I had to drop my son off to his mom’s apartment after tutoring. He was not feeling well so I had to get there a little early because of his illness. I gathered up his belongings and we headed to the car. As we got to his mom’s place and we were about to get out of the car he had a tear in his eye. I asked him “what’s wrong?” He explained he was sad because he wasn’t feeling well. I assured him it was okay and not to worry about stuff you can’t control. I gave him a big hug and he headed down the hall towards the elevator.
As I turned around and started to leave – I was overcome with a familiar feeling, that same feeling I get on a weekly basis, that feeling of sadness. I was reminded of my situation and what it means to be a divorced father of two. A divorced dad. Not fun.
This feeling is not anything you want to deal with but you deal with it. It is re-living a painful death on a weekly basis. Many a man has to deal with this feeling and most people don’t understand. You’re a man. You’re supposed to be strong. You deal with it, damnnit! You must prevail over your emotions.
You are overcome with the feeling. That feeling that says I wanna be there for my boy because he’s not well, or with my daughter just so I can be there when she wakes up, or knowing that she sleeps with a picture of me by her side. Those simple things we don’t much think about or we take for granted the love our kids have for each parent. And we deal with the difficult feelings these acts bring. Co-parenting and raising kids separately is difficult at best.
Not an easy task by any means even if you have the support of loved ones.
We have painful reminders we encounter as we go through life’s challenges and the effects they have on us. We have difficult emotions to overcome especially when you are handicapped in dealing with them – unspoken depression, machoism, or just being a man.
But somehow we do overcome the emotions. Us divorced dads. Us single dads – although, we don’t use this terminology much, we leave that for the women. Men like me continue to do what we have to do, pay the support we are ordered to pay, and try to be in the lives of our kids because that’s what we do. It is what we were born to do. And many of us men accept this challenge.
We do this week after week even in spite of the feelings we experience. Talking to no one about it. We all experience that familiar feeling, that slowly painful death as we are separated from our growing kids. However, at the end of the day, we are thankful of being with our kids if only for that moment. And we find the strength to go forward just to experience the euphoria and the letdown all in the same breadth. It is for the love of our kids.