My younger sister, Maria, is a much better person than I am. She always has been. She's got our grandfather's patient gentleness. So when she chided me for not calling John to wish him a happy Father's Day, I wasn't altogether surprised.
However, I WAS surprised by the other folks who went out of their way to remind me that Father's Day was coming and I should make every effort to let John know how appreciated and valued he is as the father of my children.
Funny - where were ANY of these people as Mother's Day approached? 'Cause this was the pathetic excuse for a message I got- by text- after dinner... an afterthought so he could say he messaged me should someone ask what he did.
After long debate with who, exactly? And how was there even a debate? I guess he considers "better judgement" to be not acknowledging me in any way (which is likely given that's his typical MO anyway - Mother's Day or otherwise).
And the half-assed apology at the end is nothing more than his attempt to alleviate responsibility for not having said something sooner. The entire message is a train-wreck from start to finish. A simple "Happy Mother's Day" would've saved everyone an awful lot of eye-twitching. But apparently even acknowledging that I'm a good mother is not something he's capable of doing without insult.
So when these folks kept bringing up Father's Day and cautioning me to coddle him despite his complete and utter selfish, destructive and thoughtless actions over the last year (not just regarding me, but the boys as well), it was all I could do not to scream.
I didn't need them telling me I should do something to acknowledge him as their father. Ya know why? Because I'm not a terrible person. I recognize that it's not actually "better judgement" to ignore, or worse, insult him on a day meant to celebrate him.
So I did the same thing I did last year - RIGHT AFTER the whole divorce thing blew up. No one was telling me to remember John then because no one really knew about the divorce. I didn't need anyone telling me how NOT to be a self-centered, arrogant jerk. I didn't need anyone saying what they all seem to think they need to say now (yet suspiciously NOT to John).
Just like last year, I got some craft stuff together and helped Vincent make something for his father. Last year it was a coloring book filled with prompts like "I love Daddy because..." where Vince would fill in the sentence and draw a corresponding picture. That thing took a full MONTH to complete. This year, I dressed both boys up and got pictures. With the pictures, I had Vincent paint and glue together a plaque for him (and you can imagine the thoroughly entertaining mess the paint made).
Just like in years past, I helped Vincent (and now Nathan) put together something for their father (and Pop). I took an active role in TEACHING my sons that their father is someone worthy of respect and appreciation. I taught them (and will continue to teach them) that it's important to set aside time for the people they love by making thoughtful gifts.
And while it might not seem like a big project, it probably took us about 6 hours over the course of two days to finish painting these suckers. Vince was especially proud of his Minecraft Creeper face. Can't say I blame him. It came out mighty fine. Ha ha.
Anyway, the point is, I didn't need any of those people reminding me to be a decent person. I'm more than capable of that, myself. And on top off this gift, I also allowed him to take both boys overnight so he'd have them all day Sunday. I drove all the way down to Ocean City (and back) so he and his family could enjoy them for Father's Day.
So did I send him a pathetic, passive-aggressive message on Father's Day via text message like he sent to me for Mother's Day? No. Because I never was, nor will I ever be, that sort of person. My children need to learn what "Honor Thy Father" means, and it's my job to teach them.
And so I do, and so I shall. Reminders from the peanut gallery are unnecessary.
Because I am resolved to give what is necessary... not what is deserved.
Hugs! For what it's worth, I am sure they didn't mean it (at least not your sister) as an attack on your kindness, but probably more of an, "She might not want to deal with the emotions of this so let me sort of remind her." Not sure that is better.
Wow. Just wow.
6/21/2016 10:30:22 am
Anyone audacious enough to question your integrity in that manner is not worthy of your time. They either never cared to know you as a person, or they are incapable of understanding the example you've always set because it conflicts with their personal experience. You have a Herculean strength when it comes to carrying the weight of indignity, my friend. You have withstood so much for the sake of others with nary a word of complaint. It is high time you begin to unload. I'm glad you have thought better of giving up your blog. As I've said before, your way out of the darkness is the light by which others will find their way. Each vine you cut, each boulder you break, makes it that much easier for others to follow you. Your road is hard. It's always been hard. But you wear the armor of Christ and the Truth is your sword, and you are an expert at wielding it. I am so proud of how you've grown to such spiritual maturity when everything but the grace of God was working against you. You are a testament to the strength of God's grace. Do not forget that. Never forget that. And never stop writing, because even if you're not a prophet, these words carry grace and resound in the hearts of those who read them. Your strength gives me hope. Thank you.
6/21/2016 10:37:24 am
I realize this wasn't really an entry about John so much as the people who were pressuring you to recognize him, but it should be stated nonetheless that his treatment of you through that message is unacceptable. One day, probably through your steadfast example, he will recognize his error and begin to teach his children how a man is supposed to behave, especially in his treatment of women. In the meantime, I'm looking forward to the day you are blessed with a man who values and appreciates the heart and virtue you possess. He will be a true role model for your boys and a leader for your family. You are a true treasure, even if others have been blind to that. God bless you.
I must be an odd duck. My brothers and I never ask or remind each other what we are getting/doing for our significant others… not for birthdays, Christmas, or whatever. .. Aren’t they adults? Why would anyone need to ask/remind anyone to do something? And why is it anyone’s else’s business? I don’t get it. James and I always get each other something for Mothers/Fathers Day but no one ever asks or reminds us. And maybe the divorce made people honestly wonder, but again, it isn’t their business. Maybe it is because you are Italian? ;)
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