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  • by Jamaal

When Mommy Ain't Around--Part II


Annnnnnnnnd, we're back.

I'm not going to waste anyone's time trying to apologize about not blogging in a while. But you know what? I'm a single parent with a job, a side gig, AND two little girls who like new and shiny stuff. Like that prophet Reuben Studdard said, "I'm sorry for 2004, and I'm not going to do it no more."

I like to write these blogs. Really I do. It's therapeutic. It's good to know that other people relate to what I write about. I see other blogs from other parents, and a lot of those other blogs portray that they got it together as far as being a parent. Well I am not one of those people. And probably, because you follow my blogs, you aren't either. But that's okay. Because we are all trying to get better. And I'll be the first one to raise my hand and say, "Jesus take the wheel!" because some days I feel as if I'm at a loss.

And yesterday was one of those days.

(Caution: I've said this once and I've said it again. This is my blog. I write all of the posts and the posts therein are MY THOUGHTS AND FEELINGS. The following paragraphs are going to reflect a wide range of emotions I had last night. If you feel the need to feel some type of way about the person that I'm writing about, that's up to you. But don't be a snitch. My blog is public. If she wanna read it, like everyone else, she can. Don't be messy.)

I was reffing a youth basketball league last night. Four games that went from 5:45 until about 9ish. I don't get the best service in that gym, so between every game I'll check my phone and make sure that my kids haven't killed each other. So between game 3 and 4, I check my phone and my oldest daughter texts me and asks me...

"Dad, does my Mom love me?"

Shit.

Now we have been down this road before. Unfortunately. Every once in a while, my daughter will reflect on what a Mom should be in her mind. And what her Mom isn't. And then she'll want to know why. Hell, I want to know why. And she'll reach out and ask me. And you know what playa? I really don't have any good answers. Ask me the social causes of the Civil War and I'll give you an essay. Ask me about the finer points of zone basketball vs man-to-man, and I can give you a speech. Ask me about why a woman can pretty much write off 5 out of 6 kids before they hit teenage years, and I don't have much for you.

So like we do every time this comes up, we started the what I call S.A.I.D. cycle. Just like a circle of emotions, we run through this every time this happens.

"S" (Sadness). This shit breaks my heart. My kids aren't perfect. They get on my nerves sometime, but they're great kids. I work a ton. And I don't get to go to everything that they do. And I would say her Mom is missing out, but that ain't true. My daughter is the one at the complete loss. You got a whole person walking around this Earth who gave birth to you, raised you for a while, and then over the course of a few years, pretty much said, "Fuck it, I'm out." And you can say whatever you want to say, that is how it appears to a 13 year old little girl who sometimes just wants her Mom to be a damn Mom.

"A" (Anger). Quick related story. One time, a few years ago, I was giving my daughter's Mom a ride home from work. We had about a 20 minute ride. About five minutes into the 20 minute ride, we have the follow conversation...

Her: "How do you feel about me?"

Me: "What? Really?"

Her: "Yeah, really. I know I've done some messed up things to you. I just want to know how you feel about me."

Me: "Are are you sure you wanna know. Because I can sum it up in one sentence."

Her: "Well what is it?"

Me: "Are you sure you wanna know? It ain't good."

Her: "Yes I want to know."

Me: (taking that deep breath you take when you know about to say some fucked up shit) "When I think about you...I feel as if the wrong baby momma died."

Her: (instant tears form) "Really????"

Me: "Oh Hell yeah."

That's anger. It doesn't consume me. But trust and believe it's there. Because, even though we weren't to this point yet, I knew that some fucked up shit like this would happen. And, trust and believe, the same anger builds up in my daughter.

"I" (Indifference). Eventually, the anger fades. It turns cold like the air does from summer to winter. But the air is still there. It ain't going no where. So, what made her cry a day ago, is a shoulder shrug the next. A "Why is she like this?" turns into "I really don't care." And real talk, that's more dangerous than anger. But that hurt and pain just gets buried deep down. Yeah therapy can help. Yeah I can be there as best as I can be. But at this point, its mind over emotion. If my daughter tells herself that she don't care, then she won't care. But she does. Because what little girl doesn't want to be comforted by her Mom when she is hurt. Talk about boys when she is crushing (because talking to Daddy is super weird believe me). And all that other stuff that I can try my hardest to replicate but can never quite get right.

"D" (Determination). There is a lot of shit I wish I could change. I wish I could alter my genes to be 6'7" with the 4.4 40 yard dash speed. I wish I had that sports almanac book like in Back to the Future II. But most of all, I wish I could have my Mom. I wish Amanyi's Mom wouldn't have died. And I wish Ayanna's Mom would be what the fuck she needed. But I can't. Like the slaves who walked behind Augustus Caesar used to whisper, "You're just a man." I'm just man who has faults, issues, and limitations. But what I can do, is push on. And I can let my daughter know that I'm not leaving her. And I'll always be here as long as I have breath in my lungs. And I can inspire her to push on as well. And so that's we do, we keep it pushing.

It's a cycle. But we rock it. And we get through.

Read and discuss.


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