I saw this sad poem on a German newsfeed I got this morning. It's very sad but not uncommon. It was written by a young teen in the UK. Due to some oddities with cutting and posting on Italki and its numbering limits, I have to write it in this odd format, cutting and pasting puts me over the numbering limits. It reads: WHEN I WAS A KID I WAITED for my dad to come through the door, someone I had never seen before. Waited for a call to come on the phone, instead I sat there all alone. On Father's Day he didn't come, didn't get in contact with my mum. I've never seen him, never, no. He's never been here, never shown. Maybe I'll never see him, ever, like some everlasting vendetta. Maybe my life could have been better. Not even a call. Not one letter.
The poem reminds me of a case I had last year (not to worry, this is all public information in California). Only this case involved a young girl about 13. She had never seen her bilological dad since she was 4. No letters, no calls, nothing. Zip. Just like in the poem. The first and last time she had ever seen her biological dad was when she was 4, for 5 minutes at her 4th birthday party. He stayed 5 minutes, gave her a card and left. No contact ever since. But, the mother married a really nice guy and had two kids with him over the last 10 years and the girl lived of course with them as a family. She, so grew up knowing her step-dad was not her legal or biological dad, but to her he was her only „dad”, the dad she had always known. The step-dad wanted to adopt and become the legal father, so he came to me to do an adoption. I thought it would be easy, that this creep who was her father would gladly give up his parental rights. But, when asked this guy said, “It’s NEVER” happening. So, I figured, “Okay, I’m going to really give it to this you-know-what now (boy, that creep made me mad) and I filed a petition to terminate his parental rights to allow for the adoption. When we had to go to trial, I won. Not only the family, but the bailiff even had tears in his eyes when we won, and the adoption went through. I think it was happiest moment for me in practicing law in 29 years. When you can do something good for people once in a while, like in this case, it’s very rewarding. So, I kind of became this family‘s hero (I wasn’t really one). Even the lawyer the court appointed to represent the guy (who didn’t even show up for court), came up and shook my hand and said “congratulations.”
But I am not sure that what Richard said about the father that shouldn’t be emulated is correct. There is a real longing of the boy for this father, I think the boy should have been given the opportunity to see him and make up his own mind.
An unknown and distant father can become the object of idealization. So it’s better, in my opinion, to have some contact with both parents even if they are in a way disfunctional. The contact can happen only sporadically and in the presence of social workers, if the parents have any kind of personal difficulties that could do any psychological harm to the child.
Sometimes, some fathers refuse to see the child after a difficult divorce. It is really sad because the child is not responsible for the separation of his parents.
It's sad indeed. It remembers me of Kelly Clarkson's Piece by Piece:
That certainly is a sad letter.
It is always best for a child to have a mother and a father.
Each of them brings special knowledge, skills, and attitudes and both together makes for a well-rounded young boy or girl.
In this case, perhaps it's better that the boy never meets his father because the father may be someone the boy should never emulate (copy).
Interesting post SHL