If your child has a nut allergy schools will at minimum make an attempt to shield your child from it. Even if it’s a poor attempt they ultimately wouldn’t want a physical liability on their hands.
What about if your child has a dead father? Or maybe their father died when they were very young or before they were born? Or while I’m there, an absent father? Or maybe you aren’t too great of a mother and have filled your child’s head with lies about their dad?
What about those kids?
Are there warning signs posted for them? Does the class have to pay attention to this child’s specific needs? No. because these needs are “mental”…except they aren’t because there are physical responses to grieving too.
The physical response is different but nonetheless becomes physical. One child has a potential to suffer from anaphylaxis. This is terrifying, so we pay attention. A grieving child is different. They lash out in ways we don’t understand, like you know, by holding a knife to their throat or laying in the street begging to be ran over by a car or crying in their room for hours or not saying a word.
But fuck those kids, am I right?!
Make them sit among their peers and sketch out things they love about their father with a shitty Crayola marker. Make sure you talk about their father ALL day. Hype them up ALL WEEK for Father’s day crafts.
Make sure you ask them and talk about what they love about their dad and what they are doing for the summer with their dad. Do this in front of the class.
Really rub it in their face and do it every year, please. Do it so much they have to learn to numb themselves so it doesn’t hurt as bad and become emotionally detached adults.
Really give yourself a gold star when you realize they don’t have a dad and you suggest with a smile “oh well I’m sure there is someone you could make a card for? there’s an uncle…or grandpa even? SOMEONE has to have a penis that you know right!?!”
Pat them on the head and feel good about yourself as you walk away because your job is done. That child is cured. Why didn’t I think of the replacement penis idea!? Profound accomplishment.
Can you tell its not the same or should I become more vulgar?
And no, this is in no way similar to a grieving exercise during group counseling. (Because those kids share a common thread=dead parent. They aren’t surrounded by reminders of living parents.)
A father is a special person, no doubt. When my life wasn’t a shitty Netflix series, or a compelling HBO drama, or a Lifetime movie, we did Father’s day crafts too.
But this was always in the back of my head. I just didn’t say anything. I tried to be sensitive when I noticed it, but I was so clueless of the silent chaos.
Since I am well aware of the chaos that ensues behind those little faces when they return home, I must say:
Fuck father’s day. Really fuck this day. Maybe year 5 of grieving for us we will do something cute and “remember the good times” but for us, in year one. Fuck it.
Here’s a crazy idea. It’s wild but hear me out. Respect and honor your father, if you have one, every day. Be thankful if he dotes over you, protects you, or hell, even says hi to you.
At this point we would take anything. This post won’t eliminate father’s day from the world and I am so ignorant in my grief that I don’t have a better idea on how to go about that day for my kids. But I guess I’ll learn how to navigate that one too.
Learn all this shit I really don’t want to learn.