We had a Father's Day gathering at my sister's house yesterday. The fathers there were my brother-in-law and my mom's second husband. My own father died fifteen years ago. My three nieces gave their dad handmade cards and little gifts. The adults exchanged gift cards, my mom and stepfather received Bob Evans cards because they like to eat there. They are in their eighties, and my mom doesn't cook as often as she used to. My husband, as the uncle, received a Home Depot gift card, and we gave my brother-in-law a card for P.F. Changs. He and my sister have never been there, so we thought we could all go together.
We were also celebrating my niece's 13th birthday. She's a teenager now! Everyone keeps reminding her of that fact, but she doesn't seem particularly excited about it. I think she is self-conscious because she is so much smaller than all the other girls her age. Yesterday was the culmination of her "birthday week". Her actual birthday was last Tuesday. Her paternal grandmother and aunt took her birthday shopping on Monday; I took her shopping on Tuesday; my mom and stepdad took her shopping on Thursday, and she had her "kid party" on Saturday. This was her "family party". She had already selected all her gifts on the three shopping trips, and received a new cell phone from her parents earlier in the week, so yesterday was blowing out the candles and picture-taking.
It was nice being with family yesterday, but I really wasn't in a celebrating mood. Without my dad, Father's Day is a little bittersweet. And I don't have my own children to celebrate my husband as their father. My husband's daughter and granddaughter live in California, so his own Father's Day is a pbone call. I got him one of those "to my husband" cards and one "from the cat". He didn't even open them. After twenty-seven years of marriage, the highlight of his Sunday was his golf game that morning. I don't play golf. I don't have my father. I don't have children with my husband. So, I feel a little on the periphery of things. I guess I was a little "down" yesterday. I didn't know why then. Now that I have written this down, I understand it a little better.
On Mother's Day I feel a little blue as well, because I am not a mother. But I have my own mother to think about, and making her happy makes me happy. My ex-husband had a lot of faults; too many to live with, that's why he's an ex. But there was one amazingly nice thing he always did for me. Every Mother's Day he took me to brunch and brought me flowers. He understood that I felt a little sad that day. Funny.