Thursday, May 31, 2007

Daddy's Magic

Do you ever wonder how some people can do certain things? Not like when we wonder how can Chaka Khan sing so effortlessly. Not how people do good things, or let goodness manifest itself through them. I'm talking about wondering how people do things we can't imagine ourselves doing.

For instance, having a baby - your first baby is a memorable experience. It's not an easy occurrence to sweep out of your mind. Watching your child grow and seeing your own image in them is amazing. Someone having fingers and toes that look like your own, lips and eyes that remind you of yourself is awesome. Then it goes on, they grow, they learn about their world - and they adapt to their situations. As a parent you have the pleasure of being a witness to that life.

I wonder how a parent can watch, see, experience all of those things and not do everything in their power to take care of that child. How could a parent put others well being before that of their child? Their first child, the one that looks just like them. How could a person provide for and raise another mans child - and not see that his own child needed provision and rearing? But larger than that I wonder how the same person could make a promise to the Creator to care for the little person entrusted to him, and so callously renege. How could that parent then show up later looking for applause?!?

How is that possible?

If I didn't call, keep promises, visit, protect, honor, cherish, guide, direct, discipline and provide for a child that was my own, I would be ashamed to show up with some "yep, look what I did, ain't she smart....that's my daughter" bullshit.

I just couldn't do that.

What's even more astounding is the child's unwavering love and support for the father.

I say it's astounding, but maybe it's not. I've seen it before and I'm intimately familiar with it so it should not astound me - but it still does. I didn't want to add to the chances of her love for him changing, so I've never spoken ill of him in her presence, I made excuses for his un-kept promises and out right lies. I over compensated for his short comings in an effort to lessen her disappointments. I thought he would come to his senses at some point. But he did not.

I did those things for me as much as I did them for her. You see, I too had a father who fell miserably short of reasonable expectations. I did not want that for my daughter. I know how important the relationship is between father and daughter. In many cases girls/women follow the blueprint of their relationship with their fathers in their relationships with men. I wanted my daughter to have something different. That has not been the case.

Fathers like my daughters' and mine are powerful conjurers. They work their gris-gris into spells that cause us to long for them to do the right thing - all of our lives. The spell is so potent it impairs our vision. We begin to see our fathers in places they are not. In other boys and men. With our blurry sight we look to them to give us the love our fathers did not. We look to them to choose us, to protect us, to keep promises, to provide for us, to be faithful to us and to tell us the truth. But we choose men who are like our fathers and as such they cannot give us what we need.....what we want. So, we do the blind choosing over and over again.

I do not want that for my daughter.


Anonymous said...

If only a mother's love was enough.

Mahogany Brown said...

I empathise with you so much. I too am the victim of an absentee father and I was guilty of what I call "looking for love in all the wrong crotches" for a long time. Once I realized the method to my madness, I was able to make smarter choices. Its a constant battle, but I am now better equipped to fight it. I think because you are aware of the effects and how the absence of a father figure can affect a woman, you can talk to your daughter and prayerfully help her circumvent the heartache that comes along with dating men like our fathers. You can teach her that her worth is not in any way determined by another mans acceptance of her, even if that man is her father.

Angie said...

Its B! Good to see you back! Girl, a mother's love is what it is - but sometimes it ain't enough. That's why I keep telling your ass not to mess the one good marriage we have in the crew. : )

Mahogany! Damn it if 70% of us don't have daddy issues! But - look at it this way, you are still a baby. I'm 41 years old and I'm just getting this shit. You are blessed to be on your journey now!

As for my daughter, I have prayed, do pray, talked, counseled and listened..... At the end of the day we all have to get to "that place" in our own time. She's seventeen now - hopefully it won't take her 23 more years. And you know what - I don't think it will.

West said...

I can only try to imagine what that must be like. Hopefully, your awareness and hyper-vigilance will make all the difference for your daughter.

You've got me which parts of my own personality and identity are due to my own father's absences and shortcomings - besides the ones we usually associate with "fatherless" men.

luxhie said...

Ms. Angie...

This is worthy of recitation in a small room filled with our men and women gathered to let off the stress and tension of the week.


Because slipping into darkness so that we can excuse our bad choices, or justify them, never amounts to moving forward, and doing the right thing by ourselves, by our mates, or by the children of such unions.

How incredibly powerful, and lovely.