for my children
tomorrow the ex will bring over a gallon of milk
for breakfast. he may mention at the store that this is for his ex, although it really isn't, and he'll get astonished looks (i
think he likes the attention). he's trying to change his day off from monday to tuesday because we don't have a vehicle at the
moment and have to pay our rent that day. ok, so that one is something to get a raised eyebrow. but, in the end, this is not for
his ex (me), it's for our kids.
when we divorced we had the distinct displeasure of watching adults act worse than toddlers. the morning of our hearing was spent
in a room with a bunch of other divorced or soon to be divorced parents in front of a judge. Most were there because of squabbles
they were having and were putting their kids in the middle of. he didn't pay child support so she wouldn't let them talk to him
on the phone so he with held more child support so she "forgets" its his weekend to visit so he goes to the school the
next friday to pick them up and doesn't bring them back for a week so she tries to have him arrested, and one and on and on. and
stuck in the middle are the kids they claimed to be trying to look out for.
i am a child of divorce. twice. my mother solved our problem in her own way the first time. when she left my father she flew all
the way to california. weekend visitations to puerto rico were not even in the remotest of possibilities. it didn't take long for
my father to just disappear. no child support, no rare visits, no toys sent. he just dropped off the face of the earth. i don't
remember anything and all the pictures of us are from before i was 3. my stepfather was harder. he was given the right to see us
every summer. so she decided to poison our minds and "remind" us what a rotten person he was and of all the "cruel"
things he had done. needless to say, my relationship with him ended up being damaged. to this day, even though i have attempted
to make contact, he wants nothing to do with me.
the parents in that room were not looking out for their kids. they were looking out for themselves and trying to punish the other
parent. the problem is, the kids get caught in the middle. they are the ones who end up hurt, without emotional or physical needs
being met, with valuable relationships broken, without role models, and with scars they will bear the rest of their lives. mothers
take their children into poverty more often than not. that child support that's not aid is groceries for the week, shoes, school
supplies. that weekend with the other parent isn't just the right of the parent, but the right of the child too. some day they may
have a stepparent in their lives, but that person can never be their parent. all children need both parents. and they need them
to love their kids enough to at least tolerate one another and to work together in raising the children they worked together to
so my ex and i will continue to get along. i want my children, especially my girls, to know their father. i don't ever want them
to look out their window one day and ask themselves, "why didn't he love me enough to keep in touch? where is he? would he
be proud of me?"
the pain of not knowing your father cannot ever be fully explained or understood unless you have experienced it. but it is a pain
that i will fiercely protect my girls from ever feeling in their lives. i may not do anything else right as a parent, but this one
thing i will do: give them their father.