My Kid Was Robbed of a Key Father-Son Moment
For the past few days, my seven-year old son has been walking around with a tie around his neck, using every spare moment in between homework, piano practice and baths to practice tying the perfect tie and knot.
This tie-fixation started the other week when a well-meaning man in our congregation who has taken to my son's personality, brought an old tie and offered to teach my son how to tie it. He's been delightfully hooked ever since.
At first, I thought that was very kind.
I guess he sees my children and I sitting without a husband or father week after week, and likely assumed their father was not present in their lives.
But later, I started to feel that this well-intentioned man made an assumption about my children and without checking in with me, proceeded to usurp what should have been a key father and son moment.
Am I being too sensitive?
My children have a father. And really his father should have had first dibs on that opportunity.
If you read any of my posts you may have got the hint that I am not a big fan of my "wasband." But my kids love him, and that's what matters most. Right now, their father lives in another country and their visits are too few and far inbetween.
They spent six weeks with him over the summer and came back with tales of camping, amusement parks, sleeping in the backyard and playing with their cousins. For them it was a totally not bummer summer.
My wasband has many (many) issues, but he does love his children.
And I have been feeling a slight twinge of anger that this stranger stole what should have been a key father and son moment.
When my son excitedly called his Dad in London to tell him his big news, I actually felt bad and wondered if his father felt he had been robbed too.
More to the point, as a single mom and a person of color, I'm extremely sensitive to the stereotypical assumptions people make about black fathers. I've had to correct (tell off) a few folks who assumed my children didn't know their father or that he wasn't a presence in their lives. And please don't get me started on the fool who wished me a Happy Father's Day---he won't make that mistake again.
At the end of the day, my son is so pleased with his accomplishment I would never dampen that.
And to all the good hearted people who offer yourselves as potential mentors, father figures and play uncles to the children of single mothers (and we appreciate that), just please check in on the status of the father first.
Are you a single mom who has dealt with assumptions about the dad? Have you ever felt robbed of a parenting moment?