I didn’t celebrate holidays as a kid–well, my parents’ wedding anniversary was cause for a special dinner out–but none of the others, no matter if they traced their origins to ancient Roman festivals or the Hallmark offices. We were Jehovah’s Witnesses. So Father’s Day really didn’t hit my radar until after I’d left the church, and for many years, I always felt awkward during it for some reason. I took to Christmas and Halloween and New Year’s Eve right away, but not the parental holidays.
No doubt that had something to do with the fact that, by leaving the church behind, I’d left my family behind. That’s how they see it, anyway, that I left them. I have a different take on it, as you might expect, but really, it depends on what you consider more important–family or church. Regardless, I left the church–there is no question about that–and the result has been that I’ve had almost no contact with my parents in the intervening 16 years.
Add in that for about half of those years, my daughter lived with her mother, which meant Father’s Day, as far as immediate family went, often consisted of a phone call. Which was nice. I don’t want to make it sound like I was miserable or anything. But I never really felt in the swing of the holiday, I guess, even though I was usually surrounded by many different dads in various stages of dad-hood.
This year was different, for two reasons. One is that my daughter–grown now, almost 23–is near, and our relationship is pretty good. The other is because of this:
Those are two blastocysts that were implanted in Amy today. This is our second time through IVF, and the odds are much higher this time that it will work. We had 6 embryos total, 5 of which continued to mature. These were the best 2 of the bunch–the other 3 are taking another day to mature and see if they’ll become viable to be frozen.
It’s a very strange feeling, trying to become a dad again in your mid-40’s, especially when you have one already done, so to speak, and when you feel, as I often do, great distance from your own father (which is complicated by the fact that he suffers from dementia). Part of me is nervous as all hell about this, because I know the kind of work that a baby entails, but a bigger part of me is excited, and hopes this all turns out. I’ll keep you posted.