“Wait, what?” my sister’s voice cracked.
It seemed like everyone I shared the news with was just as flabbergasted and dumbfounded as I was about the money order I had received in the mail. The reactions across the board were almost identical and always followed with, ‘and what can that even buy?’
Honestly, I had spent a good fifteen to thirty minutes looking at the card and money order that I had received trying to come up with an answer to that very question. In this current economy with a growing child, what could twenty-five dollars get her? Some ice cream from the ice cream truck? A shirt? Some candy? Maybe a two kid’s meals from McDonald’s? I’m almost certain if I really wanted to get my daughter something insubstantial, I could have easily used that money, but considering my daughter currently has no wants that go unsatisfied, except for owning several Ipads (she’s three and has a Kindle already), there was no purpose for it.
Today, I wrote a little note, saying “thanks, but no thanks,” shoved it in an envelope with the money order and put it in the mail.
For the past three years, I’ve been raising my daughter with little to no support from the man that likes to argue with me that he’s her father, regardless of what I may think of him. According to him, the mere fact that he assisted with her conception is enough for him to proudly walk around declaring himself her father and expecting to be treated with the dignity and respect that comes from being one. I, on the other hand, completely disagree with this philosophy of his. He is at the very least, just her biological father, and nothing more.
When it comes to his involvement in her life, he’s the first person to want to look at the other options and then not have any further input, but to say look at other options outside of those options. Just finding a daycare and summer camp program was difficult because of him. Whenever I told him I had found something and what pricing was, he’d go silent and suggest that I keep looking. It wasn’t until I decided to just stop asking his opinion on the matter that I was finally able to enroll my daughter in both a summer camp and a daycare.
The decision to stop going to him regarding money or his opinion, was done in the best interest of my daughter. It didn’t make sense to continue and try to involve a man who had no interest in being involved in her life. Outside of not providing financial support, he barely calls her to see how she is doing. The texts I get from him are so sparse, that you can see the actual timestamps in between messages, indicating just how long it has been since the last one. The last time they actually spoke on Facetime (because he lives in another state) was back in January. The last time they saw each other face to face was some time in 2014. He pops up randomly and when he does, he expects to be greeted with open arms and by little girl that runs to him crying ‘Daddy’ as if he’s a soldier returning from duty.
I understand that he can’t physically be present in my daughter’s life, but he could at the very least have remained cognizant in it. I’d honestly be surprised if my daughter saw him and recognized who he was and went to him willingly. My daughter isn’t particularly warm to people she doesn’t know and prefers to stay by my side and until the person leaves. Yet, in even being unable to be physically present in her life, there are other ways he can show that he is her father outside of a DNA test. He just actively chooses not to do those things, and expects that a random money order will suffice and proof that he in fact qualifies as a good father. I guess the assumption is that if he didn’t send anything, he’d be a bad father.
At the end of the day, all I can do is roll my eyes. I can’t stress how many times I’ve talked to him about him needing to do more to the point that I’ve just told him to stop. Honestly, I’ve been doing a pretty good job of taking care of my daughter and myself on my own without his support, so I don’t need his ‘contributions.’
As I’ve stated before, my daughter doesn’t have any wants that go unsatisfied. She doesn’t even have any needs that go unsatisfied. And if the question is, what about needing a father in her life? The answer is, she has more than enough father figures in her life that she could honestly pick and choose which one she wants as a primary father figure. She has my father who she proudly refers to as ‘daddy’ and my boyfriend, who she includes in all her family portrait drawings.
I’m not saying I’m trying to replace her biological father. I’m just saying his presence and assistance isn’t needed, and it’s not like we honestly would be able to feel the difference.