He Loves Me
Wednesday, February 07, 2007

"What's that?"
"It's a child support check buddy."
"What?" he asks with questions in his eyes.
"It's money your father is supposed to pay to help with expenses. We've been getting a few. Isn't that cool?"

A smile blooms over my sons face, brightening the car with all the force of an exploding star. My smile unfurls in an echoing dance to his.

"That means he loves me!"

My heart drops into my belly and everything inside me shrivels backwards as if retreating from a hot flame.

"Oh buggy, money has nothing to do with love. I'm sure your father loves you even if he's not paying support." The lie slides out from between my teeth, leaving them feeling coated and dirty.

I watch his face fall and suddenly the sun is gone from my sky and I have to clench my teeth shut to stop the barrage of insults from battering against my lips for release; each one a scud missile aimed directly at his fathers head.

"Bubuh", I say gently, "I think you're father loves you as much as he is able to love anyone. Not every man is made to be a father." The storm front gathers across his precious face and I can see the lightening flashing behind his eyes as he turns his turbulent stare out the car window.

"He left because of me." His words ricochet off the glass like bullets.
"Never. Ever. because of you." My voice invites no argument. There is no doubt there to ensnare him, no hesitancy to sneak into his mind late at night.
"Not even because of me. Sometimes people are less then what you want them to be and it's no ones fault but their own." My words are like putting a band aid on a cavernous wound to the heart.

"You have so many people that love you baby." I list them one by one, retelling stories so loved and cherished that they are soft and faded by frequent handling.

"I just want a daddy" he whispers quietly, the words pealing like bells in my ears.
"I know boo bear, I wish for it too. But no matter what, you got me. You will always have me. You are my sun, my moon, and my stars."

I tease and tickle him back into a semblance of his happy self and we drive back to our warm nest and a dog whom eagerly awaits our arrival. I watch him tumble from the car and tangle with his 85 pound best friend. The giggles float up to color my world in bright, vibrant hues.

The tears I had strangled in my throat fill my eyes and the scene in front of me swims and swirls with the beauty of a gossamer web. The anger and pain that normally lies quietly, weighted below a sea of years, erupts with a ferocious roar inside my head and I turn away from my family in order to tame the beast raging inside me. Every cell in my being cries out against my inability to change what is. My impotency leaves me shriveled and small.

I look over to see him smile up at me, arms full of dog, face snuggled into blond fur. His smile radiates love and trust, lulling the beast into complacency.

My world once again settles and exhales.

In the end it is all so simple; everything begins and ends with his smile.

For that smile, I could conquer worlds.






18 Comments:
Blogger Michael had this to say:

Being on the other side of the child support equation, I can't imagine what would cause a father to not pay up what's due. No excuse in my opinion.

You ever consider writing for publication somewhere? You really are quite good at it!

11:22 PM, February 07, 2007 

Anonymous Denise had this to say:

Leave it to a man to screw things up without even being there.

You handled it well.

3:08 AM, February 08, 2007 

Blogger Carrie had this to say:

My dear Kara you did a fantastic job. I'm not forgiving you for putting tears in my eyes though. I hope Kendell always remembers how wonderful you are. I'm proud of you for not bashing him in front of Kendell. I know it is hard to. My mom always told me horrible stories about my father and I still can't release them. It hurt me really bad because she would say stuff like "he never gave a crap about you kids". Even if he didn't, I didn't want to know. Bravo for the job you are doing. And whoo hoo for the check.

6:19 AM, February 08, 2007 

Blogger Troubles Braids had this to say:

You handled that with grace, love and it says all one needs to know about what great parenting is.

6:41 AM, February 08, 2007 

Blogger Kal had this to say:

--sniff sniff-- It's a bit dusty in here now, damn you...

As usual, lovely.

7:06 AM, February 08, 2007 

Blogger Friglet had this to say:

What a heartbreaking post so beautifully written!

8:17 AM, February 08, 2007 

Blogger Cece had this to say:

Just remember, its his loss. His loss of time with the joy that your son brings. His loss of the memories he could be carrying around for life. His loss, period.

You're doing a wonderful job. Props to you, girl.

8:53 AM, February 08, 2007 

Anonymous Gypsy had this to say:

That was so lovely.

9:30 AM, February 08, 2007 

Blogger Callie had this to say:

Ditto what Michael said. You should consider getting published. You write wonderfully.

Oh, and coming from a home where there was no dad, I can tell you that your son will be just fine. My mom tried not to bash my dad, and never ever let me forget that I was loved by so many people. I believe it made me stronger than I would have been had I had a dad there. I give her lots of credit, just as I give you, for raising a child without a spouse to bear some of the burden. You make your son feel wonderful. He will be a wonderful man when he grows up, and he will have YOU and only you to thank for it.

9:49 AM, February 08, 2007 

Blogger Flyinfox_SATX had this to say:

OMG, You brought a tear to my eye. being a dad of two I completely understand the need to re-enforce the fact that your child is loved. I applaud the path you took of reminding him of what he has and deflecting on the thought of what he does not have...Kudos to you!

11:33 AM, February 08, 2007 

Anonymous TSM-terrifically superiorily mediocre had this to say:

OH darlin...in this day and age it's a sad thing that we have to explain such things to our children.

I'm in the same boat. It's difficult to hold those insults sometimes. Often. Someday he'll realize just how big of a person you've had to be all these years.

10:46 PM, February 08, 2007 

Blogger Radioactive Jam had this to say:

Well done, KaraMia. Both the handling in the moment and the telling here.

Hope the days ahead bring much goodness to you and Kendall.

5:40 AM, February 09, 2007 

Anonymous InterstellarLass had this to say:

My heart just broke a little. He's very lucky to have you as a mom. And one day he'll really know how much.

10:49 AM, February 09, 2007 

Blogger The "Mind" had this to say:

Those are the hardest questions/feelings to field. And I'm not sure what is worse...the completely absent father, or the one who pops in occasionally just to get their hopes up.

You handled that beautifully. Kendell's got himself one helluva Mommy. ;)

6:27 PM, February 09, 2007 

Blogger some girl had this to say:

You are such a good Mom. SUCH a good Mom. Bubuh is lucky to have you, OMG..

9:58 AM, February 10, 2007 

Blogger kristen had this to say:

kara - wow! i mean, really, just wow. what a wonderful mother you are - and kendall knows it. you answered this with such grace and were so giving. i'm sorry that either of you have to deal with the barely supporting father of his, but you are wonderful for not saying all the things you might feel isnide about that man. kendall is going to be such the wonderful man when he grows up. i already know he's a wonderful boy.
hugs to you!

8:45 PM, February 11, 2007 

Blogger TamWill had this to say:

You are one super-duper mom! I also second what Michael suggests, you do write extremely well.

9:13 PM, February 14, 2007 

Blogger kfk had this to say:

Gah! My heart was in my throat. How tough for you, for him, for both. But it is nice that you are able to find a way to smile about it all.

7:21 AM, March 06, 2007 

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