single mom


There’s a day in my future that I’m absolutely dreading.

I don’t know when it will come, or how long I have to prepare for it but it is a day that I think fret about every day. It’s going to shake me to my very core, and knowing that certainly won’t make it easier. It’s coming.

It’s the day when F realizes that he doesn’t have a Dad. And I have no fucking idea what I’m going to do when that day comes.

F is a smart little guy, and he understands the traditional mold of a family. Mommy, Daddy, Baby. When he plays with his gazillion stuffed animals, there is always a Mommy, a Daddy and a Baby. Even when he hung out with Red and I for the week, I was always the “Mommy Sheep”, F was the “Daddy Sheep” and Red was “Shaun the Sheep”. Most people would expect a kid to declare himself the “Baby Sheep” – especially since F usually does when it’s he and I – but I wonder if F has already felt the loss of a Daddy Sheep, and doesn’t want to set himself up for that again.

When J and I first broke up, F would often point to the photos I had left up for far too long and exclaim “Look, it’s Daddy and Mommy!” and it would break my heart. As the days turned to weeks and into months, F forgot about J. When J started coming around again, F would call him “guy” or eventually by the same nickname I did, explaining it away as “Mommy’s friend”. I didn’t know whether to let it break my heart or ease my pain. Is it easier that he doesn’t know right now?

I know, as a kid who grew up knowing about my adoption, that coping with the unknown is hard. I felt inadequate. Why hadn’t I been good enough for my birth family? It was irrational and wrong and knowing the difference doesn’t erase 21 years of self-doubt, self-loathing and hurt.What if F feels that way? What if he thinks it’s his fault his dad left? How do you undo that kind of thinking? My parents told me better, just as I will assure F, but I believed strongly in what I felt and there was no convincing me otherwise.

What if he blames me? Will he hate me? Will he harbour resentment? Is that going to be a phase in our lives? Even now, the thought brings a tear to my eye and pains my heart.

The day is coming when I have to try to tenderly explain to F that sometimes life isn’t fair. Sometimes the people who should love us turn a blind eye, but that everything happens for a reason. I hope that I can promise F that the people who will hold our hand and not let go when things get tough will always be there for us. I hope I can be strong enough to tell him that his Dad just wasn’t ready. It’s not F’s fault. It’s not mine. I can’t even say it’s J’s fault. It just wasn’t right…

And I hope F can forgive him… but I wouldn’t blame him for a second if he can’t. I won’t.

One thought on “Dreading

  1. So, I usually read your posts as soon as they are posted but for some reason this one slipped by.

    Anyway, let me in on a little secret of mine. My biological mother left when I was only 7. F is a couple years younger than I was but he’s probably just as smart at 5 as I was at 7. But I forgot about her, for years. Out of sight, out of mind. Until I was 10. Then the questions started, I didn’t ask them outloud, but inside my heart. Then I started to blame for her leaving. It wasn’t if my father had drove her away, it was if I had. Was I too much for her to handle? Did she want to be a mom?

    From the time I was 10 until I was 17 (maybe girls are more sensitive than boys as well) I didn’t let on that I cared much about her, that she was nothing. Secretly, I envied answers to questions I didn’t know how to ask. But now, at 19- I understand. I understand that she couldn’t be a mom. That it was too much and if she stayed it would do more damage than good.

    My point is: You know F will question and wonder, and most of those questions will go unheard. But, personally, I know he will not blame you. He will love you even more for staying and loving him when his daddy couldn’t. F will understand sooner than spoken, that it just happens sometimes. He may never forgive him for leaving, but he will not carry it with him forever. He’ll learn from it and be the best daddy for his own kids 20 years down the road.



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