Father + Daughter
Help y'all, what should I do ...
.... or should I keep on doing what I'm doing; which is abiding with whatever comes down the pike from Ohio?
Here's some background, not too much, however, for one; I've gone back too many times in my life and have wanted to stay in 'the now' as much as I can for my own well-being. Resentment isn't conducive for healthful living.
And two; my 'X' will surly catch wind of this hub, probably from my daughter, and want to 'correct' me on the details of the incident, her taking Sarah, that went down seventeen years ago.
And three; I don't wont this to be boring for you, dear reader or follower, because you are the reason I bother to write this, or should I say 'share' this. For truly I do not know what to do, but feel I should do something, or say something, even-though I've gotten 'slammed' for what thoughts and feelings I let escape, via my mouth, in the past; no-matter just how right I was.
So, this hub is the step I came up with. Writing has been very therapeutic for me, and if the comments I get are helpful and from other single parents with experience in this matter and steer me in the right direction; then I couldn't ask for anything better. And I thank you.
No, no, no, I was never abusive ....
physically or mentally with either of them. That was never in my 'make-up.' "What did I do beat you and Sarah in my sleep," is what I asked, after she informed me of her leaving, "uh, next month." As to why; it doesn't matter, it's been too long, and the reasons have changed over the years making them less credible. Time certainly does heal, but what does matter to me, far beyond the immature decisions of my past, and wishing I had checked out an astrology book before venturing further -what does matter to me the most is what Sarah has learned, while I was kept at a distance.
Oh sure; I've visited them many times but there is nothing compared to the daily regiment of a father and his input in the child's life. For Sarah it was all one-sided, and her mothers new boy friends and new husbands every couple years didn't balance out Sarahs 'father guidence' one bit. But on these visits I became aware of something that lends itself to what has accrued this past New Years Eve. And as to why I write and tell you about it.
On one visit ...
.... I can recall being with Sarah, aged 8 or 9, playing with her in their back yard, when a delivery truck pulled up front. Either of us had noticed, we were into what we were doing and probably she was loving it as much as I did, our thirst for each other was finally being quenched; at least until her mother called from inside. "Sarah look," is what she yelled from inside the house, interrupting us, and as it was, destroying the moment I was waiting for for the past year. And starting what will become, at least for me, the times of the tell-tale signs which led to my alienation from my daughter.
Her mother had received flowers from a boy friend. A boy friend living in the same town. A boy friend that knew damn well who was visiting today. A boy friend that had some doubt, no-duh, whether he'd still be a boy friend, and be as close to them, after my visit. The rest of the time, after Sarah ran in, I felt like a stranger. The flowers and the boy friend were more important. Sarah hardly gave me a hug when I left. And I could hardly drive back home to PA with the rain that fell inside of my car, and with the thunder of my crying.
With every visit,
whether it was me visiting them or Sarah flying in, it seemed to be more important for her to tell me of her boy friends or her mothers new boy friends, than how she was doing in school or how she likes where she had recently moved; another thing they did allot of, or showing any interest in me and what I had to say about any given topic. And it remains true to this day.
I'll mention something about myself, something that I was proud of like a photograph, or something I recently published or read, or new friends that I have met, or views I have on anything; all I get in response is a blank face, then she'll change the subject. I've always lived by the golden rule and try to show a genuine interest in others, but since she hasn't and isn't around me long enough, she hasn't picked up on this important attribute to life. She's never says thank you unless reminded to do so; something her mother always had a problem with.
So, what should I expect, right? You hang around with ducks and you'll begin to act like ducks, right? I guess, after all these years, I still can't face my defeat, and to believe that my daughter acts so differently than me and devoid of my traits. And it really struck home; her last visit this New Years Eve, my birthday. And what a unique and special gift it was for me.
I was sitting around the dinner table with my parents ....
and the doorbell rang. I almost didn't answer it, we were well into our meal and didn't think it was fare of anybody to interrupt this special time. We figured it was one of the neighbors, and if it was important enough they would come back; but it rang again, and then again. A little upset, I got up, carried my napkin to show them what they are interrupting, and answered it. To my surprise, and half joyfulness, it was Sarah. And why it was only half joyfulness; behind her I saw that she had brought along her high school boyfriend - she's 20yrs old now and in her second year of college. The boyfriend didn't have the grades for college.
Talk about an imposition; but it certainly, certainly wouldn't have been if she was alone, or maybe at the least, had a girlfriend with her. Another thing she had lost without me; social etiquette. 'Never just pop in on anybody without calling first.' And she drove 8 or 9 hours from Ohio to get here. But that wasn't the worst of it.
They stayed for three days and my parents and I had to not only prepare more food, the boy ate like a horse and it shows and his manners at the table are terrible; but we also had to conger up some sleeping arrangements. But I, like my parents, are pretty easy going, there were never any complaints and we would no doubt put up with anything, and have put up with a lot in the past; just to see my only daughter, their only grandchild, Sarah.
Don't get me too wrong here, there are some good points to the guy; there's nothing pierced on his face or body nor does he have a tattoo. He said, as they both have, they are going to wait till marriage to have sex and either of them have used booze or other drugs. But what other news she had for me was that she's going to change her religion now to Catholic; his religion. And he hardly practices it. Frankly, I don't care what religion she chooses as long as it isn't any that requires it's members to strap bombs around their waist while preaching the brotherhood of man. But isn't all this premature? It's almost as if she tries to shock me with these childish things. She recently had a car accident, hit a deer, and totaled her car. Her mother was the first one she called, after calling a tow truck. Her high school boyfriend was the second call. And I found out a few weeks later in a greeting card. With all the social networks of this day and age; I get a greeting card.
And while they were here they were always together. Ninety percent of the time they spent huddled together on the floor whispering and tittering amongst themselves like pre-schoolers with their ipods and laptops. And they didn't take any pictures of me or my parents; only of themselves. And anything I would say or ask my daughter, he would interject and answer for her. This in it's self brought me to the boiling point a few times, but I couldn't say a word. I didn't want to ruin their visit, or the holidays.