We're back from our vacation and had a wonderful time! I have many, many pictures to share - we took almost 500! - but they are still on my camera. Stay tuned =)
So many great moments on vacation. It was so, soo, soooooo good to get away from work, the stress of moving, email, the computer, etc. for a week. And it was so good to spend every waking and sleeping hour with my husband! That just doesn't happen for us working girls, and I guess not really for lots of people beyond spouses who work together. So it was great!
I wanted to write about Father's day, to process my thoughts. We were still on vacation on Father's day, in a little mountain town in Colorado far, far away from anyone I know. I love my parish, but just like with Mother's day, I was relieved to be among strangers and not among all our wonderful mom-and-dad friends at our parish.
Visiting a parish, I didn't know what to expect. The priest did make a special welcome to fathers at the beginning of mass, and encouraged us after communion to pray for our fathers, be they living or deceased. I thought that was a really nice touch. I have a very good relationship with my dad (thank you God) but Mr. M's is more strained (not his fault) and some close friends of ours have difficult relationships with their dads too. So it was good to spend time in prayer for them, and also deflected the ever-lurking pity party.
At the end of mass, though, they had all the fathers stand for a blessing. My heart sank =( I have to admit (warning: not pretty thoughts coming...remember, this is me processing) that I actually felt quite angry at the Father's day blessing. I was kind of surprised by my feeling. As most of the men in the church stood, and my husband stayed sitting beside me, I squeezed his hand hard and tried to stay calm. I felt a real sense of unfairness, almost like people were getting rewarded for something they couldn't take credit for...meaning, it's like the fathers get a pat on the back for having a perfectly functioning reproductive system and marrying (or sleeping with) a woman with functional ovaries and good hormones, etc. I know - horrible thoughts. But it just made me mad that no one was asking my husband to stand and be honored and blessed for what a good husband he is and how he is open to life, how he's a great god-father, uncle, etc. All because the two of us can't get that darn sperm and egg thing working right! It's not like we haven't been trying...
Then after mass, they were handing out this little magnet to the fathers, saying happy father's day! Mr. M graciously declined, but it was an awkward moment as the guy was holding out the magnet, not sure what to do, so I said (probably not very politely), "We'll take one anyway" and grabbed it out of his hands. (Not particuarly proud of that.) He said, nicely, "Give it to a father." The magnet says: "Blessed the man who walks with the Lord." Well, that would be Mr. M, so I kept it and it's on our fridge.
Mr. M handled Father's day so much better than I did, per usual =) I asked him if he was sad, and he said he was, and that he really wants to be a father, but he was calm even during the fathers blessing, and said it's good that the church recognizes fathers because there sure are a lot that could use extra prayers! (Including Mr. M's dad.)
We went to mass Saturday night so we could spend the morning hiking on Sunday. Mr. M told a lot of fathers hiking with their kids, "Happy father's day! A great day for a hike!" and I can't express how in awe of him I am at how gracious he is and loving to so many people. (Getting choked up thinking about it...)
But I know it's hard for him too. One moment that broke my heart was the day before father's day, we were returning to our cabin after a hike, and he saw a dad and his two boys scampering up a rocky overlook. He paused, looking at them, and said, "Man, I would love to do that someday." (Getting choked up here too....) I said, "I so, so hope you do! You'll be a great dad!" And then he cheered up, my great sanguine husband who handles our infertility so much better than his melancholic wife!
That was rambling - sorry. I was praying for all the husbands out there who so much want to be fathers, and for the wives who want to buy their husbands a happy father's day card, and for all the men and women who are still looking for a spouse, and of course for dads and grandpas and uncles too!
Hopefully I'll share some of our 500 pictures soon =)