Saturday, August 28, 2010

Every Year

Hey there-

Every year.

It happens every year.

Why does it still bother me? Why am I not prepared for it? Why does it always catch me off guard and cause my breath to quicken just a little bit? Why do I still sit and stare at the page in front of me as if I have never seen the word before? I stare at the word as if it is blinking in neon lights.


That is all it is.


It is just a word.


And yet it gets me every time. Still. Every freakin' August. Every year.


How do I fill in that blank? Writing "Mike" feels wrong somehow, as if I am saying that Bob never existed, that he had no part in bringing the boys to life. Especially as the years go by and fewer people know our story.


There is only a short blank line after the word. Enough room for a name but not nearly enough space to fill in the epic story that word brings up for me.

Every year I gleefully sit down with my lap desk and my pen and the TV on and I begin to fill out the paperwork the school feels is necessary to properly care for my child for seven hours five days a week. ( I really am gleeful, I am one of those scary people who like paperwork. There is something very satisfying for me to see all those blank spots filled in)

But then, it happens, rather quickly, every year.


And then I go from gleeful to confused. My hand hesitates above the blank space and my mind wanders off to all sorts of places. Places like the beige apartment where Bob and I were living when that stick turned to a bright blue positive sign and I told Bob we were going to be parents, or the chilly doctors office when we first heard the heartbeat of the child that turned the stick positive, or our big old house when I was crawling around on the carpet in pain and insisting that I didn't think I was in labor while Bob calmly sat on the bed watching me and asking; "If this isn't labor, just what do you think this is?", or the oak tree lined street outside of our house where I first watched Bob strap Henry into the yellow and red bike trailer and head off for an adventure at the park, or the guest room of our house where Bob would bounce and bounce on a big red exercise ball with a fussing Arthur.


Who knew the word could conjure up so many random thoughts while Mike quietly sits beside me and watches the latest episode of "Mad Men"?

In the beginning when I got to the word


I eventually (after staring at the word for quite a while) wrote Bob's name in the blank and then wrote the word "deceased". Ugh! Then I progressed, after much hemming and hawing (oh, and a wedding), to writing "Mike" but only after I had written the word "step" in front of the word


and then in the space available for "Any additional information we might need to know about your child" I would write just a brief summary of my epic. Now, after my usual daydreaming I put "Mike" in the blank and I leave the word


as it is on the paper. But I still state that their dad died and how old they were when it happened in the additional info spot.

Jeez, do you think I am over thinking this paperwork thing just a bit?! I bet most people don't take as long as I do to fill out the annual school paperwork. You would think I would dread it. But I don't. I still look forward to it and sit down gleefully. But then, every year, it happens, as if out of the blue.


Every year.

I guess I'm a little slow.

Thanks for checking in-



  1. this is my 3rd year of
    FATHER ______
    I hear you loud and clear. ouch, ugg, uhhhhhh!!!!!

    break it down it says, "fat - her"
    fat her fat her fat her... think of a fat her that you know and then laugh?
    why do they keep making us do this over and over again. don't THEY know??
    I have been putting their "step-father's" name down under emergency contact. because he is to be contacted only in an emergency? he doesn't have 1/2 rights to these kids? not fair!! NOT FAIR I SAY!

    One more burden to deal with, me thinks this part will never go away. ever.

    fat her!! oh ya. I'm with ya on this one.
    xoxo c

  2. awww... this was my first beginning of the schoolyear I have had since, and I did not like that blank at all. It sucks...
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts on it; you make me feel so "normal."
    Miss you guys!

  3. I go through the same pangs in my heart filling out the boys' school forms every year. I've always put in "deceased" because it bothers me that it would be worse to just leave it blank. I want everyone to know that there was a dad and why he isn't around anymore (vs. a dad skipping out of town, or the country or in prison). If I left the space blank, that is what might be imagined. Better to have a dead dad than one who willingly left our lives.

  4. I just had to fill those school forms out for the first time. It definitely stung. Between that and having to list my mom as my emergency contact, I am beginning to hate forms!

  5. One sentence seriously resonated with me...

    Especially as the years go by and fewer people know our story.

    This is one of my fears. It's hard for me to have good friends who know our situation, but don't know Bill. I guess it's inevitable... but still makes me sad.