On our own, the two of us do a mixture of fun stuff 'out' and staying at home and playing together. She still occasionally asks me to be 'mommy', but this is not quite as hard as it used to be. I guess I'm a little more used to this request, and it makes me feel good to somehow meet this need in her to talk to her mother.
It's the culmination of the last 10+ months of very determined efforts to be the best parent - both father and mother - I could be. I feel like Rowan deserves the best, and it's sure as hell not her fault that she lost her mother and got left with me. I have strived to be so good a father that she feels the loss as minimally as possible in her day-to-day life.
|Rowan on Picture Day|
Today was her preschool's Picture Day. I got her into a pretty dress and really beautiful white shawl/hood that someone gave her. She had on tights that matched and cute shoes. I even made sure her hair was brushed and glasses were clean. Before we left, I snapped a picture of her with my phone. I had the thought that has become so common to me now, that Aimee should have been here for this, but it happens so often now that I've gotten used to that too.
I started to feel a little like Superman, handling it all, doing it with a smile, and never a hair out of place (that's a bad bald joke).
But a while later, sitting in a Starbucks telecommuting, I suddenly thought about just how well I've learned to manage on my own, and for some reason, that made me really sad. It was like I suddenly felt like because I could do this on my own, and fairly well, that I not only didn't need Aimee anymore, but maybe even that I never had.
That thought brought instant tears to my eyes.
Because it just isn't true.
If someone had handed me Rowan at birth, without Aimee there, I would have been utterly lost. Even if they'd handed her to me when she was a year or even two years old, I'd have had no clue. It was three and a half years of learning from Aimee that made me the father I'm able to be now. Yes, I knew a thing or two about parenting already, and yes, I have some good instincts to go by. But the difference between the father I would have been and the father I am is huge, and can be traced back to the incredible woman I married back in 2006.
Aimee, if you're somehow watching, I hope you approve of how I'm doing. And thanks for helping me get to a place where I can be a father Rowan loves and trusts.