Sunday, June 19, 2016

The day my husband became a single father

This man right here.  He deserves an award.

April 2014.  We drove to church as a family of five, and Chad drove home that day with a family of four.  Three kids to take care of.  On his own.  A single dad.  

I'm going to be honest here.  I doubted him.  I thought that there was no way in the world that he would be able to take care of the kids without me.  My denial kept me from realizing how deep I was in my addiction and led me to believe that I was still taking great care of my children.  How would he fill my shoes?  This fear initially kept me completely opposed to the idea of going to treatment. However, treatment ended up being my only option...the only thing that kept me alive.  

And you know what?  Chad rocked the dad thing.  He morphed from the dad who worked all day and spent a little time with the kids in the evenings to a full-time, hands on, in it to win it dad.  He took time off of work and ministry to make sure the kids had all of the emotional support they needed. After all, I had packed my bags and taken off without even saying good-bye to them.  

He became their rock.  

He kissed the boo-boos. 

He tucked them in at night and assured them there were no monsters in the closet or under the bed. 

He packed the lunches.  

He got them ready for school.

He snuggled them when they crawled into his bed at night because they couldn't sleep.  

He sat at the bus stop waiting for them.  

He dried the tears.  

He became mom and dad. 

He told me to focus solely on myself and getting better and to leave the kids to him.  

He watched YouTube videos and taught himself to french braid.  The man who could barely make a ponytail perfected the french braid.  

He had my sister come over and get clothing ready for the kids for a week at a time until he learned how to do it himself.  

He got them into counseling and drove them thirty minutes each way, one or two days a week, to make sure they processed what was going on.  

He made Easter baskets and had matching outfits made for the kids.  

He planned birthday parties. 

He took our son to his doctor's appointments and medical procedures....without ever even telling me what was going on because he didn't want me to worry.

He had hair bows made.

He learned how to cook gluten free when 2 out of 3 of our kids were diagnosed with Celiac.

He drove hours to watch a five-minute performance at cheer camp.

He bought cards, envelopes, and stamps and encouraged the kids to write to me weekly.  

He shopped for clothing for them when they needed bigger sizes. 

He went to ball games by himself. 

He escorted our oldest daughter across the floor at Parent Night. 

He went to Parent-Teacher conferences. 

He refused help from others because he wanted to learn how to do it on his own.  

He dealt with the aftermath of my weekly telephone calls with the kids.  

He calmed them down when they were angry.  

He soothed them when they were hurting.  

He held them when they cried.

He answered all of the hard questions.  

He took them to church.  

He snapped pictures to send to me.

He educated them about addiction.  
He took them to the beach.  

He let them have sleepovers. 

He took them to get haircuts.

He redecorated their rooms and cleaned out their closets.  

He took the girls to get manicures.

He vacuumed at midnight after he got them to bed because that was the only time he had free.  

He locked his bedroom door and cried when he got overwhelmed from doing it all on his own.

He loved them.

He loved them enough for the both of us.

More than enough.

Happy Father's Day doesn't suffice what he deserves to hear.

Thank you, Chad, for holding our family together.  For being our rock.  Thank you for loving and caring for the kids, beyond measure, when you were so broken-hearted yourself.  Thank you for not giving up; for making sure that they lacked nothing.....material or emotional.  Thank you for forgiving me and for teaching them how to forgive me as well.  Thank you for stepping in and doing what I should have done all along. Thank you for doing what you shouldn't have had to do.  Thank you for making me a mother, and then, years later, being patient with me as I learned how to be a mother again. Thank you for being the best Daddy our kids could ever ask for.  

And although the words don't really satisfy what you deserve....

"Happy Father's Day."  

We are so blessed to have you.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for sharing this. It is so hard to give up our spots at home with our kids for a weekend much less long term treatment. You sound like a very lucky lady. The house looks great too.