Like father like son, is the expression that comes to mind when I received this image over text message. A father's hope is that his child would grow in knowledge, health, and spirituality. Well at least this is what one of my best friends, Adelras Johnson, wants for his son. More opportunities and a better childhood than the one he had. Not having his biological father around during his upbringing, unlike most others, created an even broader awareness of the importance of being active and available when it came to raising his child. So what happens when that responsibility is questioned due to the moral implications that accompany being a good father, but not wanting to extend that goodness to establishing a relationship with the woman who bore the child? Many have propagated their own opinions concerning the matter but none can compare to those who have been directly affected by this decision, the mother's.
How many of us know someone who has been affected by not creating a relationship with the other parent, often times, experience an unprecedented amount of tension, mostly stemming from rejection, resentment, unforgiveness, and bitterness . I've witnessed co parenting fail, not due to a lack of parenting, but more so because one of the parents can't quite accept that having a child doesn't make it packaged deal. Sad to say, many have taken on this approach creating an unhealthy environment for children to be raised in. Visitations of the other parent are revoked, unprovoked. Money is laundered. New relationships are tethered because of envy and strife. Imagine all the ruined date nights. Just when you thought that you would never see your child again, the phone rings after you naively posted your plans on social media, and your visitation rights have now been restored. Your current situations soon becomes your past situation as you constantly get strung along and they decide that they're no longer willing to be strung along with you.
In adolescence, we often find it hard to formulate appropriate responses not based upon our emotional state. Our minds weren't yet developed enough to see beyond what it is that we were feeling. Understandable. However, what's not so understandable is being an adult, recognizing that there are unresolved emotions that need dealing with, ignoring them, and creating a behavioral pattern that makes parenting one child feel like two. When is enough, enough? When does the emotional well being of the child supersede personal vendettas? The court system is left with the responsibility of telling adults when and when they can't visit with the child that they created because adults can't come to terms with the fact that a relationship, or the lack of establishing one, has failed.
It takes a significant amount of love and strength for someone else, to be able to see beyond what the heart may want. I say may only because who actually wants to be with someone who doesn't want to be with them? How unhappy would that make life? Waiting on a suitable companion and parent would be far more rewarding.
To all of the parents who have done nothing wrong by way of their child, but are yet under constant scrutiny due to someone else not healing properly or just choosing not to, keep doing what you're doing. The latter reward is a happy, healthy and emotionally stable child. I would that you find solace in this. Depend on God in prayer and the support of your family and friends. Those who may be able to provide comfort during those times when you feel entrapped and greatly unappreciated. Although your little one isn't able to articulate how much they love and appreciate you understand that in those moments when they kiss your nose or cry when you leave are all expressions of a child's endearment.