14 May, 2009

The Y

My biological grandfather left both his boys, without any support, when they were quite young.  My grandmother married a wonderful man a few years later who gave my dad the love and attention he needed.  My dad thrived.  But I often wonder how my biological grandfather did what he did?  What is it in a person that allows them to assist in the creation of a child and then… walk away… without looking back?

I know that there are mothers who walk away just as there are fathers who do the same.  Each has a reason that is most likely singular in nature.  Some need a break, some have other issues and feel that they are doing what is best for the kids… and so on.  Perhaps some do it without thought or true intent, they simply start living a life that is removed from their children…Many reasons for such behavior…

When I became pregnant, I had a very difficult time facing the fact that, despite all my efforts, I was on my own.  Other than a clear shot of reality, I took the entire thing in stride.  Okay, change career plans, move to a more relaxed state, deal with the perceptions of others, and be the absolute best parent possible.  Accept and live; accept and love. 

This is exactly what I did… and exactly what I have been doing.  It hasn’t always been easy nor has it been exactly fun 100% of the time; but, in my home there has always been love and a desire to experience life as it unfolds.  Life handed me lemons and I have created some fabulous lemonade!

For the most part, my story is not a story.  I mean, it is probably similar, in one way or another, to so many stories in America.  For me, most of the time it is the past and not important.  That said, I still wonder about the choices that we, as adults, make. 

I wonder about the choices that parents make – to parent or not?

This morning I have wondered if I had a choice – I mean did I really have a choice?  I know that I did.  I could have taken various routes and made different choices than I did.  I chose to be a parent.  Since that moment, I have continued to choose to be a parent when I could have  (possibly) made other choices regarding my profession, my location, my hours, my priorities… the whole works. 

My daughter’s dad elected to take a different route.  He made choices that I didn’t understand completely but that I accepted.  He is now faced with the same choices again but with a slightly altered situation.  I am not sure what he will choose to do; not sure what choices he will make.  I know that I will accept them and keep doing what I do best – live and love! 

I do wonder though – how could he have made the choices he did in light of the amazing child that I know etc… his child?

A friend of mine suggested, years before I had my own daughter, that men (generally speaking) are not attached to the child  because they do not carry the child.  I found this amazingly interesting, more so now that I am aware of loads of men who are amazing dads who prioritize their kids to the nth degree.  I know so many dads that choose to be dads – body, heart, and soul. 

I also know dads that will honestly tell me that a child doesn’t need a father.  I can neither agree or disagree with this statement as I believe that what a child needs is actually love.  As my dad illustrates – love comes from people, not from blood.  Love can come from community and friendships.  Love can come from a dad as naturally as it comes from a mom. 

This is where I become a tad confused.  This is where my analytical brain gets tied in knots and my heart throws in a bunch of emotional “love” talk that clouds the issue entirely.    Are men less attached (generally speaking) to their kids?  Is it easier for them to walk away and feel comfortable relinquishing responsibility?  Are there men that feel no desire to raise their children?  (This could apply to women too, don’t get me wrong)

I recently heard tell of a woman who had a child only to have the dad walk away.  He has never met his child and doesn’t provide any financial support at all.  In all appearances (which can be deceiving) he has no interest in the child or the mother.  If it matters – these are 30s something, well educated  professionals who understand choices and biology and responsibilities.

I have no doubt that this child is loved and cared for and cherished as is my own daughter.  I just wonder why?  Why does this happen?  Confusion swirls through my heart and my mind… why?  Is there a way of making it different? 




dadshouse said...

I know there are parents who choose not to take part in raising their child. I don't understand it. I can't imagine my life without my kids. (Though I better start imagining it - my daughter heads for college in just over a year!)

I think men can be plenty attached to their kids. Their mom carried them, but I had a part in bringing them into the world.

MindyMom said...

Yes, I wonder why and I aslo wonder how? How do they just walk away without looking back and when they do how do they keep telling themselves they are decent people?

I truly believe our children are better off without such a selfish person for a parent. And like you I have raised my youngest daughter without her father.

I'm really not too pleased with my choices in men, after all I did love the loser once.

Mama Llama said...

I couldn't imagine leaving any creation of mine. However, much as Mindy mentions above, the selfishness doesn't need to be taught to the next generation. And I even know of a woman who left her children, and went to NY to find herself and start her life anew. It is the person, not the gender.

So scary.

Be well, TE.