Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Something one of y'all said ...

Normally what I do is ...

I save some of the comments and sorta reply to them every month or so ... there was one comment that has been on my mind heavily, and today more than any recently.

This one spoke of how difficult it will be to leave lil' Mook.  While I am still 'on the clock', I am going to parent her.  With my Lexxie blowing in and out again like a fresh spring breeze, there is a definite melancholy surrounding me.  But yesterday, after what ever went down with her and Mookie, I thought that when she came home, I should make sure that I be there so we can have a chat.

I did some shopping (uh, if you didn't THINK not having a decent dinner mattered, yesterday reminded me!), and was able to pick up some Angus ground beef on sale.  I had some frozen pierogies in the freezer, and was just going to make some stuff up with those as the main ingredients.  Little salad, some beans and well, you know, a REAL DINNER.

As I got things together, lil' Mook came home.  So I went in and we had our little chat.

TRUTH IN ADVERTISING

I never wanted to be a parent.  Not that I was totally against the notion, but never had thought much about becoming one, and would have not been one, had I known any better.  That's right, I just didn't know any better ... THREE TIMES.

But there is a whole lot of love in my heart.  Me and the Moms had our differences and that is just that.  I have dated another girl with a daughter, my LBGF, and I explained to her, just as I did to Mookie when we first hooked up, how I felt I would be with them.

First, my girls are MY RESPONSIBILITY.  St. Peter is going to grade ME on that.  I don't expect you to help or anything, but I would want to think that you would support me, based on your own sense of decency.

Second, that since I am with you and your daughter, I feel like I should make every effort to help with the responsibility of being a parent, and not just a 'camper', who comes around every odd night.

So I try to parent, as I only see someone who would be my daughter someday.  And I feel an obligation to love and care for her, primarily because I am not there for my girls.  I have always imagined them coming to me in their 20's, wanting to know what I was doing when I wasn't with them.  So if I am with another child, I better be doing my best with them ...

... don't know if it makes any sense to anyone else, but it does to me.

TODAY'S LESSON

I don't think lil' Mook knows much about what is going on between me and her Mother.  That is her Mother's problem, not mine at all.  But since I had an overview of what went on yesterday, I felt comfortable with talking her up on it.

First, I know that dual parents may take this for granted, but being able to have two around is so much better than one.  Lil Mook and I have our own real relationship, and more importantly she respects me as an authority figure.  So she is comfortable enough with speaking with me about things no matter how troubling or personal.

Second, I allow for her to understand that I am 'fallen'.  I don't pull that big time stuff, because I would feel uncomfortable with the whole, 'do as I say, not as I did' thing.  I speak to her from the position of 'being wrong' so I do know how and why things didn't work, and that I wished that I had chosen different paths.

Today, it was a talk about the phone.  I let her go first, listening to what she had going.  It is actually a very good proposal, and without a doubt, I would have pushed to make it happen.  It was very sound and thought out, and I saw my influence, as I have gotten her to think on the 'third level', the idea being that there are things just out of you vision, that you know are there and have to be accounted for.

I complemented her on her plan ... I will run it by her Mom, because I believe in it, and would like for it to happen for her.  Then I told her that I don't know how much you Mom shares with you, but I will tell you about me ...

WHEN I WAS FOURTEEN

Sitting there, like you, there were things that I just didn't know.  Just as I know there are things that you don't know.  Right now, Momma is going through some tough, tough, times, times that she hopes she can make easier.  Then I constrasted her Mother's upbringing with mine, so I could segue to my experience at fourteen.

I shared with her that I did not know how hard my Mother was working, how much of an effort she had to make every day, keeping after her 5 kids, all of them into this that and the other, keeping us safe and out of trouble.  Somehow, my Mother made it not to all, but to enough ball games, dance recitals, and boxing matches for us to know that she was there.  Mookie has had a different experience, which is why she makes sure she gets to every single extra thing you have going on.  The one game she had to miss because of her car trouble (since repaired) just hurt her so.

Now, if you were mine, I would sit you down like you saw me with KT last summer and bring you right on board.  I don't think that is how your Mom would do things, so I can't.  But what I remember about being fourteen now is that I wished that I had done more for her.

But at fourteen, I DID NOT KNOW.  Doesn't mean that I couldn't have tried to find out what I could do, but I did not know that my Mother needed my help as much as I needed hers.  Right now, your Mother needs your help.  Like my Mother, she isn't going to ask you for it.  You just have to give it.  I do look back and think how I could have been a better son for my Mom.  You don't want to feel or think that when you get older.  And it won't hit you when you are 'old' like me, it will hit you when you have your children, maybe earlier when you are in college, and you realize how much your Mother did for you.

She needs your help, so give it to her.

*BIG SIGH*

I never know if I say the right things or if I actually reach her.  I don't think that with any of my girls.  But I make sure that when I do speak with them about things that matter to them, that I do so in my best frame of mind.  I still love the Mooks, which is why I made sure to get them a hot meal!  I will prolly find that comment two days from now ... but yes, I am going to miss my investment in lil' Mook.  I have put into her the best that I can come up with, and I have struggled to be constant, so that she can rely on me for what she rely on me for.

No, when I was a kid, I didn't see 'fatherhood' in my life.  But sinceI lost control of 'ol' One-Eye', that is immaterial.  I am a father, and that is what I do.  It seems especially poignant that Mookie had used 'our name' for her little girl ... and that I managed to use it to (and yes, Nixxie knew all about it when I gave it to her for approval!) for a daughter as well.  But, it isn't meant to be ...

4 comments:

lv2trnscrb said...

I think you gave excellent advice to lil' Mook, Mark; it made perfect sense to me, but then I'm not a 14 y/o girl so I'm coming from a different place than she is.

I personally think every teen, for safety reasons, should have a cell phone. I know once we gave one to my kid, I always felt better that I could call him and find out where he was if I needed to

betty

dougsbabygirl31 said...

You are a good "dad" like it or not. I think that it is inside of you. I know from experience, my dad was missing most of my life and I had my Drama Queen from Hell to deal with and her hatred for him. You are not like that. Even when things break down you are still trying. A lot of people would not.

Tawnya

mpnaz58 said...

What you said to lil' Mook made sense, heck, I'm sitting here crying!  The words of a father, or in this case, the male in her life at the moment, are so very important.  I believe she sees how you carry yourself, your consistency, and how it all makes sense.  Just my opinion, and I know once you leave, you're gone, but isn't your leaving another abandonment for that child?  I don't know, maybe just keep the lines of communication open.  She and her mom don't see eye to eye, but just knowing the one other person in this world is on her side...speaks volumes and impacts the young soul.  Very well written entry, thoughtfull, insightful...another glimpse of who you are.  Thank you for sharing!
xoxo ~Myra

csandhollow said...

To me it sounds as if you really are a father and a good one at that.