“Today at Meijer, I walked up to select my shaving cream and overheard a mother talking to her daughter about shaving her legs. It was her first time shopping for razors, and her mom was explaining what kind of razor she needed, how to shave her legs, etc. I felt that little punch in the gut that I normally feel when I see a mom and daughter doing mom and daughter things. I can’t help it. You’d think after 14 years without mine, seeing someone with their mom wouldn’t make me sad or jealous, but it just does. This time, however, I couldn’t help but giggle. I was transported back to a similar moment I shared with my Dad. I’ll never forget the look on my dad’s face when I told him I wanted to shave my legs. It was the summer after mom died and some of the girls I went to summer camp with started teasing me about my hairy legs. I remember coming up to dad and being so embarrassed to ask him for help, but man, did he handle it like a champ! For a moment he put his head down; and then he turned the TV off, took me into the bathroom, gave me a new blade on his razor, gave me his shaving cream, and taught me how to shave my legs.
Single dads don’t get the credit they deserve; especially mine and all dads who are left playing both roles. There was never a time in my childhood where I truly thought I was missing out on anything. My dad was so good at fulfilling both roles and making sure my childhood was as normal as possible; that there was never a time I thought Life or God had screwed me over. My dad handled everything: periods, shaving, broken hearts, catty girlfriends–you name it and my dad took it like a champ.
Dad, I know I haven’t said it enough, so here’s a big public THANK YOU for never, ever, ever being too much of a man to be my mom. Thank you for never being too embarrassed to do the girl stuff you had to do, thank you for never making it embarrassing for me to ask you for help. Growing up without a mom is obviously something no one ever wants, but growing up with you was the best. I love you, Dad!”
Credit: Tiana Sheehan