Monday, December 21, 2015

The gift I couldn't give.

"All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth."

No, wait. I've got those.

A nap? A good nights sleep? A year supply of coffee? New socks?

Nah. I mean, all of those are good options.

But of course, what I want most of all, is something I cannot give.

What I want most of all is to give my children a good relationship with their daddy.

I know it's his choice to be uninvolved and missing. But I am their mother, I'm the one who is supposed to provide for them, help them, make their owies go away.

And these owies, these sad, cracking hearts... I cannot fix them.

I know God can, and I pray he does, but for now, they aren't healed.

Each of my babies, I am realizing more and more, has a much different experience. 

My oldest had daddy around fairly consistently until he was about 3.5, and he has countless memories of him in his life up through about half of his fourth year. He recognizes pictures of him easily, even younger photos, and brings up memories of his dad. He knows what it's like to have had and then lost him.

My middle child had daddy around until he was 2 or so, and then a bit beyond, but he doesn't have those concrete memories and experiences that he talks about or relies on. Recently, he's been talking again about not seeing daddy wherever we are, talks about my shoes being daddy's shoes, or calling random people "daddy." I feel like he understands the concept of daddy, and would maybe, possibly recognize him as daddy if he saw him again, but I don't know. He is just trying to fit a daddy into his experience, and there isn't a proper fit.

Then there's my baby girl, who is now 20 months, and sort of consistently had a daddy in her life for a few months. She doesn't really know what a daddy is and frankly doesn't know the difference between having one or not.

These experiences are vastly different and will affect them continuously in different ways.

And I can't relate to any of it. I still have my dad. He's hours away, but I see him and I can call him. He doesn't avoid me at all costs. I have an infinite collection of memories with him.

My kids don't have that. And being a mom who wants her babies to have that really slays the heart. I feel so helpless. I can buy and give them Christmas gifts, but the one I feel they would love most... I just can't.

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