On the other hand I don’t really know how I feel about today for my own son’s sake.
One day you will sit down and ask me about your dad. Hopefully the question will be why aren’t you two together instead of, where is he/why isn’t he around. Right now, he isn’t around. Am I mad about it? No. Did I used to be? Yeah. If I sat down right now and said Darren, I can’t get you any diapers babe, sorry oh well, people would look at me crazy when it’s exactly what happens all the time. My life does not get to stop because it’s hard or because I don’t have anything, you still need to be taken care of. And that’s where a lot of the frustration lies.
I’m partly to blame. Ever heard the line, love is so blind it feels right when its wrong? Well sometimes it is. When I was pregnant and everyone was coming together to make sure I could have everything ready, Aaron never bought one thing. Not so much as a onesie or a hat for you even though he had 2 jobs. I didn’t care then though. I wanted him to be there for your birth and I had so many things from everyone else it didn’t matter to me. I didn’t want to listen when everyone said “Dee, be prepared to do this by yourself just in case”. We get to the hospital and we have you and I’m in shock. I feel like we’re a family and even though things are bad, I want them to be good so badly, that I convince myself things are fine. I never got a dime from your dad but what mattered more to me was that you guys spend time together. Anyone can write a check, I wanted a guy who would spend time with you and teach you things. And then things fall a part before you even hit 2 months. Last Father’s Day? I let your dad come get you, but he hadn’t seen you in 2 and a half months before that and didn’t keep you but for an hour. Things are always bad for him, he can’t get it together, something happened, this thing came up, something went wrong. I say okay, we’re here when you’re ready. But that moment never came. He still doesn’t have his shit together. Some days I used to secretly wish he would before you were old enough to realize it, but now I don’t even care. He’s the worst type of deadbeat; comes in and out, never gets the kid anything but swears the kid loves him and has to be with him. If you’re going to break my child’s heart, do it all at once and be gone. Don’t come in and out and in and out, promising him things that will never happen. If I continue to let him do that, it will be my fault. The man has your name tattooed on him but can’t consistently call you. He can find all the time in the world to tweet, text, call everyone else but you. He can’t tell me what size shoe or t shirt you wear and wants me to send you 900 miles to live with him. And it hurts me for you. I can’t do anything but say sorry. I’m not your dad, I don’t intend to take that spot. You have guys around you that look out for you and teach you, but they aren’t him. So I’ve stopped holding my breath waiting for him to get it together for you and come around. He’s going to need to go down to his reserved spot in hell, ask Lucifer for help and then beg God to see you because I’m tired. You can’t make a man do anything. If he wanted to send a check, he would. If he wanted to see you, he would. If he wanted to talk to you, he would call. I’ve learned to accept it for what it is and move on. I don’t want to hold any hatred or bitterness in my heart in case you wake up one day and decide he’s your hero.
On the other side, I am eternally grateful for your godfather. If I never did anything else great for you, I’m glad I picked a godfather for you. A friend I had came to me and asked me. We weren’t close or anything but he said, I want to be there for him. The second day of my hospital stay, he came and held you. I blew that picture up and sent it to him for Father’s Day. He bought you the travel system you used with your car seat and plenty of clothes and never blinked an eye at it. He lived 2 hours away from us but if he wasn’t there every week, it was every other week. When I had weak moments and needed to cry about Aaron not being around, he was there. He never hesitated to come get you or be around. He wanted me to ask for help (something I have trouble doing). When you decided to crawl? He was there in the background cheering you on. If I needed diapers, wipes, bibs, clothes, shoes, you name it and he gave it to me without so much as giving me a receipt so I could pay him back. I love him more than anything for doing that for you. You guys sit down and spend time together and I know those are things I could never teach you. If I was in over my head, I could call him and ask for a break. I’ve never taken you to get a haircut, every haircut besides a few you’ve gotten, were from Jay taking you to the barbershop with him on the weekends. When I told Jay I was leaving, he was crushed but he knew it was best for me to get away so I could have the chance to do what I needed to do for you. He calls you every day and I send him pictures of us all the time. I saved up some money, bought him a outfit and gave him that picture of you two but I know NOTHING can replace everything he’s done for me. Ever. You know him as your dad. And you know what? I don’t want any guy around (dad or potential stepfather) if he isn’t going to live up to the same standards Jay has set. That guy loves you more than I do. People would swear you were his son the way you two are always together but nope, he’s just a good person at heart and I’m glad he chose to be your godfather and stepped up to fill some pretty big shoes.
