Last Updated on May 16, 2022 by Anne-Sophie Reinhardt
Ever since my kids started going to school, we’ve had to deal with the annual Father’s Day school events. Yes, even though our family’s dad is no longer in the picture. I love the idea of Mother’s and Father’s Day, and I do believe that great dads should get a day all for themselves.
Unfortunately, there’s always a little bit of sadness involved for us, and the kids can get a bit emotional and confused this time of year.
This year, my son TJ’s school did a wonderful celebration for all the moms on Mother’s Day. It was a Moms Only event, and each mom got a breakfast treat. The treats were donuts, muffins, orange juice, and coffee served by the children in the classrooms. Each child recited a poem that they wrote to their mother in front of the class, and TJ’s poetry was so sweet.
It feels good to be recognized by your child for all the things you do for them, especially when he makes you proud in front of others.
Father’s Day at School
Leaving TJ’s school that morning, I began to worry about the upcoming Father’s Day celebration. How will they include TJ if it is a father’s only event, as his dad is no longer part of his life?
I thought about the little boy in TJ’s class whose mother did not make it for the celebration and how sad he looked. Since his mother was not there, he recited his poem to all of us. Seeing the poor kid so upset was already heart-wrenching, and his mom is in his life; she just had work. Imagine my child with no father at all?
By no means did I want my child to feel like this for the Father’s Day celebration, and I stressed about what I should do. I decided to talk to TJ after school and get his thoughts on the situation. 2 o’clock couldn’t come fast enough, and TJ wasn’t even in his seatbelt yet before we spoke. I asked: “TJ, what do you think about the upcoming Father’s Day celebration? How are you going to participate?”
Since I was driving, I couldn’t look at his face when he responded, but to my surprise, he said, “I already talked to Mrs. B about that.”
“Oh really?” I was so surprised!
“Yeah,” he explained, “she said that the assistant principal could come in and sit with me.”
“Are you okay with that?” I asked him, and he responded that he was. So that night, I sent TJ’s teacher an email to discuss TJ and I’s conversation and my thoughts.
I hope that you had a wonderful Mother’s Day and thank you so much for the Mother’s Day Celebration. It was beautiful!
I wanted to discuss with you the Father’s Day Celebration that is planned, I spoke to TJ on Friday to get his thoughts about participating in it. He explained that he told you about his father not being involved in his life and that his uncles and grandfathers are out-of-state. He said you suggested that the assistant principal step in, and he thinks it’s a good idea.
I was just more concerned about how he would feel not having his father there and what his participation level would be. Do you know what the children are going to do yet? A poem or something similar won’t be ideal for him to do given the situation.
Thank you and have a wonderful day.
You beat me to the punch by just a day or two.
I did speak to TJ and have been working out details since then. It is my intention to be sure that someone is here for him. I have requested that no moms attend, otherwise I would have you come instead. Each year there are a few dads that are unable to attend, unlike the Mother’s Day event where there was only one. I want TJ to feel included and comfortable. We will be having donuts and doing a “Lowe’s Build & Grow” craft together.
I will let you know what comes of this. I am still checking schedules and working out assistance. It is looking like Mr. Barnes will be the one sitting in.
In the future, we will try to be more sensitive with these celebrations at school.
Have a great rest of the day!
I’m incredibly relieved about how the situation turned out. Still, I believe schools must do more to protect our kids, especially ones that aren’t as outspoken and relaxed about their dads as my son.
Kids are astounding, and all of our children are smart and strong and will be able to face the world, with or without a dad.
Here I was, worried that he would feel left out. I even debated not sending him to school that day and the two of us just hanging out. He could foresee what may have been an obstacle and went about finding a solution to the problem. I asked him if he spoke to the teacher privately about this, and he said that he discussed it with Mrs. B in front of the whole class when the matter came up.
He is not self-conscious or ashamed of the fact that his father is not in his life, and I couldn’t be prouder of him! I am glad that my son and I have a relationship to talk about everything. Our kids are tougher, smarter, and more resilient than we give them credit. Sometimes it’s us moms that need a little help surviving days.
Once TJ asked about his father, I explained that his father didn’t want to be a dad, but that doesn’t make him any different. He is just as impressive.
Recently, he told me that he feels sad that his dad is not around, but in the same breath, TJ said, “But I have you, Mom,” and yes, he does!