So, I’m lying in bed this morning, when my cell phone rings.
It’s the father of my children.
I know him so well that immediately I’m trying to think of what he could possibly want.
“Something’s wrong. He’s mad about something. There’s something he wants to tell me. He NEVER calls this time of day just to chew the fat!”
After running through that lightning fast mental check list, I answered the phone.
He said, “I just wanted to thank you…for everything, ya know…everything you been doing. Usually you would have cussed me out by now or something because I wasn’t doing everything I needed to be doing. But you been real cool and having my back. I see what you do. Thank you”.
Shut my mouth!
Let me just say this…
It’s not easy being the bigger person. I’ve bitten my tongue so much, it’s starting to bite back.
But at the end of the day, my desire is to not be an angry, bitter black woman.
I’m going to ENJOY my life, whatever it shapes up to be.
Whether I’m single til God calls me home or I meet a wonderful man one day.
Either way, I made a decision to LIVE.
My living includes showing kindness to everyone, including the father of my children. I know I’m not the typical “baby mama”. I refuse to entertain drama, even his. We went through our shouting and screaming matches back in the day. I quickly realized that was getting me nowhere fast. I was making an impression on him and my children, and it wasn’t a good one.
My children don’t need to hear a mom that’s cussing and fussing at their dad constantly. How can I say that I respect my children if I can’t respect the man whose DNA they share? He may not fit into my life as a romantic interest, but he fits as a parent and family member.
Yesterday evening, the kiddies returned from an overnight visit with their father and older sister. I was a little nervous but they came back in one piece, with no emotional damage. lol!
Sometimes mommies can be a bit too critical and controlling. I know I can be.
Although their father proved to me time and time again that he could not be a good boyfriend, he did show me he was more than capable of being a good father. When we lived together, I saw him give baths, change diapers, feed and clothe both of our children with no help from me. He’s administered medication, cleaned noses, and rocked them to sleep just as good as me. It’s a joy to see him with our children. Since I know this, I had to admit to myself that it was time for me to adjust my attitude and deal with him differently. Learning how to separate his shortcomings as a lover from his abilities as a parent has been a challenge.
However, it is a necessary challenge for the sake of our children.
When I look at them and I see the peace and joy in their eyes, I realize that my efforts to maintain a peaceful and respectful relationship with their father are paying off. He’s their hero as he rightfully should be.
Who am I to take that away from them, simply because he couldn’t be a hero to me?
It meant EVERYTHING to me to hear him say “thank you” this morning. It meant so much because quite frankly, he doesn’t say it much. He’s admittedly selfish and self absorbed so it’s rare that he ever looks up from his own pile of problems to acknowledge anyone else’s. Thank you’s are amazingly effective and powerful. Dr. Mike Murdock puts it this way, “Gratitude is the seed for more”.
Simply because he acknowledged the fact that my attitude adjustment over the past few months hasn’t been by accident but DELIBERATE makes me want to continue. When I decided to change how I interacted with him, I did so BEFORE he changed. He was still the same. My motivation for changing couldn’t and didn’t come from him.
But no one, and I mean NO ONE can ignore kindness.
No one can ignore sincerity.
No one can ignore respect.
They may not always be able to reciprocate it, but they can’t ignore it.
I realize now that I have the power to change atmospheres. Who said things had to be tense and hostile between us? I have the power to decide which way things are going. I don’t allow him to offend me and if he does, I forgive him and let it go. I don’t hold on to grudges and rehearse them in my mind anymore. I keep the main thing, the main thing, and that’s our two children together.
It’s up to he and I to define how our relationship will be from here on out. Just because we may not make it as a couple doesn’t mean we can’t be successful co-parents. And when I say “successful”, I’m not talking about that contrived stuff that looks phony and feels fake. I’m talking about someone I genuinely don’t mind seeing and talking to. As far as I’m concerned, he is family.
We are family.
It may not be conventional but it’s ours. And since it’s ours, it’s up to us to determine how it’s going to be.
It’s not easy letting things go, forgiving and not allowing negativity to run your life, but when you hear the words “thank you”, it sure makes it that much easier to keep on keepin on.
And there’s nothing like the thank you of a baby daddy.