I remember the first time I held you. I cried. I cried because I was so scared, my body wasn’t strong enough to keep you safe and healthy.
I had been sick a week before I had you with the worst flu. I was in the hospital on New Years Eve, alone because your Dad had to stay with your brother. No one could watch him, because everyone had been sick.
I laid in that bed, missing your Dad, and brother on the night of a new year. But I wasn’t alone, because you were there with me. Your heart was slowing down, because my fever had been so high. They had to keep me over night, so they could monitor you.
The day of your birth, the contractions effected your heart rate. They had to deliver you with help. You had a cone head, sorry. I thought the pain would never end, I felt all of it, for a much longer period of time, than with your brother. I was brainlessly not pressing the button to administer more drugs to numb my bottom half so the pain wouldn’t be so crazy. But when you came out…
The world had stopped. The tears began to fall. What I had feared, has arrived. I was afraid to have you. To have a girl. Because, everything that I am took buckets of tears, and long, lonely nights. I never wanted you to feel an ounce of it. I never want to see your heart break, because as girls, we feel more. I didn’t want to see your disappointments, because we have a harder time accepting them. I didn’t want to ever see tears fall from your eyes, because when they do, it tends to hurt more. But you were here, and I was going to have to do whatever it takes to help you become stronger than I am, help you through the toughest moments in life, because I am, your mother.
I woke up at fourthirty to feed Cassi. She hasn’t been eating consistently. She’s all backed up and crying most of the day. She doesn’t always finish the four oz she usually downs. I hope she’s alright. I hope she poops soon. #thingsthatmomwishesfor
Anyway, it’s now eight past five. The sun is slowly creeping through the living room window. I had gone to the kitchen to get a gatorade, but I opted for water instead. I couldn’t go back to sleep. I feel really conflicted. My heart feels a certain weight of trouble and I just can’t seem to shake it off at this time. J’s alarm has just gone off. This staying up when I could get a few more hours of sleep is probably going to catch up with me come seventhirty when I have to get Apollo up for school. But let’s see where this goes.
I wanted to clarify or expand a little bit on my previous post. It appears many of you guys have split into two in wondering about where I’m coming from. First, I want you to know that the part of me that deals with this aspect of my life has always been quite complicated. For the most part, my relationship with my father was never one to fully grasp or compare to with any other kind of father-daughter relationship. While it seems that any adult and child relationship could withstand the obstacles of being in a family and having to go through the motion of that, it was never the case for the two of us. Forget what you think and know about parent-child relationship. What you know about raising a child. What you think father’s and daughters are.
I like to think of my relationship with my father as some kind of story in a book. One where you piece two people together from halfway through the story and kinda see whether or not it’ll become something.
My father and I had one thing in common, which was dancing. We both loved to perform and we both appreciated the beauty of dance. That’s as good as it gets. Literally. There is absolutely nothing else we have in common. Well when you adopt a child privately at eight months old..an adoption that wasn’t planned, it would leave a certain question in the future about whether or not this would work out.
See, I’m not against adoption at all. I think that it’s one of the best ways to give love and sometimes find love. It is in those unfortunate circumstances that people find real love, sometimes. J and I want to adopt. We want six kids, four to be biologically ours and two to mix into our family and share our love with. But..when an the adoption wasn’t something you thought through and really wanted, eventually there comes consequences from that.
My dad had moved to Canada, after his father passed away. I was three. He tried to leave me with his aunt, but that didn’t work because apparently I cried and cried and wouldn’t stop. So she then sent me to my dad’s sister-in-law, where I would eventually spend the next six years considering as my family (this chapter is a whole other story on its own).
Fast forward to when I was nine. It’s October of ’97 and snow coated the land so well. I’ve landed and my bone marrow could feel the cold as the plane sits to allow people off. A fellow flyer had walked me to baggage claims because the stewardess that was supposed to have been watching me from the Philippines to Canada-maybe got left behind. The whole trip, this lady from the plane took care of me. Anyway, I could see my aunt through the glass windows; who I’d met a year back when she took a trip back home with her giant son (he’s half white). I had finally figured out how to get to them and there he was..my father. He hugged me and covered me with a coat. He wouldn’t stop hugging me, and I wasn’t used to him so I said, “stop hugging me. I don’t even know you.” You probably think I’m a brat, but if you haven’t figured it out by now I’m that person with the foul mouth who says anything and everything as if I’m not aware of what social filter is. He went on to say, “I’m your dad. I’m the one in the pictures.” Well, that statement never did sit well with me.
Moving forward, the first few months were probably the most awkward in our relationship. Here’s an image of my father. Don’t worry you won’t need to close your eyes to imagine.
He’s about 5’8 / 5’9 probably the tallest in his siblings. He’s got a steep nose, with dark hair..wait there’s a photo up there already. He’s literally a spitting image of Antonio Banderas, mixed with a dash of Marc Anthony. The thing is he looks very Spanish. His features are from his uncle. His family is part Spanish, on his dad’s side. Moving on..
