Let me start by saying that while these photos and this little story from my life tugs at my heartstrings, I’m not posting it to tug at yours necessarily. It’s hard when your dad/husband leaves for months at a time, but a lot of things in life are hard. It’s a sweet story, though, and I’d simply like to tell it. Gus showed me his “pillow papa” after he had made it all on his own. I just made a point to capture all the ways he chose to include Steve in our life, even though he wasn’t physically here.
This is how it is when your dad gets sent across the ocean for three months at the last minute.
This is how it is when you are the youngest and while no less loved, you are slightly neglected, so you don’t have any special “daddy doll” to fill the void while he is gone so you decide to make your own.
This is how it is spending summer days without him, but pretending he is home. This is how it is when you are a tired mom and you are lucky enough to get a pot of anything on the table for dinner.
This is how it is reading Harry Potter together, just like you did when he was actually here. You promised him.
This is how it is saying good-night to your favorite guy, wishing you could touch his face for real.
This is how it is when you can’t leave him out of Saturday morning cuddles.
This is how it is when your whole family loves rainy days, like really loves them, so of course you share it with him, too.
This it how it is when you sleep in together like always and he is still soft and warm and safe.
This is how it is when you play with your Legos and have to share everything you’ve created with him.
This is how it is when you share breakfast with him.
This is how it is on summer days; long and lazy and full of promise.
This is how it is when even the cat misses him.
This is how it is when you’ve got big, creative plans and you need a buddy to carry them out. Real Papa or Pillow Papa, he’d let you defeat him either way.
This is how it is when you are reminded as his wife that even though you try to do and be all of the things, there are just some roles you cannot fill. He is not here.
This is how it is when he misses the first day of school, but you find ways to include him anyway.
This is how it is when he is home.