I received a lovely email today from someone who had heard my interview on CBC, thanking me for writing the book. I am so gratified. Her cousin had recently lost her husband and her two young boys are facing their first Father's Day without him. I was asked how I handled Father's Day with my kids. Its a difficult question. Like all "EVENT" days, there is a certain amount of "grin and bear it" that must happen to get through it.
In the past, I have often spent Father's Day with another widow with kids. We try to do something fun like a trip to the beach or a museum and as fellow widows, we each know how the other feels, although we don't really talk about it.
If the kids are young, and they will be making a craft in school, I usually ask the teacher or suggest to my kids that they select who they are going to give the gift to. In the past, it has gone to their grandfather, uncle or a male friend. Of course there is no great solution, other than to muddle through the day as best as possible and to be prepared for the fallout (anger, crying, lethargy) from both you and your kids. Its often harder AFTER the event than during it.
I know some widows have a tradition on Father's Day (releasing a balloon with a message, always going camping or to an amusement park for instance), but I never seem to be that organized, and find myself pretending the day doesn't exist until it is suddenly thrust upon me, and I am forced to figure out something to do. If you can find something to do with the kids that your husband loved doing, it might be a great way to honor him.
I have been wondering lately if it would be wrong to get the kids to bring ME pancakes in bed, since I am in effect their dad as well as their mom. Hmmmm. Could be a new tradition :)
Still, no matter what you do, even almost 7 years after the fact, it is still a tough day to get through. Good luck to you all!
Feel free to post your ideas what to do on Father's Day for other's to read.