Damn you, Father's Day.
I have many fathers in my life I am grateful for, that I love.
But I can't help but think... what would Craig have been like as a father? What kind of dad would he have been? We were so close to finding out - two more weeks and we'd have had the green light for babies.
Yes, I complain constantly about Jam Hands (code name for kids - doesn't matter if there is jam within a 10 mile radius, for some reason their hands are always sticky). But in truth, after fighting infertility for two and a half years and grappling constantly with the notion that I may never get to have one of my own, it has just become easier to feign indifference. So much easier to make fun of the little hooligans running around than to admit that every time I see a parent with their child it cuts me to the core.
The first time I saw Craig hold a baby was our neice Emma-Lee. We were babysitting her and she screamed her little face off for hours. Craig finally got up the nerve and, as carefully as humanly possible, picked her up out of her crib. She stopped crying within about 15 seconds. I was torn between two immense emotions: pride for Craig at seeing how naturally she was calmed by him and intense jealousy that my efforts for hours hadn't had nearly the same effect. Now when I think of this it just brings a tear to my eye. It was the last time he would ever hold a child. If only I had known. If only he had known.
I know many people would look at me and say, well, you are a young widow, you have years ahead of you, likely marriage, maybe babies. But in truth, there is a little piece of my hope that died the day Craig did. He WAS my husband and he WAS supposed to be the father of my children. I didn't just want babies, I wanted babies with him.
So I will go visit my dads this father's day, thank them for raising me and for raising Craig, for doing the amazing job they did.
And quietly, alone, I will also thank Craig for coming so very close to being a father - a wonderful dad to the children that existed only in our plans for the future.
Happy father's day, baby.
I miss you.