The Invisible Hero
My daughter is naturally strong like her mother, sheds few tears when she is corrected but is most hurt when she is embarrassed or left out. The past few nights have been rough for my little person because quite frankly she misses her dad. There is nothing I can say and no amount of hugs I can give that can ease this pain for her. My love can’t reach that place and it hurts me to watch her hurt. She is being shut out of a relationship that she deserves. I keep out of it though and just try to comfort her through the pain. As an emotional recluse myself; it’s almost easier for me to leave her alone because any rational talking makes it worse.
Her father has an interesting way of showing love to his daughter. His distant love language has him here in her face one day and gone the next. Sure, he calls; he was there for much of her early days and he will even visit but inconsistency is the norm. It is hope that often makes us suffer the most.
His most recent adventure carried him away last July to follow his dream of working in the entertainment industry in LA to be a better provider. The irony is amazing. I left the land of dreams to raise my daughter in Ohio where I thought I could give her a better life. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I thought the opportunity to make anything better for her should include her, no? One should probably factor in the time and attention she needs at this given moment, no? Her life is happening now. The beat is going on.
When she is older and looks back on her life I wonder what she will remember most…
Will she remember the times I held her while she was sick? Will she remember our vacation to Florida or will she remember that ONE time her dad took her to the circus? Will she remember when I was her coach in soccer or will she remember the few games her dad attended? Will she remember every time we went to church and all of our conversations about God or will she remember the few Easter services she attended with him? Will she remember his phone calls or will she remember my presence?
I fight internally every time she cries for him. I want to paint a picture of a villain in her mind, for it is easier to deal with someone you know is going to disappoint you; but he is her invisible hero. She cannot see him, so he can do no wrong. She’s even gone as far to say, “Maybe if you didn’t argue with him, he’d still be here.” Instead of making sense of the situation or becoming angry, most of the time I say nothing. I just rest believing that he will ruin his reputation for himself better than I ever could. I take the chance doing this though, because it might be a while before she realizes how deeply he has hurt her; I just don’t want to become the enemy. There is so much on the line. I am the disciplinarian, I am the teacher; I am the problem but I am also the solution. I am the secret-keeper and the truth-teller. I am the provider and the protector. I am the fear-chaser, the spider-killer the defender and the preacher. I am everything to her but I choose not to be the enemy. I refuse to forsake my place in her life for spite.
I am human however, and I cannot
admit that in those moments I don’t want him to feel the pain. In my attempt to do this once, I snapped a photo of her clutching the stuffed animal he bought her when she was a toddler while sobbing. Wrong? Perhaps, but what was a powerless mother in this situation to do? I then proceeded to send the photo along with my curses via text as her sadness twisted into my fury. He responded with a request for me to move to LA because uprooting our lives and abandoning our village made much more sense to him. He definitely had the chance to be with her, provide for her, and spend time with her in the same city. He left. Why would I ever consider following him to give him that chance again? The definition of insanity is to repeat the same thing and expect a different result. Thank God, for my daughter’s sake, I am far from insane.
Instead of shaping her perception of him I will teach her that life is about choices and those choices should be inspired by faith. I will teach her that people make time for what is important to them and I will continue to show her what it means to be supported by her family. I will teach her that her validation and worth is not given to her by any man, including her own father but it is given to her by God. I will teach her it is okay to cry but that pain doesn’t last forever. She will know that the refined strength of royalty runs through her veins and she can do anything she puts her mind to, whether the world is for her or against her. Above all, because of me, she will know that she is loved. And, when she is old enough to put it all together, she will learn that I am and always was the invisible hero; there all the time but that she did not see.