Thursday, October 30

I almost didnt do it

Yesterday was the girls dads birthday.
Yesterdy was my ex husbands birthday.
Can you see the conflict?

Every year since the girls have been small and their dad and i have been seperated, i have always, religiously, made sure they had gifts and cards for him on days of celebration; Fathers Day, Christmas and his birthday. This was my expression of love for the the girls so they were never caught in a position of guilt or sorrow about not having something to gift him. I wish i could say he ever returned the sentiment. After seeing the distress that not being able to organise gifts for me caused the girls, my mother took on the role of 'keeper of the heart' so that when it came to such days, she always made sure the girls had something for me, homemade or bought. So when the girls Dad moved away, i had to get a little more organised in order to make sure something went off in the post to arrive in time. My committment to the wellbeing of the kids in this matter went on through property settlement, divorce and multiple court hearings for custody. I never wavered, until this year, until he moved away and himself failed to send written word or a gift in the mail on their birthdays. When Fathers Day approached the kids said they werent interested in sending him something. i didnt insist. i was shocked but i didnt insist. In the past i would have. I let it roll on and they phoned him on Fathers Day, late. His birthday approached, the window of time for sending something passed, the day arrived, i was feeling pretty guilty. The girls said nothing and i nearly let it pass. Let him stew i thought, let him experience for the first time what it feels like. Im not sure if he ever really realised that in the past it was me who orgainised it all. At half eight last night i couldnt stand it anymore and finally went into B1s room and with a tone of feigned shock and realisation in my voice i declared it to be October 29th.
"Dads Birthday?"
"Yup"
She was dialling within five seconds.

5 comments:

wombat064 said...

From a Fathers point of view...

Kel,
when I was away from home a lot with the Navy, divorced from my then wife, it was the most important thing in the world to receive a call from my girls. However if they chose not to call then that was a decision I could live with. What tore me up inside is when years later I find that they were not permitted to call or were even reminded of fathers day.
Birthdays didn't matter to me but Dads day was.

The girls will respect the fact that you have at least reminded them of such occasions and let them call him.

AND I respect you for being a brave person and putting your feelings aside for a few minutes and allowing the girls to acnoweledge thier father.

X0X0

Cosmic and Co said...

Kel, I understand what is happening as my daughter is in a similar situation and the father still lives in the same small town as us. I took over the role of helping the kids make things for their Mum and have offered to do the same for Dad's day. There are two dads involved, but one is completely out of the picture. Sadly, when the 2nd dad left, he left not only his own biological child but one that looked on him as a father too. Over the years the kids have learned and made their own decisions. My daughter does the same as you, she ensures that his birthday, fathers day and christmas are respected. I applaud her and you for that because it isn't about the forgetful men but about the values you teach your children. You are producing caring people who will eventually understand that kindness doesn't have to be returned for it to matter.

Kel said...

*sigh* parenting is so painful sometimes. thanks for your words of support, it really is all about the kids isnt it?

Kerrie said...

It's hard Kel, really hard, I don't envy your situation, you have acted with dignity & graciousness...he probably doesn't deserve it but I know you did it for your daughters, as you mentioned, it's all about the kids.

I'm sorry he has never been able to reciprocate, that is really unfair, surely he must have worked out that you have had a hand in it over the years..??

I'm glad for B1 that you gave her the opportunity to phone him last night...I can imagine she may have been down on herself had she remembered down the track...again, you handled the situation graciously. Bravo mate...!!!

Kel said...

well thats exactly it isnt it, they get down on themselves for not remembering/doing/acting but its a bit of a large expectation to hold as a child. Its not far raises its ugly head every now and then, and then i just have to remember that its not about me..its about them. Thats the bit that pisses me off the most i think. hat he cant but his 'me' issues aside and realise that it is about them. God its good to rant about it tho'.