Audrey and you made this last year on Father’s Day in the nursery at church. I remember just chatting with other moms while you helped her assemble it. I remember another mom saying that you should volunteer in the nursery because they needed people and you were so good with the kids.
Other than this and another coloring page of a father holding a baby that Audrey scribbled a little purple crayon on, I don’t remember much of last Father’s Day. I think we went to my parent’s after church probably. I think I remember feeling resentful because you were leaving in another week.
On your first and only other Father’s Day you had just quit your day job to go on the tour. I special ordered a custom onesie for Audrey that said “I love my appa.” and another one in bright orange that said “My dad rocks.” I also bought you your suitcase- the one that would be returned to me with airline tape all around it a few days after your body. But anyhow, I filled this suitcase with every possible toiletry or travel tool you might need on the trip- a blow up pillow for the plane, ear plugs, medicine, vitamin C pills, small packets of laundry detergent. On top was a printed photo of Audrey smiling in the orange onesie. You said you had that taped by your bunk on the tour bus the whole trip. Now it’s in the backpack that was also returned to me with that grey suitcase a few days after your body.
The wheel pictured above has been on our refrigerator since last Father’s Day along with the other colored picture. One day I felt sad looking at them and thought it was time to take them down, but I thought I’d just ask Audrey if I could take them down because she often pointed to them. Her answer:
I took Audrey to a nearby nature center yesterday where they run a toddler/pre-k program. She heard a book about snakes, made a snake, and then we went on a hike to look for snakes (luckily, none found). I find it difficult being in groups of moms where everyone’s pregnant or holding an infant while their toddler sits by Audrey. They still have that, “I’m a mom- this is hard and stressful and I’m tired,” look on their faces and I feel like telling them, it’s really not that bad. It’s what they wanted. They are not grasping any horrible tragedy- just beautiful children full of life.
During the craft, I was surrounded by, “Should we show daddy when we get home?” “Hey, this would make a great gift for Father’s Day!” “Should we give this to daddy for Father’s Day?” I secretly think to myself: we would have given him something much more creative and cool Audrey- what a cop out to use the nature center craft!
Afterwards, we stop by my parents before I run an errand in their neighborhood. Audrey loves looking through this giant Bird book I had gotten at my old publishing job. I knew I had given it to my dad, but had forgotten for what holiday. Audrey turned the pages one by one until we stumbled upon a handmade card that went with the book- inside was my writing saying the card was good for one Saturday of bird watching at Prospect Park in Brooklyn near where we used to live. On the cover was a bird drawn by Dan with the words “Happy Father’s Day.” I can remember telling him- here, you’re a good artist- draw something. Strange to have found that now- three days away from Father’s Day.