That’s Not Why

Our first born didn’t make Kim a mother and me a father.

It was our other daughter.

Our eldest child.

Maggie made Kim a mom and me a dad.

There’s a Mother’s Day meme going around asking questions about your first born.

There’s nothing wrong with that. It’s wonderful to remember your first born.

My first mother’s day card to Kim (purportedly from Maggie) made that clear in a way too crude for me to share here. Let’s just say the line that made Kim smile was the one that rhymed with the one about Maggie coming from China.

Mother’s Day is coming up and I expect it to be a very difficult weekend.

I stopped at Juma yesterday for a cup of coffee and to do some work. I started to lay my stuff down on a table when I noticed the table next to me had an open laptop on it. I looked to move when a woman turned around from the table beyond the laptop to tell me it was hers.

I looked around for another table and she reached over and moved her laptop.

I was kind of surprised. I don’t know what I’d assumed of her but it didn’t feel like it was going to be that easy.

She was sitting with two other women.

One of them called over to me, “didn’t you used to have a beard?”

My beard comes and goes but I think she meant, “when I knew you, didn’t you have a beard?”

I nodded.

“Aren’t you Elena’s dad?” she asked.

I smiled. “I am.”

I can’t tell you how happy that question makes me feel.

I am Elena’s dad.

I am Maggie’s dad.

I am Kim’s husband.

The fact that Elena and Kim are dead doesn’t mean that I’m not.

I walked over to their table. The woman that called me over introduced herself and said she was a Boulevard family. Her kids had gone to Boulevard school for their elementary education like my kids.

The woman across from her – not the woman with the laptop – also introduced herself. Her son had been in Elena’s class.

“He had Mrs. Chung too.”

“We loved Mrs. Chung,” I told her. “Maggie had her for first grade too – but she was Miss Shorter then.”

The woman told me a story of Elena that ended with Elena telling her how much she loved mashed potatoes.

Elena was our first born.

I will always be Elena’s dad.

But Elena isn’t who made me a dad – Maggie did.

Published in: on May 4, 2017 at 1:25 pm  Comments (1)  

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  1. I remember Kim telling me that she’d gone to pick up Elena from school the day before (or maybe it was earlier that week) and that she had to look around before she spotted Elena sitting under a big tree, eating from a tub of leftover mashed potatoes that she’d found. I might not have all the details right, but it still makes me laugh. 🙂 xoxo


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