My parents divorced when I was seven and we moved to Texas a few years later. For years, I tried to stay in contact with him through letters, phone calls, occasional visits, announcements and greeting cards. I maintained the hope that one day he would realize that he missed me and wanted me to be a part of his life.
I pretended that it didn't hurt when he never responded. I was kidding myself.
Five years ago, I gave up. I finally admitted to myself that he was never going to respond and I was wasting my time.
If I were to talk with my father today, I would thank him for teaching me a few things about parenting.
- You do not divorce your children when you divorce your spouse. Children are family forever.
- Children are a labor of love. They should never be made to feel like a burden.
- It takes very little effort to show your child that she is loved.
- Children (both boys and girls) need a male role model in their lives.
- Promises are not made to be broken. Sometimes, it can't be helped, but it should be a rare occurrence.
Perhaps one day my father will realize what he's missed.