Years from now, I hope some of this will just be memories and water under the bridge, but who knows?
So today is Father’s Day. I don’t know how I’m feeling right now…it’s strange but I won’t lie I’m emotional about it but in a good way.
This is the first Father’s Day I have ever spent with my dad. And I’m 20. I never got to visit him except during Spring Break or just a week in May so this will be our first time spending the holiday together. It’s never been a big deal to me either, but now that I have a son it is. I sat down and thought about my life and how things have gone. My dad wasn’t a huge part of my life until I was 16 but that’s around the time I grew up and life changed. I’m beyond grateful for him. We’re close and I always feel comfortable talking to him even when I’m embarrassed or upset; it doesn’t matter, he’ll listen. When we have conversations, he sees me as an adult even though I’m his child and its easier for me to talk to him. Even if he never gave me anything before today, he believed in me and gave me a chance and told me things would be fine, when every single person I ever had as a backbone disappeared. I tear up just thinking about it. I don’t know how to say thank you. He says that’s what a dad does, but I’m grown…no one owes me anything or has to help me out but he does. And even when I second guess myself, I’ll ask for his opinion on it and he’ll tell me that he trusts my judgement and knows I’m doing a good job. Words of encouragement can go soooooo far and sometimes that’s all I really need. So I’m really thankful that I have help and resources when I need it.
Oh Darren…I got called a bad mom today.
There have only been two occasions in which I have been called that; my own mother and your dad. And while I know it should not bother me, it does. The first time I was called a bad mother, it hurt me. Now? It just makes me mad.
For every night I sat up with you in one arm, a textbook in the other. Or those days I would forget to eat because I was so sleep deprived from balancing you and school. For the time I got up 2 weeks after my C-section and walked on campus to take my midterms. For every moment I would change clothes 20 minutes before work and you threw up on me right after. For all those days I sat up with you and questioned whether or not I was doing the right thing for you. For the night you had to see your dad put his hands on me while I heard you screaming for me in the background. For every day I got my ass up and walked with you to make sure you had diapers or food even if I had nothing. For every time I sat up and didn’t complain not once about having to stay in the house with you because that is the life that I chose. All the times I got up and said why do I even try? Every phone call I made to Jay to shamefully ask him to do your father’s job even though he did it and never once complained. You don’t just have my last, you have all of it. I moved so I could do better for you because I knew you deserved way better than where I was. Of course I’m always harder on myself; but I don’t have to sit and prove myself to anyone but YOU. Somebody better expect a war if they think I’m going to let anyone come in and out of your life when they want and hurt you.
All those moments up there that I listed? It’s only a small piece of the stuff you go through as a mom but I’m rewarded every morning you wake up and bother me so you can lay on me. I’m rewarded when you sit down and recite your alphabet for me and when you count your numbers 1 to 10 in English and Spanish. I take pride in it when I see that you’ve flourished and can hang around people without being upset/scared. I smile every time you come over to me and see I’m in a bad mood but let me lay in your lap, tell me you love me, and give me kisses. I have such high expectations of you but you never cease to amaze me. It doesn’t matter how many hours I’m busy in school or work, I know I sit down every day with you and teach you. You get frustrated and hate when I push you, but I see your potential and I see how your brain soaks up everything I sit down and teach you. I have the biggest smile on my face when people meet you and you talk and they compliment you on your manners or because you speak clearly for a 1 year old. I sit there cheesing like yeah…he knows that, and he knows it because I taught him that. That’s the beauty of being an involved parent.
