For you, the Father who isn’t there…

She’s 6 now. Her Teacher is Mrs. Pratt. Today is her last day in first grade. She’s exceeding grade level in all subjects. She’s brilliant, compassionate, and funny. Her favorite thing in the world is science. Her favorite shows are Teen Titans GO! and My Little Pony. She loves watching YouTube Videos and playing Minecraft. She’s great at soccer. She’s scored more than 5 goals this season. She loves carrots with ranch. She actually loves everything with ranch. She loves learning and reading. She’s obsessed with rainbows and sparkles. She likes to paint and do word searches. And she’s amazing with both. 

Of course you wouldn’t know that. No, you don’t know any of that. You know her hair color, and her eye color. You know she sucks her thumb when she’s tired or when she’s scared, sad, or bored. You know that because the thing she tells me most about your house, is that you and your new wife won’t let her suck her thumb. You know the things that make you look like a good dad in the eyes of all those you want to impress. But my guess, is that you know more information about those dogs you’re helping breed, than you do your own biological daughter. You’ve missed a lot of things with her. And not just because you’re the non custodial parent. You’ve missed these things because you choose not to come get her on your days off, and you choose not to call her, or even answer her calls for some reason. You were there when you wanted to show your second wife that you cared enough to come to her ear surgery. You were there when you wanted to show your third wife that you cared enough to come be at her oral surgery. But you’re not there when she’s sick. How many times have you stayed up all night rubbing her tummy when she has a virus or rubbing her legs for her when they’re sore. How many nights have you been woken up to her standing next to you because her night terrors were so bad she couldn’t sleep alone anymore. How many times have you actually went out of your way, pushed plans aside, stayed up all night, whatever, to ensure that she was taken care of? Out of all the times I called you and told you she was sick over the last 6 years, how many times have you offered to stop by after work, bring gatorade or even comfort to her?
You don’t emotionally support your daughter, and you don’t financially support her, either. You have enough  money to pay for two weddings less than a month apart, but not enough money to offer up for soccer cleats? You have enough money to go out to eat frequently with your “new” family, but not enough money to offer up for a $50 soccer fee? What about your wife’s new car payment? The one you told me was $1000. You’re paying that for her, but you’re not paying for anything for your daughter. Don’t get me wrong. We get by. She has everything the needs. I skip meals to make sure she has food. Her step father and I go without a lot of things to ensure she has nice clothes, and that all of her school fees are paid, that she gets to go on her field trips, etc. 

Where the hell are you when I have to tell our daughter that she can’t have new shoes yet because I won’t be able to afford them now *and* when she starts school, and if I buy them now they wont fit by the time school starts. Or when I have to tell her that she can’t do the one day cheer clinic because I spent all of our “extra money” on her soccer fees. 

How are you sleeping these days? I’d like to know, because for me, sleep barely exists. My nights are spent awake, either worried about how we’re going to afford bills and food without your help, and without the government assistance that your “support” prevents me from getting. Or, my nights are filled with sadness because your daughter misses out on so much, including time with the man who is supposed to put her before any human being on this planet. 

To me, she’s a brilliant, talented, funny, compassionate, beautiful 6 year old girl with the cutest freckles and blonde hair. To you, she seems to only be an inconvenience. 

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