Saturday, June 15

To Wriggles' Father

Unless you live in a cave, you must know today is the day before Father's Day.

Or maybe I just notice it more as a single parent, painfully aware we are missing one half of the parenting team my daughter should have.

Normally I barely register it, so used to it just being Wriggles and I. I am pretty OK with how things are; I've never known anything other than single parenting and it works for us, maybe selfishly but works for me. That is not to say the door is closed, that I have tried to shut you out, shut you up, blot you out. You know where we live, you just don't come knocking. And right now as gifts shops around the UK and the parenting world knows it is the cusp of Father's Day. Call it a commercial ploy, write it off; it doesn't stop it hurting when it rolls around though. Because up and down the country, families, little children, big children, partners of brand new children will be celebrating the man in their lives. And we are missing one; to be honest more than missing you we are missing what we could have had. And a part of me thinks that even if you turn out to be a reformed character in years to come, Father's Day will always be a reminder for me at least of your initial lack of enthusiasm. I hope you step up, truly I do. It makes me feel sick to think my Wriggles might grow up feel ignored, unwanted, not half as special as she is. So I hope you come back for her. I wish you would. Today the world seemed alive with dads. Doting, playful, exasperated, grumbling, adoring dads. Dads there in the thick of them. Some had partners, some were alone. But they were there.

I've just put her to bed. We had a rough bath time after she refluxed and was sick everywhere, crying her eyes out. Exhausted, she fell asleep on my lap as I mindlessly watched The Voice, more listening to her breathing rise and fall than a bunch of hopefuls. Over a hour later as she snored softly and my leg went numb, I softly put her down in her cot. Nearly 3 and she still sleeps deeply like a new baby, fists clenched and face screwed up. All those nights you never saw, the baby years you will never go back. That intimacy of a sleeping child. How did you not want it? Not crave it? My favourite mornings was waking nose-to-nose with a gurgling child, sweaty curls matted on her head. I know you can't always miss what you don't know, but I can't imagine how I wouldn't need that knowing I had a child. My shoulder is now wet with her dribble. I wonder if you'd think that was a bit gross. To me it's a badge of honour.

There is so much I want to ask you but far more so much I am afraid to. In all honesty, I don't think I want to know why you have chosen to withdraw. I am certain it wouldn't make me like you any more. Is it because you're not here, you can't see her and fully experience that love? Is it because you don't understand her disabilities? Is it because you simply never wanted children? Is it because of me, because you didn't love me and therefore don't love your child like you could? All fill me with fear mixed with the unknown it might be none of them. I cannot understand being the one that lives with her, knows her so closely. I can't do anything without thinking of her.

I'm not sure what you'll be doing tomorrow. I wonder if you'll miss her; think of her first thing and last thing. As you see your own father will you wonder what happened to your own fathering? Wriggles is too little I think to understand it all yet. She certainly is not wanting for loving men in her life, thank goodness. That is your loss at this moment in time. The potential for loving divided out between others. Humans are forgiving beings though and love is more complex than we'll ever understand. I know in time if you wanted you could have splodgy hand-printed cards, bent and dog-eared crafty items, hot breathed hugs. But you have to ask; a chosen and deliberate absence deserves nothing.

I will make sure she has a good day tomorrow as always. It will be a strange one. I might have to provide all family roles but it will never be my day. I am not a father. So until you reappear in our lives, her life, it is a day to effectively forget. Just another Sunday. 


  1. A chosen and deliberate absence deserves nothing.

    You are so right with that one. Tomorrow is just another Sunday for me and S as well. The difference is, if her father knocks my door I call the police. He will never be allowed to infect my child with his poison.

    I'm not sure which is worse for the child though - having a father who doesn't bother, or one who isn't safe to be her father. I suppose both results in tomorrow just being Sunday doesn't it.

    At least we don't have to share the hugs! All that love, just for us. x

  2. Hi, stopping by from the Weekend Blog Hop. I know it's hard to avoid, but remember, all this Father's Day stuff is just a commercial enterprise. We don't even celebrate it in our home!

  3. I dont know if this is of any help whatsoever, but I thought I'd mention it. You know I'm training to be a vicar so obviously go to church right? Well yesterday the vicar (my trainer) was preaching about father's day and of course he mentioned the good aspects of fathering, but he also talked about those, like Wriggle's father, who do not stay in touch with their children, who believe it's ok to go from one relationship to another and not consider the havoc thats left behind and the pain this causes both to previous partners and also to children. He also said that when couples come to him asking for a church wedding, that he always asks about past children and whether or not they have stayed in touch with them after a relationship ends. For him, the bottom line is not about whether or not relationships break up, but whether or not those involved recognise their responsibilities and he said that when he encounters fathers who have not accepted their responsibilities, these are the weddings he refuses to perform. I don't know if sharing this with you is of any help, but I guess I just wanted you to know that those who are remembering father's day in "official places" (as in not just family events) do try to recognise that this is a really tough day for single mom's. Also, for what its worth, I think Wriggles is gorgeous and you are a fabulous mother to cope with all the challenges she throws at you and still be fiercly devoted to her. X

  4. I have always believed that if a man doesn't want to stay in his child or childrens life then he is not worth it.

    I do feel for wriggles though as I also had a rubbish Dad when I was little.

    Thank you for linking up with the weekend blog hop

    Hope to see you again tomorrow

    Laura x x x