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Yes...this is ALL about me, and mine. Marvellously self indulgent, feel free to tell me how splendid I am, leave comments, nice ones please, I have little kids and teenagers who can do the rude stuff. I am a grandma, to the glorious Joshua, I'm allowed to look frazzled and weary, I earned it. The older I get, the more I see that hanging on and being patient is worth it! They ( whoever 'they' are) are so right when they say you never know what is around the corner, it isn't always an articulated truck! It is vital to make the time for making memories, friends are the greatest treasure, I love mine. I am rich!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

The one I will never send.

Dear first one and all fathers who think that they can walk away from children and still expect all the joy that comes to those who fulfill the greatest calling they will ever be given, this is for you.
I say " dear" but I must state that the dear, in this case, if of the " Oh Dear" kind, not the term of endearment, any feelings off affection for you left with you, for a while I thought that I cared and that I was to blame for your leaving, time and wisdom has shown that the fault lies at your door.
I will take responsibility for your leaving me, I'm a big girl, all is fair in love and war as they say.
What happened next is all yours, you get to keep ALL the blame for the years that have passed since then.
20 years in fact, 20, you'd think that by now, all would be buried in the past, wouldn't you? The thing is, as parents we have such a huge responsibility, once a child has been conceived, carried and then born, all bets are off, you can't THEN decide that perhaps this isn't what you wanted after all, oh you can SAY that, you can even walk the walk, once you have talked the talk, go ahead, life is free and we can all make whatever choices we feel are right for us, what you don't understand, even after all these years, even having been told time and time again, is that there are consequences for every choice we make. Welcome to your consequences.
When your daughter was 10 weeks old, TEN WEEKS old, when your sons were 23 months and one month short of 4 years old, do you remember, when you explained to me that I was so unlovable, so revolting, so stupid that, as much as you wish you could, you simply couldn't stay another day? Do you remember telling me how I had to accept that you had a life to live and I wasn't a part of that anymore and that you were'sorry' but you felt it was important that you be selfish for a while and think about yourself? I remember that. I remember a nearly 4 year old boy watch you take out every single item you owned, I watched him sit in the hallway and when you had gone, I watched him shrug his shoulders and say " Oh, well ....I think that is that then"
Do you remember how I explained to you, over and over again that this tiny baby would be lost to you? I told you repeatedly that this child, would never EVER believe that you were glad she was born, that because she was so new, so brand new, she would always believe that perhaps you left BECAUSE of her? I explained that as she grew she wouldn't know who you were, the word 'dad' to her, wouldn't mean anything more than a word, she wouldn't ever be able to understand what that word meant in regards to you.
Do you remember that I told you that if you walked away from her, she would have no respect for you, no matter how much you would wish she did?
You don't, do you?
I will admit, that for the boys you were as good as you were capable of being, they have affection for you, although they have no respect either, they have watched you their whole lives, being selfish and searching for whatever it is that will make you happy, more women, another child, several houses, more women, new cars, new jobs, many holidays, lots of stuff. They see that you are still looking, still searching and still telling everyone how you deserve to be happy, how you NEED to think of yourself because who else will?
Only a fool would still think, at 48 years old that happiness can be chased down, held onto, found.
Only an idiot has not learned that joy is found accidentally, it comes upon you when least expect it, when you are busy making other people happy. Your children give you joy when you are raising them, while you sit and eat dinner, while you watch them sleep, when you hear them playing and when you see them grasp all the things you are teaching them, they don't stand in front of your face and heap joy upon you simply because you caused their conception, it isn't a fair deal, being a parent, you give them blood, sweat and so many tears and then, when you least expect it, they do something small that makes you heart almost explode, oh the benefits you reap when you stick around to watch them, when you fill them with security and trust.
The joy to be had from being a parent comes so slowly and only as a result of giving your very soul. Part timers don't get the prize, sorry about that...choice you made though and be honest, you were warned. Yes, you were.
Actually, perhaps I was harder that I could have been, way back then, I don't think so, I was pretty sure I knew how you were going to behave after you left and how sad that you didn't prove me wrong.
You have one daughter, just one, she was such a delicious baby, chunky and blond, funny and so clever, wherever we went she enthralled people, she entertained and she was so mad at you.
She spoke at an incredibly early age, she walked at 9 months, she did everything with such vigour, such a zest for life. She refused, from the very beginning to call you daddy, it was impossible to call you daddy when speaking to her, if I said 'daddy' she would say " you mean Kevin, he's Kevin, he isn't daddy, he is Kevin" those same words, every single time. If you called and she answered the phone she would always say "Hello, who is it? Oh, you're not daddy, you are Kevin" and how could I tell her anything different? She always had such a rigid idea of what a daddy was, he ate dinner at home with his children, he held hands with his children and he always treated his children the same. She grew up with you doing these things with her brothers and watching you hold their hands while she ran behind saying "HEY! Hey! Do you know you have ME???" When she was 3, we both gave up, I couldn't watch her be shoved aside while the boys had their one weekend a month with you, coming home and crying because WHY does Kevin not like ME? She was 3.
She stayed with me when the boys went and that suited you, it was easy, 2 little boys who have always been so amenable, so polite and so happy to see you when you came, why would you want a surly little girl with a frown and hard toed shoes. She was a kicker, wasn't she? My goodness, she never was one to take an injustice quietly was she? If you tried to use that high pitched insincere crap with her she'd give you a damn good kick wherever she could reach. That went down well.
She's been kicking and fighting her whole life, she fought epilepsy, she fought me, she fought drugs, she fought H, she fought her own miserable surety that it was HER you left. the only thing she never fought, was you.
That's always amazed me, the fact that this child has spoken her mind wherever she has been, she has made me cringe with her loud mouth and her complete inability to keep her mouth shut, until it comes to you. She can't open her mouth to you, she can't, even as a grown woman, even at 20, when you call and she answers the phone without realising it is you, her motor mouth shuts down. She can just about manage 'yes' and 'no'. She doesn't care enough to argue, she says she knows that you don't listen, you have never listened. She gave up.
You don't deserve anymore than she gives you.
I won't fight your corner, you had the chance to be whatever it is you want to be now. Now she is grown and you hear what an amazing women she is now, when you hear she is funny, when you see she is beautiful, now you have yet another woman in your life, now you want to show HER how beautiful your daughter is, now you want in, you want to lay claim to everything she has become and guess what. Boo to you, too bad, so sad, cry me a river.
When you called today, she spoke to you, in monosyllables, as usual, she handed the phone to me and she went to make herself some lunch.
She came in, sat down and said " Oh, no....look, I sat down and my spoon fell in my soup! Ha!"
and H was siting next to her and said " Uh oh, you need another one? " and he went to get her a clean spoon.
That's the dad thing right there, he has earned the right to be dad, he has earned, through literal blood sweat and tears to have her say things like " I wish he was MY dad" and " Actually, he is a really great dad to those boys" He has been here when she cried, swore, punched him, spat at him threatened him, he has been here through the worst of times and now, well now she calls him H, she has a tentatively special friendship with him and one day, when she is truly happy, when she has a man that loves her best, someone who will choose to be with everything she is, I suspect that the man who has been here will be the one to give her away. You can't do that because she has never been yours to give has she?
He gets to hear that filthy laugh she has, he gets to hear her news as she bursts in the door with her mouth rattling away at a million miles away, he gets all the things you now wish were yours and guess what. that's a great thing.
Welcome to your consequences. I told you so.



