If I was to tell you everything that has been happening to me lately you wouldn’t believe it. Most of it I probably won’t share here, but I figured, after some debate with myself and a chat with the Young Wan, to share one monumental thing that has taken place. After all this blog has been described by me as ‘the times and perils of a single parent’, a statement I wrote on the very first night and this post, however it comes out, is so ingrained in that.
In the depths of the blog I have written about bringing up herself on my own, her father has not been in the picture for many years, 13 to be exact. While I could blog at length about it I won’t and will just say the scenario where her father would not be in her life was not something I ever wanted, to the point where I bent over backwards to help him in his fatherhood. So bringing up my daughter on my own was how it was. I kept up her relationship with his family and while it was hard to explain to her for the first number of years, actually saying it was hard is like saying giving birth is relatively easy, as time went by, she stopped asking about him. We would still talk about him occasionally and I never badmouthed him. During that time we learned he had a son, something the Young Wan found incredibly hard to deal with, there was nothing she would have loved more than to have a sibling. (This is an amazingly breezed over version of that time but you understand.)
Anyway that brings us up to recently. Over the last while she has talked sometimes about contacting him. And I will admit to not over enthusiastic about it, how could I. It seemed to me that he needed to take the lead in that, he needed to pull himself up to the father table and it never happened. What if it was a letdown, if she was let down, hurt again. And, let me be perfectly clear about it before I go on, while I always thought you just cannot come back into a child’s life after not being there for so many years; I was always very clear with her that it was not up to me, it is her father, not mine, and whatever she wants is up to her.
So this was hanging about for a while and before the summer, we were on Facebook (where bloody else) and through the Young Wan’s aunt, we saw him. And she added him which started off a chain of events that has led to herself meeting her father in recent weeks. It was a very tense, nervous event and it went well. So he went home and told his son about her, he’s nine years old and had no idea he had an older sister and he was very thrilled.
The next weekend they all met at granny’s and awkwardness aside things went brilliantly. Both the Young Wan and her brother are delighted to have met each other, to have each other; I actually got choked up reading one of her texts from over the weekend about him. I suppose that angered me a little too, with all the things that have gone on and people hurt – there was also a sister and brother who were denied each other. One thing I am completely sure about is that the two of them will be fine, it seems they are in awe and I am thankful and delighted for that.
One thing that bothers me is that while I realise there’s a certain amount of cotton-woolling when it comes to him, as (and I am stressing this) it should be, but I can’t help but wonder about the fact this was never offered to herself, at all. How and ever, I intend to have my say about this with him. I have allowed things to be organised with me in the background. But at the end of the day, she’s 17, she’s my baby and while a young woman, she is still very young and not equipped to deal with this on her own. So I need to step in now. When we do talk there won’t be a row, but I do need to offload some of what I have had to deal with over these years, how I had to break her heart because of things beyond my control (how angry at him that made me), how we’ve struggled, – I suppose I need some justice in this.
On one level I got to watch my/our (God it sounds mad to say something like that again after all this time) daughter grow up into a young woman. I saw her personality grow and grow with her, I saw all her landmarks, I can read her like a book, I know all her tricks, her foibles, her likes, dislikes, I know what she’ll get a kick out of and even if she doesn’t give me the credit I know what clothes she likes; and much, much more. And she me.
There isn’t a justice in knowing that; there is a poignancy in that he missed so much but I am her mother and I would kill people to get to her. (If that is ever used in a court of law against me, I am figuratively speaking ) I am also incredibly sad that she didn’t grow up with her father or indeed grow with her brother.
But as I said I will have my say and we will move onwards to some new stage, God knows how it will go, though I am more than optimistic this is a step forward and it is good.