it a party… because four-plus-one kids under the age of seven hanging out together is a party any day of the year, birthday or not! However, our plans to run around outside in the back yard and get our party on were somewhat thwarted by the thunderstorms that passed through, and the constant rain that followed, keeping us all indoors… except for when Mr. B. was grilling with the other dad who was present, and when all the kids followed them outside for a short time to chase a frog {during a brief drizzling reprieve from the pouring rain}.

So… all the decorations I bought and planned to hang out on the deck for our time of grilling/eating/playing never did go up on Saturday.

But no worries. It worked out great to use them Sunday morning instead. Izzy and I got up early and got to work, hanging all the balloons and bunting and a hand-made sign in the living room by the fireplace for Mr. B. to wake up to.
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These were all the types of things I’d wanted to do each Father’s day previously, but to be honest, this was probably the best year to start anyway. Izzy is the most able to comprehend what Father’s Day is all about this year, and would not have understood it nearly as much, even just one year ago. Grasping the concept of honoring dad, he had a blast creating something special for his dad this year. The excitement he had in doing this made putting up with the rain that threatened to dampen our barbecue the night before all worth it.

After finding his little Father’s Day nook, Mr. B. enjoyed the coffee I brought him and some Lego-building time with Izzy at the coffee table on the living room floor.
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It’s the way all his Father’s Days should start out. No chores. No duties, except to play. Nowhere to be in a hurry.

Seeing as I’m always taken to a special dinner or brunch for Mother’s Day, this was the least we could do for this special guy in our lives… who really is a #1 DAD!

I’m daily amazed at what a good father Mr. B. is. It’s not that I thought he didn’t have it in him. But I just get so much joy in watching him raise his son… sometimes in the most unexpected ways. And, given the way he held his daughter, I know he would have been a very special father to a little girl… so different from the way he is with Izzy, but only different in good ways, and exactly the same in all the ways that matter. You can just see it in the photo of him holding Anysia above. I’m so sad he never got that chance. But I’m so grateful that he has had the chance to be a dad at all. It might sound funny, but I believe it is what he was born to do.

That’s how well he does it.

I said it already, but… Happy Father’s Day, Mr. B!

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