“My husband, Mitch, grew up with an absent father. My own father died last year, but for the first ten years of our relationship, he loved Mitch like he was his own son.
It’s hard not to feel sad, resentful, or even downright angry knowing that both of our fathers are missing out on such an amazing human being. Mitch is an active duty service member, a physician, and an exceptional parent. I’m so proud of the man and father he has become.
It’s harder still to manage the bittersweet feelings that come with the absence of a parent during the holiday season, but Mitch just leans into it. Advent activity calendars, matching family Christmas PJs, songs on the stereo – he spends all year dreaming up ways to make this season special.
He celebrates the first snow with abandon. He makes a great cup of hot chocolate. (Mine comes special with some of his homemade bourbon cream!) Mitch even taught our daughter that she has a little bit of her own Christmas magic: he will stealthily use a remote to light up our tree while our two-year-old yells “Abracadabra!”
It’s in these little moments that I realize how lucky I am to share my life with this man… and even luckier still, that my children have the sort of father who makes his own magic.
Today, he is putting countless strings of lights on our roof while our daughter naps, just so he can surprise her. I’m not sure if “Abracadabra” will do the trick, but I guess we will find out in a few hours!”
– Lauren Bowman
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