Blogger Tired Mom of Six said...

I am crying a river here...literally. I don't know why because Soph is so much better off without the damn jerk, but I guess maybe it touched the little girl part of me who shares some of those feelings of not really being wanted by someone.
I do know one thing for sure though. The first one has lost out big time...

3:50 pm  
Blogger Julie Julie Bo Boolie said...

he could never deserve her in a million years.

1:22 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have a father like that! He left us when I was thirteen and because I was stupid and thought everyone deserved a second chance let him back in my life when I was 17. Eight years later he chose alcohol over me and his newborn grandaughter, I haven't seem him since. His loss. Kaje x

8:01 pm  
Blogger Cathy said...

Hope he never sees a day of happiness and Sophie never sees a day of sorrow.

love you and sophie much

5:25 am  
Blogger Jenn said...

How satisfying is THAT to say "I told you so".

Dear Sophie, I hope she realizes how much she is loved by us. I have a little bit of me that cries for all the pain he has caused her. The selfish ones aren't worth feeling a second of sadness over.
I love Sophie's zest for life. I love that you, as her mother, see such joy and have pride in her and see her true worth. You reap the rewards of being that solid and consistent everpresent love and security for her, even when it was the most difficult thing in the world to do. You are amazing Helen. It's no surprise to me that Sophie has turned out as wonderful as she has. You get the credit for that, and the first one gets nothing but "i told you so".

4:29 am  

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