Friday, June 26, 2009

Dead-beat parents

I know there are mothers who are dead-beats, but the majority of absent parents are the fathers. Why? Just because the parents are divorced does not mean the children are divorced. I know that a lot of parents (both sides) use the children as tools. That is terribly wrong and I don't condone it on either side. There are also cases of abuse when it's best to keep the child(ren) away from the other parent. I totally get that.

What I don't get are the parents (for ease here, I'm going to say "dads" because that's what we're dealing with) who can just blithely walk out of their children's lives and go about their business as if they never existed. Isaiah misses his dad terribly. He hasn't seen him in nearly three years so it's not like he misses the person who was his dad but he misses the "dad" that he knows other children have. My ex-SIL has been a dead-beat ever since they separated. He had Isaiah for his 2nd birthday and didn't even bother to get him so much as a card. In fact, in the four years since that time, Isaiah has received exactly two gifts from him. One was Valentine's Day in 2008 and that entailed truck-stop stuffed animals. The other gift was a Wal-Mart gift card this past Christmas. They were both sent with no return address. Amy's not had his phone number in at least two years so it's not like she can call him. He's had our address (obviously) and our phone number has always been the same (so has Amy's). That means he could call Isaiah any time he wanted. He just hasn't. In fact, he's not called Isaiah in over two years.

Wednesday evening Isaiah was playing quietly on the floor in front of Ron's chair. He was acting very subdued, which usually means that he doesn't feel well. I asked him what was wrong and all he could say was that he missed his dad. I usually try a light-hearted brush past that and direct him to something else. That night, I instead drew him up onto my lap and we talked. I asked him if he remembered his dad. He said yes, he did - his name was Juan. I asked him what he looked like and he said that he looks like Mommy.

hmmm.... I don't think so. Poor thing wouldn't be able to pick his dad out of a lineup. I told him that Mommy, Grandpa, and I loved him very much and we'd just have to make up for his dad not being around. I explained that when Grandpa and I got married, mommy had a different dad and that Grandpa became her new dad. I said that when mommy got married again that her husband would be his new dad and would love to have him as a son. One day, when the time was right he would have a new dad who would love him and he would have someone to call "dad."

For Isaiah's sake, this can't happen too soon. I don't recall my children being as despondent over their absentee father. Isaiah longs to have a man in his life who will love him, protect him, and be the father that his biological contributor has never been.

I'm praying for this day to come.

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