Again With The Spawning
"I hate him."
This is what my daughter said to me, after returning home from an afternoon birthday party with Big Daddy's extended family.
It had been momentous occasion, from my perspective, because all four of my kids had gone. For the first time since May, I'd had the house entirely to myself. Two and a half hours of me time. It took all of my self control to not dance around in my underwear and an oxford while lip syncing to Bob Seger...instead I did crazy things like enjoy the silence and read entire chapters in a book.
Obviously, in my daughter's eyes, it was momentous for entirely different reasons.
As I've blathered on about before, the relationship between the kids and their father has been sporadic. With my daughter, it's been basically non-existent for the past few years. She's said, many times, how she has no interest in her father. How she has no desire to spend time with him, and even less than no desire to be around his wife and their child.
So when she left for the party, along with her three brothers, I was pleasantly surprised. Yes, of course, because it meant a little bit of much-needed solitude for me, but it also meant that maybe, just maybe, she was taking those difficult first steps towards repairing the father/daughter relationship (and we won't get into how strange it is that she's the one who is making the effort, right?). After all, she is almost 20 now and about to leave for her second year of college. It's never too late to build bridges and I've always encouraged my kids to keep an open mind, and heart, where their dad is concerned.
I knew something was up the minute they filed back in after the party. The boys were their usual selves; making a beeline towards the fridge, on their phones making plans for the evening and giving each other brotherly crap.
But not my girl. I always, always know when she needs to vent. Instead of heading back to her nest as she usually does, she'll hover. Just like she did when she was little and something was bothering her, she stood near me, not saying anything. Yes, kind of creepy but look at the poor girl's family tree.
That's when she said it. "I hate him." She just blurted it out, no prefacing statement, no decorative words hung on the branches of the sentence. Just that. I hate him.
My internal dialogue? It was something like this:
Why does she look so sad?
Did someone say something bad to her?
Did he ignore her?
Did that twit say something to her?
Why would she hate him? Will she ever not hate him?
Why is he such a dick?
The external talk? It was just this:
She said it quietly.
"Mom, they're having another baby."
That was it. The good news, at least for me, was how much I didn't care. The first time they spawned, and one of the kids let it slip, it hurt. My mind spiraled back to the time he was toying with the idea of coming back to me, to our home. He'd been gone for a year, living with his then-girlfriend and I'd been trying with all my might to woo him back.
How can I convince you to come back? To stay?
He'd looked at me and I could see him weighing the pros and the cons. I could practically envision his Plus/Minus columns, the Should I Stay or Should I Go theme song playing quietly in the background. Then, he spoke.
"No more kids." That was it. The one and only requirement. And I made sure there would be no more kids...at least, none for me.
So yeah. When that first baby was announced, it stung. The reality of what he'd really meant to say that day finally sank in. "No more kids" he'd said, but what he should have added was: "with you."
This time, however, zero stings. Donald Trump running for President hurts me more than this news ever could.
My ex reproducing doesn't faze me. You want to make more babies? Go for it. Go on with your bad Tony Randall self, Big Daddy. Keep coating those deviled eggs with baby batter until the well runs dry. You want to be the 70 year old dino at your kid's high school graduation? CONGRATS. I'll be over here enjoying going to movies at the spur of the moment, taking naps and not smelling diapers. Oh yeah, and also, being a parent to your first four attempts at fatherhood. Mazel tov, mother effer.
The ex reproducing DOES bother someone, though. My daughter.
And that does faze me, friends.
Because an almost 20-year old woman shouldn't be feeling weird about her dad and his sow's ear/silk purse wife making yet another child. Because it cut me, deep, when she whispered so quietly it was almost inaudible, "at least it's another boy".
She has found the saddest silver lining, ever, in this grotesque situation.
She's still his girl. His only girl, so far.
I didn't know what to say to her. Do you make light of it? Do you commiserate? What does a mom do when her baby is hurting?
I hugged her. And not only did she let me hug her...she hugged me back.
That'll do. For all of us, I hope.
Posted by the_happy_hausfrau at 12:39 PM