I was dropping off my almost 3 year old at daycare when the teacher pulled me aside and asked ,"Can I speak with you privately for a minute?" "Sure," I said, wondering what could be the concern. "We are preparing for a Father's Day show and I was wondering how you would like us to handle it with Ellie?"
I was so busy with our daily lives, that this upcoming holiday hadn't even crossed my mind. Last year, Ellie was too little to comprehend. This year is different. She's much more conversational and aware.
Ellie doesn't have a father.
Around the age of 40, after almost 25 years of dating (if you count my boyfriend when I was 15), I found myself facing a decision. I could keep dating and hopefully marry and get pregnant in the next year or so...Or I could consider becoming a mom on my own. I chose the latter.
I spent many months soul searching and researching. I thought about all the different variables and the many different paths my life could take. But one thing sealed it for me: the possibility of regret. I knew I could stay on my current path and be very happy, for the most part, but could reach the age of 50 and regret the decision I didn't make when I was 40. I was healthy. Hopefully my college drinking days didn't damage my organs too much. I had savings in the bank and a decent income. I had an amazing circle of friends and family. I was sane and drug-free....I know, boring right? But it just all made sense. I could do this!
After 3 rounds of IUI with an anonymous donor from a well-respected cryobank, I was pregnant at 41. I don't take this fortunate outcome for granted. I know it could have been much harder to conceive and some days I question how hard or long I could have had to try. But it worked, and I was pregnant. And then my village of family and friends kicked in. The outpouring of love and support from loved ones and strangers was needed and so much appreciated.
Today, my daughter is my world and brings me immense joy (when she is not trying to take maple syrup from the fridge only to drop and shatter the bottle on the tile floor or waking me up in the middle of the night, every night). As for Father's Day, I will attend the show at school. Ellie will make a card for her "deda" (Grandpa), and we will talk about how all families are different and how each one is special.
From my "modern family" to yours, Happy Father's Day!
Vicki is a longtime resident of Hoboken. She's a single parent to a toddler girl. She works full-time as a Senior Staffing Specialist at Prudential. In her spare time, wait, scratch that...there is no spare time.