ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Family and Parenting»
  • Parenting Skills, Styles & Advice


Updated on November 5, 2010

Father + Daughter

by JR Hager II
by JR Hager II | Source

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.

My Y o u T u b e Channel

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.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • JamaGenee profile image

      Joanna McKenna 6 years ago from Central Oklahoma

      Wish I knew! That's a question to ponder with a bottle of vino at 2 a.m. after all possibilities for "What is life?" have been exhausted. ;D

    • johnwindbell profile image

      johnwindbell 6 years ago from - the land of beards and buggies

      Yes, you are absolutely right. You have been 'there' huh. In some respects I'm glad it turned out as it did. She seems stronger and grounded and certainly on her own terms and that part I'm thankful to her mother. Why is it one learns more from their parents what not to do than what to do?

    • JamaGenee profile image

      Joanna McKenna 6 years ago from Central Oklahoma

      You have my heartfelt sympathies for missing so much of your daughter's growing up years. But take it from someone who knows and learned this lesson the hard way - do NOT let your anger and disappointment dictate your present OR your future. Accept that Sarah will most likely never know you as you REALLY are, the man your friends and co-workers know because they see or talk to you every day and Sarah doesn't. Even on occasional visits, your interactions will NOT be "normal" for a father and daughter, because shared blood aside, one of you will always be the guest and one the host/ess. The BEST you can do is learn to see her as HER friends and fellow students (and co-workers?) do. To preserve your own sanity, TRY to forget that one half of her genes are yours, and simply see AND appreciate her as a girl who has blossomed into young womanhood ON HER OWN TERMS, with little input from you. Sarah sounds quite grounded **in spite of** your ex's influence and that of the ex's assortment of boyfriends and husbands.

    • johnwindbell profile image

      johnwindbell 8 years ago from - the land of beards and buggies

      Thank you Steve, for your comment,and your words of wisdom.

      It's funny, with all the wishing and then 'turning it over'

      things work out. Oh, the power of not doing! She called a few days ago and said she broke-up with him. And that it all started when they were there over my birthday. She said she felt embarrassed for bringing him on that special day.

      You know, there is a connection with our kids, and words need not to be said.

    • profile image

      Steve Tinkerbell 8 years ago

      Well, that was quite a read. My advice: embrace Sarah, regardless of the etiquette, afterall; she only had one role model. It's difficult to deal with a mother that makes it a daily ritual to berate or alienate a father; but you must take the high road. It worked for me and I'm sure with time, it will work for you as well. I'm sure Sarah will become a wonderful woman. She's taken a huge step to drive 8 hours to see you and introduce someone to you who is special to her. Good to finally figure out who JWB is and, oh, by the way, don't blame it on Ohio. LOL

    • johnwindbell profile image

      johnwindbell 8 years ago from - the land of beards and buggies

      Well, dear followers, this isn't all the situations, but all of them are basically the same. It seems all of them, however, have been a spiral, a domino effect, to my birthday present. Please let me have your input.

      Looking forward,