Maybe you’ll finally let me record you doing a few things…on the sly though, you never want to let me record anything lol.
It’s my second Mother’s Day but it is still weird to me; I don’t feel like someone’s mom. My son calls me mama sometimes but having other people say oh that’s Darren’s mom I’m like ahhh, I am really a mom. I feel old even though I am clearly not; I just have an old soul like some people have. I have always wanted to be a mom but I didn’t know how I would handle it and then realized I had experience with children, not babies lol.
It’s awesome though. It is truly a thankless job, but you get paid in love, construction paper cards, and kisses but it’s all you ever really look forward to. When I first held my son it was the most amazing thing in the world. You look at the newborn and you think “wow, I created this child, he lived in my body!” and it’s a beautiful moment you never forget. He wrapped his tiny hand around my fingers and I fell in love. Somewhere along the way you realize that that type of love is unconditional and you would literally do anything for them. My son is only 2 but he is my strength, my motivation, my backbone, and my heart. Days when I felt like life was too much and I couldn’t take it, I kept going for him and nothing else. Since he’s been born my life has been nothing short of a disaster but if I have never been thankful for anything else, I’m thankful for him. I’ve grown up a lot and can see that the small things matter so much more. I’m living the life if my son is taken care of. I would give him my last of anything even if I had to go without. Lord knows I have gone without a few things just to make sure my baby had whatever he needed, but in every struggle, there is a blessing. I gave all of Darren’s stuff to mom’s who needed it. There were mom’s that were so grateful to have anything because they had nothing and it hurts a moms soul when she sees her child wants/needs something and she can’t give it to them because she can’t afford it. I had clothes, toys, car seats, strollers, all of that given away because I was getting brand new everything for Darren and I couldn’t take any of it with me. I felt absolutely warm inside because I helped someone else out and it was one less thing they had to worry about for their kids.
I’ve become a selfless person. At 18/19 most people are selfish and you should be because you don’t have responsibilities but I have done a 180. I never would have seen myself doing some of the things I have done for my son and I love that.
I just want him to grow up and say mom you did a great job and I love that you were there even when I felt like no one else was. I don’t want flowers, candy, cards, bears; I want him to be the man I raised him to be and that is all the gift I need.
I came to the realization that I’m angry…
I think about things too much and while I have every reason to be angry, it’s not something I want to hold onto or continue to let bother me. I thought if I got away and distanced myself that I would be better, but at night I can feel myself losing a battle with my thoughts. Its crazy. I feel like maybe now if I deal with it then I won’t bury it and have it resurface later; I guess it just takes time. Some days I’m fine and others I’m not. I’m way more sensitive than I ever thought I was so it’s hard to tell myself don’t worry about it or it will get better when it doesn’t seem like it will. If I’m being honest with myself I’m shutting down. When people who are supposed to always be there lose your trust, you feel like you really are starting over from scratch and you question everything. It’s worse than losing a friend or breaking up with a guy after 2 or 3 years; it starts to feel as if a hole is there and no matter how many people say I’m here and try to fill it, that void will always be there. What’s even worse is that if I go back and try to fix it, all I will be doing is saying it’s okay to treat me like that and it’s not. The crazy part is that it’s gotten so far gone that I will take the dysfunction back just to have things the way they were but I have to fix that. I’m just going to take it one day at a time.
Darren you like it out here…I think being here is good for you. I can get a break and wean you just a tad. I know you aren’t used to being around too many people besides me but by the end of the summer, you’ll flourish and I can leave your sight without you freaking out. I’m determined to do that…it worries me how you react to people being around you sometimes and that you only act that way when it’s a male. I don’t think its normal and one of the sucky things about parenting is having to admit something is wrong with your child. We’ll be fine though, I can see the progress already and you have the chance to be around kids your age and other family so I’m happy about that.