Monday, December 28, 2009

It is much easier to become a father than to be one

The time has come to speak of my boys' father.

I have spoken often of my daughter's -- the proverbial he-who-shall-not-be-named -- but not so much of the man with whom I raised my boys.

Yes, they are different. I was married twice before I got it right 6 1/2 years ago with my Wonderhubby.

It is easy to find the evil in my daughter's father. His sins are legendary -- and obvious.

It is less simple to pinpoint the problem with my sons' father.

I saw the problems from my up-close-and-personal position as his wife, and as his adversary in a contentious custody battle, but I never was quite sure that other people would see what I saw.

Perhaps they would just view him as a well-meaning jerk in his own goofball way. Maybe no one else would think he was a bad influence, making poor decisions based on flawed judgment.

I was gratified when a family court judge granted me sole physical AND legal custody, based on a two-day trial. Sole legal custody is unheard of here -- especially when you don't even ask for it.

I tolerated his nonsense silently from afar, always providing the boys for their court-ordered visitations in a timely manner. Occasionally, I contemplated taking him back to court over some of his ridiculous choices, but as long as my boys remained safe and -- for the most part -- under my watch, I stayed in the shadows.

And I said nothing to my three sons.

As it turns out, I didn't need to.

Following our traditional Christmas morning movie, we sat around chatting at the mall for awhile, and the topic of their father came up.

And again, I said nothing to my three sons.

Because they have figured it out on their own.

My Drummer Man -- who has not a mean bone in his body -- still heatedly defends the man, but Drama King and Z-man decline to speak to him and unceremoniously hang up on him when he attempts to call.

In fact, they feel so strongly about him that both of them decline to use his last name as their own. DK has long played with other surname options, but only recently I discovered that Z-man has changed his Facebook profile to use MY maiden name, rather than the last name he was given at birth.

So the leopard has not changed his spots.

It's just that, for the most part, the cubs see those spots for what they are.

Cross-posted at Mid-Century Modern Moms


Roger said...

It is unfortunate that some men become fathers, mostly I imagine because they don't really want to be. Myself, I can think of nothing else I would rather be. Oh sure, the kids get on my nerves every now and again (who doesn't?), but I cannot imagine how empty my life would be without them. Hopefully, the boys father will be able to work out whatever his issues are with DK and Z, but they will also have to want that, so...

How was Sherlock Holmes?

LceeL said...

There are a million things about which I can say 'I wish I'd done better' or 'I wish I was better at' or 'I wish I knew better than'. But the one that really counts, to me, is that I wish I was a better Father. And it doesn't really matter to me that people will say "Oh, you're a great Father" - because compared to many Fathers I've seen, I know I am. I also know I could be better - and I wish I were.

Pamela said...

That was a tough choice -- and one I knew you would make.
I'm proud to know you for those very reasons!

Janet said...

Good for you. You didn't force them into a position and let them figure it out (or not) for themselves.

Suzanne said...

Honey, actions speak louder than those unspoken words. He's shown them enough without you having to speak.

I think it is both sad and flattering that Z would choose your maiden name over his father's.

Karen said...

Oh, hon. I'm watching a similar situation play out with a friend of mine locally. Her children, too, are starting to see their father for who he really is, despite their mother allowing them to form their own opinions. It's a hard thing to watch. *hugs*

Burgh Baby said...

It's so hard to watch as things like that happen. It's for the best that they figure it out on their own, but it's hard not to wish for him to prove you wrong and actually be a good father.

Sarah said...

It has always been my hope that my son will see things as they are with his sperm donor as well. Perhaps the fact that the man/boy has not ever attempted to contact him will have the effect. However, he's 11/12 now and is starting to ask and wants to meet him one day. I only hope that he will see what I did.

Mr Lady said...

They ALWAYS figure it out eventually, don't they? I'm glad they did, partly for them but mostly for you. You deserve at least that.

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