I know that I am not really qualified to speak on the plight of the single mother and her children’s estranged Father, number one because I have not been in that situation being a widow and number two because I was raised in such a different way and time period. I remember my mom telling us that my daddy couldn’t give her a lot of money but he could give us time and so where ever he moved, we always ended up in walking distance to his home. No matter how many women or additional kids he acquired, we always could walk to his house and we were ALWAYS welcome by the women. The type of memories I have when I think of growing up with him not being in the home on a full time basis revolved around, jumping in the bed with him on Sunday Morning to read the comics, Taking long rides with him on 285 where he let us hang our kites out the window of the caddy. Walking up MLK to get an ice cream cone. Standing by his side while he stopped through Paschals to give greetings to the brothers. Being picked up from school, or dropped off to school. Eating dinner at his home even if it was honey sandwiches and milk. I remember him driving all night to make it to my Debutante Ball where he learned the dance and escorted me. I don’t really remember if he contributed financially to anything concerning that event, but as a child that was not for me to remember. I give my mom a lot of credit for that. She never overly bad mouthed him and she always gave us access to him, even if it inconvenienced her (and at times I’m sure it did). However, we had the basics and a bit extra and I never really was privvy to what money was needed for and when and if he contributed to those day to day things. She worked and we had what we needed.
You know I remember one time my mom and dad had a fight apparently and he could no longer come pick us up from school. Now previous to that he would pick us up and take up to his home. Sometimes he would pick us up on a bike, yea a bike. And we would ride on the seat and the handle bars home, but he was there. At the time he had a car and I remember being told to NOT get in the car with him, just walk straight ahead. I also remember that for that week or whatever, he would drive alongside us as we walked home. It was hot and my younger siblings wanted to get in the car bad, but I had to follow instructions. As an adult – what is it that I remember about that whole scenario – – THAT HE WAS THERE!! I don’t know and don’t want to know how much financial assistance he gave us. We were never out of it, but what I remember most about my father was that there was never a time when he was not available, not physically there and not spending time with us, that has clouded whatever he might have done that would be deemed in today’s society as ‘shortcomings’.
So though cognitively I totally understand that it takes money to feed, clothe and entertain these children and that there are some men who based on their actions need some white men in their life to tell them how to conduct their business as a father. I’ll never understand the inability for a woman to look at the whole picture as of what’s needed for their children and deny a man based on their own issues. If he’s giving you anything and he’s making himself available for you and the child, because when he’s doing for the child he’s doing for you – if you don’t have to ever pay child care that’s a benefit for YOU, if you have every weekend to yourself to regroup, hang out, better yourself or whatever because he’s there every Friday to pick up your children, that also benefits YOU, then I just don’t understand how the hate takes over so much in your mind that it becomes more important for you to destroy the relationship of Father/Child and even suffer than to make sure that the relationship is intact. I mean yea it gives you much fodder to whine and Bitch about but who is that benefitting? No one.
Children know to much about the financial going on’s and are taught that that is their business and that they should be concerned about it. I wasn’t raised that way and not until recently have I been breaking down how much it costs to the teenager. A six year old needs to hear either they can get that or they can’t NOT that they can’t get it because their daddy hasn’t given you anything to get it with.
I am a believer in there are just some things that ‘are’ and though you might not understand it, anyone who sits around an professes that they have faith religiously, should understand that some things are not meant to be understood. How can a woman boast continuously that it’s HER body and HER decision about having a child, yet as soon as the relationship that she made all these decisions in falls apart, she’s suddenly helpless? Yea ok. women have better situations than most of the black men I know and are doing it for their damn selves – so sometimes (not ALL the time) this is purely because a woman is mad that once again having a baby didn’t get you the man or if it did, it ended up not being the man for you or what I am dealing with PURE OUTRIGHT REGRET.
You know what though, . Some of these things also come about because people don’t pay attention to what folks are trying to tell you. FOLKS NEED TO LISTEN and not with their genitals. In my life, I have heard loud and clear some things, but ignored it, became an optimist or just outright decided fuck it and moved ahead anyway only to have to spend valuable life and time crawling out of relationship situations that told me from jump were not for me.
I am rambling and because I cant’ really go into great great detail, this might be coming across as crazy – and again, there are 1000 stories and I”m sure many of you have yours so this is not ALL or EVERYBODY, it just has been on my mind this morning as I heard a very defeated voice say “I told her I give up, I can’t do this anymore” LOVE DON”T COST A THING!! This BULLSHIT will cost….FOREVER.