Saturday, April 4, 2009

I Failed Today

I failed my girls today. They had entries at the Science Fair, and I didn't show up. I feel like a "deadbeat dad." I just couldn't do it. I couldn't walk around by myself and face all those fundamentalist Christians who act like I have a giant "L" written on my shirt. I would have not appeared happy, and happy is what I want to project to the world. I didn't make up an excuse; I just said that I would not be able to make it. And to make matters worse, the 15-yr-old won second place, and I wasn't there to see it, to celebrate with her.

It's like on Thursday nights -- I drop her off at the door of her Christian theater group at 6:30 p.m. and drive to a faraway parking spot, facing my car away from the building. I sit in "my box" as I call it and watch the night fall, praying that no one will spot me sitting there and come up to the window. I watch families go in that I used to hang out with, or some of them were my customers. Moms holding hands with their kids, swinging their arms in the air, smiling, looking forward to a night of fun. The moms sometimes hang around after assembly and chat with one another. I sit there for two hours. I try not to look at the door of the church, because if I do, I start to cry. My daughter is inside without me. Everyone else's mom is inside, at least for a while.

Why can't I be strong? Not one person has actually walked up to me and said outloud, "You are a terrible mother." But I know they are thinking it, so it is just as bad.

I feel like such a failure today. I hope graduation day will be better, if I'm invited to go, that is. I was supposed to stand on stage and give her her diploma. Luckily, the ceremony was moved to another church because of space. It was supposed to have been held at my old church, the one that kicked me out. I would not have been allowed in to give it to her, so I think God had a definite hand in that.


Leo MacCool said...

hugs to you. keep on loving them the best way you can, and i think one day they understand.

Rebecca said...

It takes time, lots, but it is worth it.