I’m not the kind of blogger to link to a lot of other miscellaneous things on my blog. I don’t post about a contest in order to get an extra entry. I don’t mention that you should go sign this petition or vote in that poll or read these ten blog posts.
But, on occasion, there are things worth sharing, things I would email to every one of you if I had all your email addresses, things I would send to my mom with a subject line like “This is so lovely.”
Raising a Princess Single-Handedly, written by Simon Van Booy for the New York Times, is one of those things.
It’s an article for the “Modern Love” column about raising his four-year-old daughter alone after the sudden death of his wife.
He talks about the night after his wife’s death, when his daughter asked to stay up late and watch “Sleeping Beauty.” I know all too well those feelings that come after the death of a family member, when life is both frighteningly normal and yet horrifyingly – and permanently – different. We have never again watched “The Tigger Movie” which Shepard watched the night he died. It still sits in the case in the video cabinet, partly played, never to be rewound from the spot it was last turned off, nearly nine years ago.
My father-in-law, Bart’s stepfather, lost his wife when his daughters were in elementary school and raised them alone until he married Bart’s mom. When Simon writes about learning to cook for his daughter, getting her ready for school, taking over all the kinds of things a mother would more likely be responsible for if she was present, I thought of my father-in-law and his two little girls, now adult women.
Sometimes an article hits a little too close to home. Sometimes it reminds you of things that are painful to remember, but that you want to be reminded of anyway.