I have about four drafts of what I “thought” I wanted to blog about and then I remembered that the purpose of the blog was to be….uncensored. This is my place where I can tell it like it TIS and lately I have been writing to cater to people who feel I should close up my open book or at least edit it so that I can appear to be a certain “way” to the world. Anyone who knows me knows that I believe in being honest about life in every aspect, so here goes…
Last weekend was The Girl’s tenth birthday and it brought about a change that was almost a decade long overdue. The month prior The Girl’s father messaged me and asked what she wanted for her birthday. Let me preface this whole story by saying that he and I have not gotten along in about eight years. We would have times where we were getting along then something would happen and we would go back to hostility. When he asked about her birthday I was extremely cynical in my answer. I rattled off about books, dinner at Cheeseburger in Paradise and threw in her desire to have an iPod. I did all this because I didn’t think that he would really do it, I doubted him based on previous situations. After taking my daughter to the movies and dinner on her birthday we returned home and while we were getting settled, the doorbell rang. I immediately thought the mailman was delivering the gift from my sister but as I looked at the mailing label, I recognized the handwriting, this was a gift from her father. As I watched my daughter’s eyes light up that her father remembered her birthday I was reminded that no matter how I feel about him and no matter how she may even feel about him sometimes, she loves him. In my own dysfunction with my father, it was always hard to share this sentiment with my daughter as in my world turmoil with your father is a normal thing. It was such a foreign concept to me that I couldn’t grasp her love for him. As she opened the separately wrapped gifts, she got to a small rectangle box that I was VERY familiar with. It was her iPod. She began to cry and declare this the best birthday ever. I will never forget how happy she was at that moment and the smile on her face was a mile wide. Afterwards her dad messaged me again and asked to speak with her. In the past, I would have waited to give her the message because, I felt like making him wait was his punishment for all of his past wrong doings. This time, I told her in a timely manner to call her father and I could hear the shock in his voice when she called. He didn’t think I was going to let her call him, he doubted that I would do the right thing. Later on that night, I wrestled with whether or not to thank him for her gifts. One side of me was saying, “No you don’t need to thank him for ANYTHING this is what he is SUPPOSED to do!” but another part of me was saying, “Pick which hill you want to die on. Is this 9 year long fight with him worth it anymore?” I did the latter, expecting him to give me ALL the shade in his reply. I promised myself no matter what his response was, I was going to remain cordial because I was tired of dying on that hill. Guess what happened? I didn’t get a shade filled reply, he responded with the hopes that his would open the door to a relationship with The Girl and that he was focused on doing the right thing. I sat back and thought of how old our daughter was and that we have invested a lot of time and energy into punishing one another. I think of all the times I could have just done the right thing, not the easy or vindictive thing. I also look back and remember that he and I were YOUNG. I am sure by today’s standards we aren’t but you are not as mature at 23 as you are when you are 33. A lot of reindeer games were played in the last ten years and I am dedicated to making sure the next eight are not fraught with arguments. The Girl is getting older and we cannot hide our discord anymore. Plus, as long as she is alive we have to get a long. We have LOTS of graduations, a wedding, grandbabies and all of that to get through and I don’t want to give her the added stress of “Mama and Daddy can’t be at my wedding/graduation together because there will be a fight.” I don’t want to us to be that. So, going forward I am going remember that compromise doesn’t mean that I am being a doormat. I am compromising for the greater good and that would be my daughter who like it or not, loves BOTH of her parents.
- Between Fathers and Daughters (tobilobaoladunjoye.wordpress.com)