There were so many times when my mom stepped in to take my dad’s place while my sister and I were growing up. She didn’t need a band of dads however, it was so helpful that there were always those men that my sister and I knew we could count on. Yes our family (uncles and grandfathers were and continue to be more than amazing) but a few other men stood out to me as well while I was digesting the episode.
My Uncle Chuck. Not a real uncle but that is the easiest thing to reference him as. When we were little, my sister, dad, and I were part of a group called Indian Princesses. It was a father-daughter group that would have meetings and go on outings once a month. Skiing, camping, haunted hayrides, bowling, beach houses, the works. Some of my absolute favorite memories from childhood are on those trips. Once my father passed away, my sister and I didn’t think that we would have the option of going. We didn’t want to have to be the girls who brought their mom (although now that seems crazy since Karen rocks) so our Uncle Chuck, who always brought his twin daughters, brought us. He cared for four girls instead of two. He always made sure we were included and could attend each event. He participated in each activity four times instead of two and he cared for us like his own. He is the reason that we got to continue living with the smallest bit of normalcy and that was huge to a ten year old. He doesn’t read this and I don’t think anyone else that knows him, other than my mom, does but he deserves some recognition.
There are two other men that never got to know my dad but were willing to step in even though they didn’t have to. At my high school, there is this thing for seniors at the end of the year called The Last Dance. It is a mother-son/father-daughter dance that used to be (I can’t tell you if it still is) taken seriously. My sister’s best friend lost her father as well so they chose to have their own fun their senior year. When my year rolled around, I knew my mom would take me, no questions. She had to stand up and fight for a ticket which is absurd since it was 2010. Clearly every family is different and a child should be able to bring either parent regardless of the situation but she eventually got her way (per usual hahaha) and got our tickets. I hadn’t told either of my best friends yet but both of them immediately texted me asking if I wanted to go with them and their dads. Abby and Dani’s fathers both offered for me to attend the dance with them so I wouldn’t feel out of place. Instead, my mom came and the six of us had the absolute best time. I still have pictures from that night and I still am so thankful for both of those men to be so considerate to share their special night with me as well if I needed.
I am lucky that growing up, my mom has always stepped in. She filled the shoes of my father very well and I never felt like I was missing out or that I needed my own band of dads per say. It is just nice to know that these men are there in case I did need one to step in.