I can only do so much

Sitting in the emergency room last Saturday with Tenderheart, I had a faint thought that I should probably text the swooper (her dad) and let him know she was in a car accident.  I’ve also had a nagging feeling that I should send him Moonshine’s graduation announcement with pictures just so he has it.  I don’t know why, but I keep thinking I should try and keep him involved in their lives even though he seems perfectly fine not being involved.

How I feel about the graduation announcement is if he wanted one or any of the senior pictures, he would have asked.  He would have asked before the graduation to find out when it was or he would have been more involved in Moonshine’s life and showed up to the graduation just so she knows he’s still there.  When I told him a few months ago that I tried to help with Moonshine but even I don’t know how to fix it he said, Oh well, just make sure she knows I’m here for her if she needs anything in the future.  Like he’s okay with not trying to fix things with her now and he’ll be around if she needs anything in the future.  But what about all the time you’ve lost with her now?  What about not even knowing she’s moving to Oklahoma next Tuesday?  Are you okay with all that?  So I decided if he’s okay with not being in her life now then he doesn’t deserve pictures or an announcement.

Now, with Tenderheart, you might remember he took her to coffee a couple of months ago and then asked her to go camping on Mother’s Day weekend and when she said no, he went back to his monthly generic texts of “I hope you’re doing okay.”   He literally just had to ask her to something else, even just lunch and she would have gone, but to not make any more of an effort than that, she was really hurt.  He left it at, If you ever want to come over and spend time with us, let me know.  Well, she wants to spend time with you, not you, your wife, and your replacement grandchild, but she’d never tell him that.

So there I am, sitting at Children’s thinking, Huh, maybe I should text him.  But you’re okay, we’ll get the x-rays and then I’ll text him.  Whelp, there’s our name.  Then, oh good, the x-rays aren’t awful and you need a prescription so let’s go get that.  I’m sitting in the Walgreens waiting for the prescription and I texted him, “Tenderheart was rear ended today and we just got done at children’s.  She’s fine but hurt her back.”  I thought, well, everything’s there, she’s fine, she was in an accident, we’ve been to the hospital, but more importantly, she’s fine.

He flipped out.  And I thought, I could have not said anything ever and you’d never know because they don’t talk to him and he seems just fine with that.  It was really a courtesy I said anything.  I told him again, she’s fine and what they gave her for her back and he went on and on about how he has a right to know.  I said, I know you have a right to know, that’s why I’m telling you.  Listen, buddy, don’t try and swoop into their lives when something is wrong and get mad when no one welcomes you with open arms.

Tenderheart was mad I told him at all.  She told me to wait until the next day, but I was afraid it would get back to him because it was all over her Snapchat story.  So yes, Snapchat knew about it before you did, buddy, and that’s  your fault.  When I asked him not to go to Tenderheart’s school anymore in March because it upsets her, I told him, I’m the only one over here trying to encourage them to have a relationship with you, but really, there’s only so much I can do.  He said he didn’t believe me and I said, I don’t care what you believe because it’s true and if you were in their lives at all, you’d know. I’m the reason he knows anything about them.

He finally asked me today when Moonshine is moving to college and I told him next week.  Oh, and by the way, Tenderheart is staying with friends because it’s her first week of school and she can’t go.  There wasn’t even a question of him taking her for the week, I had to find somewhere else for her and Lola to go while Sunshine, Moonshine, and I move Moonshine down there.  He just said, Okay, good luck, drive safe.

I can’t help someone who doesn’t want to help himself. That’s the hard lesson I’ve had to learn and no matter how it hurts when I see them wanting a relationship or saying they wish they had a dad, I literally can only do so much.


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