This is my first time being a single father. I've missed forms for school. I've forgotten to stock the fridge with food she likes. I've run out of socks for her. I've run out of socks for me. It sucked and it was a hassle every time, but the world kept turning. I said, “Whoops, my bad,” and fixed it and kept stumbling forward. Now I know where to buy the socks she likes. I asked two parents at her school to help me with forms and scheduling. I'm getting good at sniffing out weekend activities and scheduling playdates and navigating time and the city to get her and myself where we need to go every day. I work a creative job, but I live a practical life. If I can persuade a comedy club full of indifferent drunks to like me, I can have my daughter ready for soccer on a Saturday morning.
2. Chicago May Day '86: organize "religious" procession for Haymarket "Martyrs"--huge banners with sentimental portraits, wreathed in flowers & streaming with tinsel & ribbon, borne by penitenti in black KKKatholic-style hooded gowns--outrageous campy TV acolytes with incense & holy water sprinkle the crowd--anarchists w/ash-smeared faces beat themselves with little flails & whips--a "Pope" in black robes blesses tiny symbolic coffins reverently carried to Cemetery by weeping punks. Such a spectacle ought to offend nearly everyone .
I am the mother of a beautiful little girl whose father is mentally ill. Although he's functioning and self-sufficient, you can tell after a while, that he does have missing cognitive function. The things he does and says just don't make sense and are unrealistic. With that said, he calls to speak to and see my daughter about once or twice a year and I dread having her develop a relationship with him as I know he won't be able to be a consistent father due to his mental illness. For the almost 3 years she's been on this earth, I've tried to figure out how I was going to protect her from the pain of her father not being there for her. I've never denied him seeing her; she was so young, it didn't matter. But now she's almost 3, developing memories and her deep relationships. I'm scared to death now to let him see her. I said all that to say that your article has let me see that my daughter will have to sort out the feelings of her absent dad by herself. I can't protect her from feeling the feelings of an absent parent. But I can guide her and support her in managing those feelings. Its so hard because I want to protect her, but I can't really help that part. And at the same time, it wouldn't be right for me to deny her a relationship with her father. I cried as I read your article because now I see that I have to just let go and allow her to develop the relationship and deal with the feelings later. After all, I'm going to raise her to deal with her feelings in a healthy way. I can't control everything, but those for the things I can control, I'll deal with in the best way to help my daughter. Thank you for writing this; it's made a change in my life and my daughter's! God bless you.