Have you ever had a situation in your life that seemed as if it would never change? Something that really weighed heavily upon your shoulders, and seemed as if it would just always be that way?
That’s kind of what it’s like to be a single mother, abandoned by your partner. Once upon a time I was a 22 year old single girl living in a downtown apartment by myself. I went where I wanted, did what I wanted, and pretty much answered to no one. It was an amazing feeling, and even then I recognized the novelty of having that kind of freedom.
When I met my son’s “father” we moved way too fast, I’ll admit it. Nevertheless, I like to think that my son’s creation and birth were brought on by a kind of serendipity. It was certainly not a planned birth, and I was certainly not prepared for being pregnant alone, having a newborn alone, or raising a child alone… good thing I’m adaptable.
The rewards, as I’ve blogged before in other online journals, have been out of this world. Later I met my husband and he’s been the most amazing blessing since my son… he supports us emotionally and financially and has wanted to adopt my son ever since we got married. The other guy was never really an issue, because we hadn’t heard from him in years. He seemed the running type, and I’m obviously not the hiding type. I always just figured that if he had wanted anything at all to do with the child we’d created he’d find us. His child support checks found us sporadically -for years I’d get nothing or just a check every several months. Last year we got more checks than ever… but still they were inconsistent and I began to develop a suspicion he’d follow up by coming around.
That day has come. I won’t go into the details of the situation, but basically my life just went from complicated to O-M-effing-G in a matter of one day. The hardest part is, I’ve always made sure I had an honest relationship with my son and tried to be an example to him. I’m really not ready, however, to lay this situation on a 7 year old and ask him what he wants to do. How could he possibly be ready for something like that? Even if he is mature enough (and he’s so smart, I have no doubt he’ll make me proud no matter what he eventually chooses) to handle the possibility of meeting this absentee creator… is it wise for me to introduce the idea when I’m not 100% convinced that the guy is sincere about making an effort this time around? I feel dishonest not telling him about the meeting… but I’m afraid to start this in motion just for him to get abandoned all over again.
I think this kind of heavy decision needs to be given time, and plenty of it. We already have a father and husband in our lives, and along with my youngest son we’ve been doing just fine. Our love for one another been tested before and stood strong, and I want to keep it that way by avoiding potential confusion. Advice has been flowing from caring friends and relatives this week, and I know that most of it comes from a place of genuine concern for us. But I really need more than just a few “I’m Sorry” statements and a single meeting outside the courtroom before I’ll believe he’s been pining for my son all this time. I appreciate everyone’s understanding if I’m uncharacteristically disoriented for a while.
The ball is in his court, and I’m not going to serve it for him. I’ve been busy, after all, raising a beautiful human being. That’s pretty important work -but you have to be willing to commit to it.