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.

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