A few days ago, I took my daughter to a birthday party of a boy who was going to the same daycare center for a while when they were both four.
God works in strange ways. I became friends with his mom when we learnt that her son had a crush on my daughter. They later moved to another place, and changed the daycare center. She and I kept in touch, as we were brought together by children’s love and the fact that we both bring up our children on our own.
From one birthday to the next, we exchanged experiences and watched our children grow.
Just like me, my friend Supermom had separated from the boy’s father before he was born. Maybe she did it out of pride, maybe she had no choice, or maybe love simply vanished.
Anyhow, the boy hadn’t seen his dad much until recently.
I never commented her decisions. I don’t judge other people and I expect them not to judge me. Everybody knows what’s best for them.
I was delighted when she told me that the father and the son had finally established contact. It won’t be easy to make up for all the years gone by. It will take time to build the relationship based on trust and intimacy. That might never even happen. My opinion is that children should meet and see the parents they don’t share their house with, provided of course that at least the basic conditions for this are in place.
My daughter sees her father regularly, and that has always been the case. Not because I’ve managed to discover all secrets of parenthood or because I’m this noble person who places her child’s interest before conflicts and ugly situations that have come up from time to time. The reason is that her father has been persistent enough despite the fact that I condemn his way of life.
Our characters, habits and principles are completely opposite. We have confronted each other about many issues countless times. I disapprove of many aspects of his life, and that is unlikely ever to change.
However, he once said something that left a strong impression on me. We quarreled about where our daughter’s scooter would be stored in the future (oh yeah, a scooter can also be a good reason for an argument). When I told him that she didn’t live with him (and therefore the scooter should be kept at my place), he replied:
In my mind, all my children live with me.
What he said really made me stop and think.
Fathers have a heart, too
They are often selfish, like men are due to a lack of responsibility. They lie and cheat. They rarely manage to understand the children’s interests and daily needs the way we do. But in that fragment of a second, this admission that came directly from his soul really got to me. I realized that his lack of commitment and responsibility, which I always tried to neutralize by lavishing care and attention upon her, didn’t necessarily mean the lack of love.
Fathers can love, too
Is that the consequence of the established tradition and norms? Do mothers simply carry a gene that makes us act the way we do?
I don’t know, and I don’t care anymore.
My daughter is six. I’m not sure time really heals everything, but the years I’ve spent raising her alone have helped me learn plenty.
Nothing is just black or white,
To forgive is divine, as some say, but I’d also add – it is often the only thing we can do if we wish to be in peace.
Answers sometimes literally fall from the sky. All we have to do is remember to look up.
I wanted to tell the friend I mentioned at the beginning all about it, but I haven’t had the chance. One of the reasons why I’m writing this post is so that she can read and understand it.