There are things that the heart will never learn to accept. Somehow, it is easier to have one’s mind accept certain facts of life. The human brain is (mostly) logical, after all. No one ever said the heart beats on logic — and if anyone did, it was a cruel lie.
Gabe is gone for another long weekend. I hate it. I hate that he’s gone. I hate where he’s at. I hate that I’m not with him. I hate not knowing how he is. I hate it all. He’s gone for another weekend with his “dad”; another round of things that have made my old heart bitter and full of hate — something I’m trying to drill into my kids as something, “we don’t do”. If they only knew that momma was the biggest hypocrite on that ugly, four letter word.
I’m an admitted hypocrite on a lot of things regarding my kids; we all are, aren’t we? Like it or not, hypocrisy is one of many driving forces of this great big world, and it has not been lost on me. Not on everything, mind you. I don’t tell my kids, “No, you can’t watch Game of Thrones,” and then turn around and watch it myself because, 1) I may be the only person in America who doesn’t care for the drama, and, 2) my kids have this tendency, it’s a gift, really, to walk into the living room well after bedtime and during the worst scenes of movies. So, yeah. Anyway. I’m a typical motherhood hypocrite. “No, you can’t have ice cream for dinner.” I’ll admit that I’ve hidden in the pantry with a Skinny Cow bar for “dinner”. You know how it is; don’t point fingers.
I’m a hypocrite to my kids for my kids. Y’know? So when I tell Gabe to love his dad, I’m preaching hypocrisy. Because there are days, more often than not, that I’d just like to open a can of whoop-ass on that man. When I tell Gabe not to hate…. I know, with a guilt-riddled heart, that I have no right to tell him so. But I’m lying to him, and to myself, for him. It’s crazier sounding typing it than it does reading it, I promise. I want him to love his dad because he is his dad. And, no, I don’t want him to hate the man — no matter my feelings. I don’t want Gabe to ever know just how little his own father cares for him; that the only reason he’s over there is to fulfill a “parental right,” whatever the hell that means. I’m all about being honest with my kids, no matter how much it hurts. But this… it seems to great a revelation for my five-year old’s head to fathom. So I let it go. And I’ll continue to let it go — even when he ultimately realizes what we all have already, one day.
Gabe will never, from my lips, know just how much effort I’ve put in. How much fight I’ve fought and how many tears I’ve cried. It’s not his fault that his father and I didn’t work out, after all. He didn’t ask to be here, split amongst two entirely different families as though he were furniture. Who would? He can never know the resentment I’ve felt… knowing that I will never be the fun-carefree parent and will always be the steadfast, stick-to-my-guns parent. I won’t be his greatest confidant for a long time, if ever, because I’m rough and tough on him. Not to be ugly; not to be unfair… but because I live and breathe for that child. Because I know he’ll make his own mistakes and I don’t want him to make those of my own, too.
I have hated for almost six years now sending him into an environment that I wouldn’t willingly walk back into. I hate that I’ve allowed this to happen. I hate that I didn’t put a stop to it when I could have because of my own juvenile fear. I hate that I send him in blindly and I hate waiting for him to come back home.
To say that I wish I could take it all back… that I wish to reverse time… I can’t. My life would be significantly less meaningful without my Gabe. He’s here no matter how he got here, and I wouldn’t change that for the world. And I hope he never understands my heartache; I hope he never has to send his children back and forth blindly. I hope he doesn’t do what his momma did. I hope I’ll never have to console him for this. I hope he’ll never understand this particular brand of lies and hypocrisy.
I watched my own dad’s experience with this — the apple doesn’t fall far, you know? I never in a million years imagined I’d have to deal with this. But here we are, some twenty something years later, and my heart’s taking a hit that I could never wish on anyone else. The pit in my stomach is roughly the size of Rhode Island, and there it will remain until he walks back through our front door. Six years should be enough time to be accustomed to something; almost numb to it. The way my heart tells it though, this is no different than day one. For all it knows, that’s exactly what it is.
Do not tell me, “He needs to see his dad, too.” Clearly, he sees the man. I’m not withholding, no matter how much I’d like to. Every situation is different; this is not my swipe at a grown man because we didn’t work out. This is a confession of mine, plain and simple. At the end of all of this… I just want Gabe to know that my heart is full with love and pride for him. I fear that will never even cross his mind; irony’s cruel reality.