Parenting is not for the faint of heart
When the swooper walked into the almost empty gym and asked me if he could get the girls for Christmas while completely ignoring Moonshine, I thought, how did I have children with this person? Actually I thought….okay, I thought, how did I have children with this person? He showed up with his stepdaughter’s ex-girlfriend and some other random girl and didn’t even acknowledge his own daughter.
That’s him on the bottom left not even acknowledging her existence.
Then Moonshine went to find the vending machine and he came back over to find out why I’m so “mean” to him. Why are you alive?, I did not say, but thought.
Let me back up a second. Moonshine hasn’t been talking to the swooper for about a year. I don’t completely know what happened but I can only imagine he was just being himself. I’ve tried, believe me, I’ve tried. And every time I say her name to him, he says, “Who?”
He came over a few weeks ago and said he didn’t know what was wrong with her and I asked him if he’d asked her. He said he had but his main form of communication is texting. I told him ever so helpfully that if I had a child who wasn’t speaking to me, I would tell that child that we’re going to lunch and just talk to them. IRL talking, like the olden days. I would let my daughter get it all out and I would fix it. I WOULD FIX IT. Would I go almost a year without having a relationship with my daughter? I wouldn’t go one second. As long as there is breath in my lungs and a heartbeat, I will have a relationship with my children. Yet, he can go almost a year and not know what’s wrong with his daughter.
So, armed with that advice, he called Moonshine that very day and said he was sorry and he would like to take her to lunch, just the two of them to fix their relationship. Oh, I’m sorry, he did not do that. He completely ignored her while standing directly in front of her at Tenderheart’s volleyball game. He did send her a text after our conversation and told her something vague. She did not respond.
So today after I explained I wasn’t being mean and the girls would like to see their grandparents who live right across town, yet they haven’t seen since May, I think he might have vaguely threatened me with taking me to court to get holiday visitation. To which I thought, yes, please. Because I’m pretty sure I’m entitled to more child support. And really, you want to go to court at this stage, I only have 4.5 years left of dealing with that dbag.
And it’s hard. Sometimes I get bitter when Sunshine talks about them going to lunch. I’m mad because he wasn’t there for anything, yet he gets to swoop in and enjoy the awesome person she’s become.
But then I think, I wouldn’t trade any of what I have to be the swooper. I would never want to be that guy. I’m the one who was there for everything and yeah, maybe he gets to swoop in and share a few little things but I get all of it. Things he doesn’t even know about, things we share, Moonshine singing at the zoo, Sunshine’s birthday dinner, every birthday party or celebration, all the funny things Tenderheart says. I get to be there for all of that, and I’d never want to trade places with a swooper who gets a lunch every few weeks or goes to a volleyball game once or twice or doesn’t get invited to the Christmas concert. I’m in the trenches of everyday life with these girls, not an observer. That’s not for the faint of heart.