fatherhood

‘I was pregnant at my college graduation ceremony. Ready or not, we were parents. We were young and dumb.’: Mom realizes she ‘needs to slow down’ as her children grow older

“‘My entire adult life, I’ve been a father. Now I am not sure who I am without them,’ my husband said, sitting across from me at the restaurant. I wasn’t ready for this. I failed to anticipate this. ‘Slow down. You are fast-forwarding,’ you might say. And you would be right. I need to slow down.”

‘No, don’t panic. He has a plan. Oh Lord, please let him have a plan.’ He led our daughter in, eyes closed. I gulped my wine.’: Widow recalls emotional birthday surprise late husband planned for their daughter, ‘I didn’t know I was crying until I reached up to wipe my face’

“I came home on party day, carrying in the snacks, which was my contribution to the big shing-ding. He met me at the door. ‘Close your eyes.’ I could tell by the eagerness in his voice he had something delightful to show me. ‘Watch your step.’ He led me into the living room. I imagined glitter abound, circus performers hanging from the chandelier, ballerinas leaping. I was dripping in anticipation. He took my hand, shuffled me to the center of the room. ‘Okay, open!’ And, I did. Nothing.”

‘My daughter took her final breath. I felt a sudden surge of energy rush into my body. I carried her downstairs to the gurney.’: Grieving father recalls ‘hardest thing’ he’s ever done, ‘Sophia needed her Daddy one last time’

“When the funeral coordinator arrived, I gently picked Sophia up one last time. I carried her down the stairs to the gurney waiting for her. I made sure she was carefully secure as she was loaded into the van to the funeral home. I was lucky to be her daddy. I still have not grieved from watching my beautiful sweet girl die. I write her name in the shower on the glass with a big heart every day. It’s my way of remembering her.”

‘With perfect clarity, our 20-month-old looked up at us. ‘I love you.’ It was a miracle days before he passed.’: Father recalls tender moment son diagnosed with childhood cancer shocked parents, ‘Those words are forever etched in my memory’

“A miracle came just days before he passed away. At just 20 months old, our son had only verbalized one word. Dog. Yet, he responded to my wife and I as we laid over his crib, tears falling from our cheeks, expressing our love for him. With absolute perfect clarity, our little boy looked up at us. I held him for the last time. I crave his smile. I miss seeing his eyes light up.”

‘I received the two-minute call that ended our marriage, I collapsed. I felt the pain of absolute bewilderment.’: Single father of three recounts divorce, overcoming pain

“I collapsed. I wept before our 3 children. Rebuilding myself like a child, I called my mother in the evening. I told her I was confused and utterly broken. Aged 24, I needed her comfort again. ‘Your father and I love you no matter what happens,’ she said, and my fitful breath slowed. Being a human male, I’m very good at pretending I have things under control. It took a desperate sense of weakness, therefore, to call her.”

‘Dad can I have 3 dollars?’ My friend needs a chest binder and his parents aren’t supportive.’ My son came out as Trans at 11.’: Father embraces transgender son’s new boyfriend, lifestyle, ‘our job is to love the kids we are given’

“There are days I’m so tired and weak I can’t help but cry. I carry a lot of weight for my kid, in support of who he is now. ‘We have something super awkward to talk about.’ ‘Okay, what is it?’ ‘I know you’re in middle school now. Sometimes sex is a thing with kids that age. But I’m worried about it, and want you to wait. I don’t want you to experience sex for the first time as the wrong gender and have it hurt you.’ He’s dealing with a lot. Much more than I ever did as a 12-year-old.”

‘Where’s Daddy?,’ he asked. ‘At work,’ I replied glumly. My sweet son literally crumpled to the floor in disappointment. It surprised me.’: Military spouse gets reminder to remember the ‘bigger picture’

“My son woke up Monday morning, came downstairs, and immediately ran over to his father’s office chair. Arms raised in exasperation, he turned toward me and asked, ‘Where’s Daddy?’ We’d just had a wonderful weekend, and I wasn’t ready for it to be over. ‘Daddy’s at work. He has to go to work to make money. He goes to work because he loves us.’”

‘I know you didn’t want this. You didn’t want this for us. The pain. I miss the way you loved me.’: Woman’s painful recollection of losing husband to suicide, fighting for him to stay, ‘I miss you’

“I want to pretend you’re in the other room, so I’ll even call your name. I want to taste it on my lips again. You fought, though. You fought so hard. But then you got so tired of fighting. The scars on my knees are a painful reminder of how I wouldn’t accept defeat with your last breath.”

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