Father's Day was Sunday and I was all prepared to write another blazing tribute to my dad and all the men in my life that have filled that role as surrogate dad. I haven't actually spent a Father's Day with my dad in a few years and it was bumming me out. Since my divorce I have graciously let the boys go to their dad's house even on my weekends, it's only fair since I always want them on Mother's Day.
At church I was talking to one of the teens whose own dad is no longer in the picture. She said she was having kind of a hard time and we hugged and talked for a minute, I felt for this beautiful child. Her father would never see how wonderful how she is. How devoted to her family and to God she is and how at such a young age she uses her gifts just as God wants her to. I then started thinking about my friends who just lost their dad's. Some just less than a month ago and suddenly lost all desire to write on this day. I cannot imagine not having my dad in my life, just a phone call away and it seemed selfish to write about my own good fortune, how God blessed me with the kind of father every girl should have.
My thoughts soon turned to my own boys. They have a father. One that lives about four miles away and they seen him often. As much as our relationship is strained I only ever wish the relationship with my boys and their dad could be solid. If you ask my oldest it's fine but my youngest has a different feeling on the situation. When he was born our marriage was at it's worst and just went downhill from there. The bond between them was never sealed and as much as he loves his dad and I know his dad loves him it's not like it should be. There is a striking difference on how he treats the two, not just because of the age difference but in the way he approves, accepts and encourages. I am not going to turn this into a post of how I think he could have been a better husband or a better person but I wish with all my heart and every fiber of my being that he would step up and be the dad my boys need.
My 14 year old needs to be guided into becoming a man. I try and teach him love and patience and kindness and tolerance and nurture everything a mother should, but I cannot teach him how to be a man. There are already things in his demeanor and behavior that need to be corrected and his dad, being the person he is doesn't believe there is an issue. My 7 year old needs the love and attention and the feeling of security that a little boy his age needs. He needs a daddy, someone to make him feel like he is the safest in the world he could possibly be when he is with him.
It's killing me that they are not getting what they need. It's killing me that my dad and brother in law are across the state and we don't see them enough. It's killing me to see them struggle and see my little one cry when he has to go to his dads and not be able to have a decent conversation with him without it turning into being about me and him.
I am thankful for the men at church who do pour into their lives. When I can get my oldest to go to church those positive influences help. My little one loves to be there and I see him interact with these men and it breaks my heart. They are so good with him and he goes to them, getting the positive interaction he is lacking. He clings to his leaders at times, soaking up the attention and love. I have watched him other places with other dads and men who have time for a game, a joke or to just talk to him. Today I picked him up from camp and his counselors were teenage boys. In those three days he managed to develop a bond and when it was group time at dismissal he wasn't far from their sides, sitting closest among the group. He wants so badly to have that in his life constantly.
This is where I turn on myself. Not because their dad and I are divorced but where I wonder why it is I cannot be in a relationship with someone that can be that constant that they need. I know it's not my fault. I know there is nothing I can do about it, but I do know that I would do anything in the world to make it happen, not as much for myself but for my boys who so badly need it.