(Be warned. This story starts off very vague).
About two months ago I found myself in a situation where I didn’t know how it would be best handled. I asked my friends “what do you think is best? How would you handle this situation? If Alex were in this situation, he would do it this way, so should I just do it that way?” Most of my friends said “Yes. If Alex would do it to you, then you should too. Why would you do more than what he deserves?” I thought “fair enough”, but still questioned it, because I wash’t sure if other options would cause less problems. Well, I had the conversation again, but with another friend, I’m pretty sure I know which friend it was, but I don’t completely remember… Her response was simply: “Well I don’t think Alex is a very good example of the choices you should make. Don’t you want to make your choices to set an example?” And that was that. She was right with such a blunt, easy, commonsensical statement. Just because someone might do something to me, doesn’t mean I should do it back to them. I want to BE the example, and not just the example, but a really good example.
Well, that situation came and went, it wasn’t a big situation, just something minor that I didn’t know how to approach, but thanks to that little moment, and the smart words of a friend, I’ve been (even more) conscious about how I handle situations, especially with Alex, when the relationship we have can and will affect our daughter so much.
Mother’s day came and went, and as I mentioned, I was hurt by Alex’s lack of acknowledgment. Part of me always excuses him, it’s just who he is, even when we were together, this was a common occurrence. But, I’ll say it again: it’s just who he is and I’ve come to a point of acceptance with all this. This father’s day, I didn’t want to be bitter, I didn’t want to hold resentments, and even though I know Alex will not follow my example, Marlowe will, and thats reason enough to be the example.
We made a card, something I hope would be sentimental for him. He’s mentioned they like to take a walk to visit the ducks. I hope they always continue to do this, at least until she’s old enough to hold on to that memory. I was so pleased when Marlowe woke up from the nap and I showed her the image. She took her little finger and immediately starting pointing exclaiming “dada dada”. I said “Yes! That’s dada! We are going to make a card for him!” I kept the lines simple, I wanted the focus to be on her colors. I pointed to each space, directing her where to paint. She did an amazing job. Being a little artist is in her genes. She loved it, and much of me loved it too.
I’m never-ending amounts of grateful for my father (and step-father) on the father’s day (and always). I’m so incredibly lucky to have my dad in my life and to have our relationship grow so much in the recent years. But even still, father’s day is still a hard situation for me. For the most part I’m fine, but I do feel a quick hit of hurt from time to time. I stayed off instagram and off the internet in general yesterday. Like on mother’s day, it still hurts to see the families celebrating father’s day together. Our family didn’t work, and I suppose that okay, considering I’m happier now, and life is much easier now, but I still feel the sting from time to time, especially on celebratory days like these. Sometimes, as terrible as it sounds, the thought of Alex not being in the picture at all, still comes to mind. I know, it’s terrible, but it still seems like it would all be much more simple that way. Regardless, I told him yesterday (and I did and do mean it): “Thank you for coming back into her life. She loves you a lot”. I know Alex loves Marlowe a lot (a lot a lot). And I am certain he is tremendously caring with her on the two days he has her, but I still feel and know that I carry the brunt of the work. At the end of a long day, it’s still just me to tend to her every need and no one to tend to mine. That part doesn’t hurt so much, because like I said, I am happier now, and it brings me satisfaction everything I am able to do, for my daughter.
I hope everyone had a wonderful day celebrating the father’s in their lives. Squeeze the one you love extra tight if he is there through thick and thin, through the good and the bad, and comes home each and every day to help you and your children, because without them, life would be much harder.
Happy belated father’s day to all you loving fathers and single mothers. You deserve nothing but praise.