It’s been a while. I think it’s been at least a couple of years , but to be honest, I have lost track of time. I really don’t think you will ever read this, but sometimes, just sometimes, the internet does crazy things. You may be sitting there one day, somewhere, maybe having a cup of coffee, and you may see this.
Sixteen years ago today, we sat together, in a hospital room. It’s almost right on the dot of when she was born and I had my first look at our daughter. Our first child, and at 21, I remember joking saying now we were on a time limit and I would have to have another child in two years. We did it, too. Crazy.
I want to tell you about our daughter, though to be honest, I will refer to her as my daughter from here on out. You see, you maybe had two years with her, maybe three (though I am truly not sure how present you were in those years and I don’t mean that in a bad way. We’ll get to that later), before we went our separate ways. You missed a lot, and I know you know this.
She is really amazing. She sometimes will do something, a look or a mannerism, that reminds me of you. It blew my mind the first time that I saw it because it was you. Don’t get me wrong, over the last sixteen years her and I have had some differences, but I can also say we have a great relationship. She watched Sailor Moon with me, and Fruits Basket. She loved all the geeky things that I did and she has an inner strength that is so admirable. In sixth grade, she dyed her hair rainbow. I would have never had the courage to do that. I’m proud of her courage and inner strength. She can do some things better, like the dishes, but if I got to check off the things that I would want out of her for her life, I would put inner courage and strength above dishes.
She draws. She draws so well and I don’t know how she does it. She is so talented with what she can do in such little time. I remember you used to draw a lot, and I think she probably got that genetically from you.
She’s funny, too. I remember you had a way with words, and could make these boring stories really interesting. I would give you credit for that, but I happen to think I am pretty funny and a decent storyteller. I am taking the credit for that.
She is smart. She may not give herself enough credit in this area, but she is. She is also in Colorguard in the Marching Band in high school. She does halftime at the football games, marches in parades, and last year they were the State Champions. I still have the newspaper clipping on the refrigerator.
I could go on forever, telling you about everything she is, and how brilliant she is to be around, but I imagine you don’t have much time. I am going to take some time for me to talk to you, and please, finish it until the end.
I can’t tell you how angry I was when we split. It wasn’t because of the ending of the relationship, that could be seen from a mile away, but more angry about you leaving them. I tried everything, even court, to have you just be present. It was never about the support, because let’s be honest, you and jobs weren’t really a thing, but more to put visitation on paper. I thought then that they would get to know you, but you found ways around that too. I may never understand why you did other things, or decided to just not be, but I have stopped trying to understand.
The last time we talked, you told me it was my fault that they didn’t want to talk to you. You wanted me to sign some paper absolving you of financial responsibility, but I wouldn’t. I won’t take you back to court. I am not one for wasting my time and I know what happens. When you told me it was my fault, I saw red, I yelled, and I honestly don’t know what I said after that. I’m sorry. I’m sorry I yelled, and I am sorry that I got angry. I have been over my anger for years.
You see, I spent years, many years, doing just the opposite of what you said. I covered for your extended absences, I covered when you would show up for a few weeks and then leave. There were times you would say you were picking them up and they would wait, just wait, and you wouldn’t show. I would come up with the excuses, and sometimes have their anger put on me, but I understood. The last time, when you wanted to write to them, I gave them the option because they were old enough to make decisions. They made that call, not I. It wasn’t my fault. I think they just didn’t feel the need to communicate with someone who never really made an effort to communicate with them.
Please don’t think that they are sad, or anything. Oh, they lead awesome lives. They smile, they laugh, they have so many friends and so many people that love them. M and I may not be together anymore, but M’s family still treat them as if they were blood. They dropped things off for her today, and M’s mom made dinner (something that she makes that L loves). They are so loved, that someone is moving around the world to be with all of us. That is how amazing, how wonderful, of a person that she is. The boy’s post is coming in a couple of weeks, but he is also included in that. Imagine that, how incredible, that someone loves us all so much that they want to leave things behind to come here.
I’m not angry anymore. In fact, thank you. Thank you, because even though it is her day for presents, I really have the best one of all and I couldn’t have done it without you. Thank you for helping me create them, create her, because I couldn’t imagine life without her. Thank you as well, for leaving, if you couldn’t be what they deserve. Sometimes I wonder if I am good enough, if I am doing a good job, but I know I do the best I can. I hope you have a wonderful life, and find some happiness, as I have.