So I've been thinking lately about Dads. Specifically, what is it about Daddies that makes them so different from Mamas? And why do I feel that because I am a mama, I must be Super Mom and do it all? As I told my friend Kelsey recently, I know I CAN do it all, but I shouldn't have to. But what's funny about that is, no matter how strongly I feel that way, or how resentful I am of how much time I spend doing Mom-type things, whenever Robert tries to help, I would rather just do it myself.
You can't have it both ways.
I think the real deal is that I want him to connect with Miles the way I do.
Which can't really happen, because he's not the Mama. He's the Daddy. And that's a pretty special thing too.
In the spirit of thinking of Dads, I must say here that it is heartbreaking to me that both my mom's father and Robert's father are missing out on knowing Miles. I look at him and marvel at how special, smart, sweet, snuggly and amazing he is, and I feel pity that neither of them is likely to know him. And that it's by choice.
I don't even know if Robert's dad knows we have a son, that there is a little of part of himself out there in the world. Just as he missed out on knowing how fantastic and great his own son is, he’s about to miss out on his grandson's life as well. Truly it is his loss, but it’s difficult for me not to feel resentment toward this man I’ve never even met. What’s it like for him, I wonder? Does he live with that guilt daily or is he able to tuck it away and try not to think of how he abandoned his child?
In the same vein, it has always been difficult for me not to severely dislike my mom’s father. She has somehow forgiven him for not being in her life for at least 20 years of it, and I have made meager attempts to forgive him as well, but I’m not sure I’ve succeeded.
I have anger towards both of these men who have unquestionably dropped the ball when it came to being a Daddy, I think especially because they have both hurt people I dearly love. Both Robert and my mom are strong – they’ve moved on, forgiven and coped. They’ve survived and succeeded without the help of a Dad in their lives, and they’ve both become amazingly sweet and beautiful parents.
I reflect on my own childhood with my amazing dad, and I watch Robert with Miles and wonder -- how could any man could walk away from the chance to have that? Any man can be a father, but it is by choice that he commits and becomes a Daddy.