Friday, October 14, 2011

Even the best fall down sometimes

Father & Sons
My heart always gets a little squeeze when I see this photo. It is only one of a small handful that I have of both boys with their father. I keep them for the boys so that they can remember him.

My two youngest children have a difficult relationship with their father.
He has chosen to not be a part of their lives because of who their mother is.

That makes me sad because they have so much love in them for him. They spent all of their lives up until last year - calling their dad, waiting for call backs, writing to their dad, waiting for letters back, sending him photos & waiting for him to send photos back. They prayed for him. They waited for him. They cried for him. They cried because of him. They asked him to be here for birthdays, for celebrations, for just every day things. He promised them he would call them back, send them letters, remember their birthdays ~ be here for them.

Which he didn't do. at all. ever.

These are his little faces, his happy voices, his sweet smiles. Yet he can not and will not acknowledge them or give them the (literal) time of day. He is kinder to strangers on the street & to children who are not his than he is to his own. He is even more loving to his dog.

He is unable to separate who I am from who THEY are to him.

He is from that old school philosophy of "package deal": No mother. No children.

When I stopped being his wife, he stopped being their father.

I can only blame myself. There was so much I didn't understand until it was too late.

I wish I had known then what I know now - that a man who can abandon one child, can & will abandon others. Married to the mothers or no - the children still belonged to him.

The children are flesh of his flesh, bone of his bone, blood of his blood.

As the holidays are approaching, the sweet faces are looking at me asking me,"Do you think Daddy will be here for Christmas this year?"

I can only tell them what I honestly know which is, "I don't know honey but why don't we pray about it? God is a God of miracles and maybe this year He will bless your daddy with some brains." To which the boys start laughing & rolling their eyeballs & emit a few exaggerated "Oh, Mom! You're too funny!"

By then all thoughts of their dad are relegated to a dark corner in their minds over shadowed of course by more important things to an 8 & 11 year old pair of boys: Bionicles, bikes, tomorrow's cartoon list, trucks & transformers.

Not all of their questions end this jovially. Some times, their questions (Why isn't Daddy here? Why doesn't Daddy love us? Why doesn't Daddy come to see my award ceremony?) require more delicate & elaborate answers than an I don't know. I try to help them understand that their father's choices are no reflection upon them as people, that he is not making good decisions & that we should learn to forgive him for the hurts he inflicts on them.

It's hard to explain forgiveness to a child who is hurting because of a parent's ruthless selfish choices. I've taught my children to pray for their father. To express the love & care & hurt & sorrow they have in them for their father to their Heavenly Father. I've taught them to continue to love their father especially in the absence of his love.

I can't teach what I don't know - so this has been a journey for all of us.

I am sorry - deeply sorry - for their father. He's missing out on the best parts of living. His missing out on father & son bbq's, boy scouts, soccer - just general stuff.

The care he showers so freely upon the children of his various & by rumored accounts numerous paramours does not absolve him of his parental responsibilities to his sons. The love he gives to those children does not in some karmic surrogate way mean that he is giving love to his own children. It just doesn't work that way.

It shocks & offends some people when I tell them I love him, because I do love him. He is no longer my husband - which is just fine with me! He is & will always be the father of my children. That alone deserves the utmost respect & love from me.

He helped to give these precious most beautiful treasures life. They couldn't be the people that they are without him. They wouldn't be them.

My children are half him. How could I ever possibly in any universe in any circumstances in any way shape or form - ever ever ever hate my children? It's unthinkable to me. I could never love less one drop of blood in my sons - ever and that includes the drops of blood they get from their father.


With love & delicious learning~
Cy.

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