Posted by: Lizabeta | February 28, 2008

Well can’t we just call him?

He’s asked, about his dad, where he is, if we can call him, why he doesn’t talk to us. I gave him simple, age appropriate answers for a while. But one day his anxiety level seemed higher than normal and I had recently had a dream (more on those later) in which father and son spoke… so I gave him an apology, an explanation. The best explanation I could give him for why we have no contact with his birth father: We were young, we made the best decisions we could at the time… not all of them were right, but they were the best we had.

I decided to keep my son.

But the idea of being a parent scared his dad. He just didn’t know how to do it, and he was angry at me for what he perceived as me forcing him into a corner. I said that I had done things that made him angry with me, not on purpose… just because I didn’t know what else to do at the time. His dad, I said, was a good person. A very good person… just scared. I was objective. I didn’t let my frustrations, my adult mother-bear protectiveness show through. One day, if he ever meets his dad, he doesn’t need it to be colored by me.

 I did lie to him though, on one part… first thing I’ve lied about in years. “I don’t know how to get a hold of your dad.” I said. It was hard enough for me to apologize for creating a situation in which he has to question whether or not he was lovable… telling him, at age 8, that I have the number but we will not be calling… I just didn’t think I could find a way to explain. You can’t force him to want to be your dad. You can’t force a person to be someone they don’t want to be. You can’t force someone to love you who doesn’t want to.

We don’t have contact because I respect the fact that he doesn’t want contact. I know the only way anything positive will happen is if his father initiates it when and if he is ever ready. I’ve done my best to leave the door open… but he has to be the one to step through.

But explain all that to an 8 year old who just wants to ask his dad some questions or babble on about science or math or Avatar, the Last Airbender???  I know how persistent my son is. It just seemed better to let the answer be Impossible rather than I’m Keeping You From Him.

But it weighs on my mind.


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