We never really had those first six years you’re supposed to have when you have a child. Those years are the most critical in a child’s development. So when you have nothing that you started with or built a foundation from, you’re starting at something half-way completed. It was only a matter of a few years before my next milestone. He had missed the character I’ve become, the mannerisms I had, the person that I was becoming, the toys that I liked, the TV shows that I liked, the kind of friends I liked, the type of clothes I liked, the kid I had become.
He had slowly began to understand my personality. A good kid with a bad temper. Countless troubles at school began, not academically but socially. Being in his mid forties already, he had no clue how to help me socially adjust. This caused chaos in my mind that then transfered into our relationship. I began to grow as a person, and eventually made friends. Having friends who were boys were an issue. Wanting to hang out with friends was an issue. So because we couldn’t find common ground and he refused to find it in him to understand what I was going through; normal stages at that it really became a struggle for the two of us.
My father worked as an accountant, and this means I’d spend the time he was away at work with my aunt who lived near us. In the summer time, during off days from school, I’d bounce around between his family members and his friends. Never finding consistency and balance.
Finally at the end of grade school, I had started a fling with a boy that would eventually become my first puppy love. That lasted till I was sixteen. Those three years would prove to be more trouble between my dad and me. It lead to me going into foster care.
I spent a year in foster care, with an Italian family. It was one of the toughest and confusing time in my life. I wondered why my dad had bothered uprooting me from where I was from to half raising me here. I couldn’t understand why he couldn’t get me. Why our relationship was so complicated. After turning sixteen, I was able to make decisions for myself and what would happen with my status in foster care. A child of the government. I chose to live on my own from then on. And I fend for myself, figuring out life on my own, in my own terms. I would eventually be in and out of his house, because a part of me still cared for him. But it wouldn’t last. And we lost contact.
At eighteen my first serious relationship began. J and I hung out, and didn’t become an item until a year after. Eventually at twenty, J and I became parents. Two people trying to figure out adult life was complicated. Relationship in its own was complicated, but we got through it. A few months before I was due to have Apollo, I e-mailed my dad and figured this thing between us will have to quit. He was becoming a grandpa for the first time ever. I was becoming a mom and it was time to mend the pieces in the aspect of family. I wanted him to be there. I wanted him to know my son. I wanted him to be a part of his life. And with that, things were like nothing happened. My dad would eventually become a part of my life again; a part of Apollo’s life.
My father would be a part of my life for the next several years, helping me while I worked and eventually deciding to take on post-secondary academics. We would still bicker about the petty things of life, from his disapproval of my tendencies of caring for my home, to my way of parenting. This would lose us a few weeks here and there, but my apologies for things even when I wasn’t at fault, would mend these breaks.
A few Christmases ago, he had began his trips to The Philippines where he would spend six months a time. It was the first time he had ever gone for that long. He’s made trips there before but a month at most. Our relationship would become second to his new life after that. He had find no relevance to be around, as I had began my own life, had a child, had a family of my own and would eventually feel as if he was no longer a part of, even with my reassurance that I still needed him. It appears that the chaos of life is all the time when I needed him, but it wasn’t like that. I wanted him to be a part of my life, I wanted us to be better. I wanted us to figure out what this thing was between us that we couldn’t sort through. But his way was way beyond what I was willing to compromise, and I couldn’t find it in me to make mends.
The last month he was in The Philippines, I had informed him that I was due to have a second baby. That J and I were ecstatic to be having another. From his end, this wasn’t a good thing. He had left me with, “Why would you have another one? It’s not cheap to have more kids. You aren’t financially stable, you are just ruining the lives of your kids.” I thought differently. While we did struggle financially, we acquired help from J’s family when were really needed it. And perhaps, they did better in the true definition of what it means to be there for your kids. My dad was no where. But we made it the best we can. It wasn’t easy, it never is, but it was all worth it for the sake of our son. Two years would pass, and we’ve lost everything between my father and I.
Last Christmas was the first time I seen him in over three years. Apollo would still know him as his grandfather, like things never changed, but it would be different for Artemis.
It would also be the last time I’d seen him, except for the brief five minutes he gave me and refused to see me during Easter. I would spend countless times calling him, and he wouldn’t pick-up or return my call. The last I spoken to him was a few weeks back, over facebook video chat. I had shown him our new house, and intended to talk longer to update him on my life and the kids. But this call wouldn’t last longer than ten minutes before he had shoo me away for another incoming call.
At this point, I’m uncertain, as I always have been. That relationship you’re to have with your parents is said to get better as you get older. Well, we’ve been stuck in this ever since I can remember. It hasn’t changed, it wont change and it’ll have to do.
So please be a little more understanding when I say, I do not relate with most child-parent relationships. I do not relate with most emotional attachments between child and parent. It isn’t a thing for me to know or begin to understand how these types of co-existing works. While it sucks that this is the way that part of my life has waved about, I do not regret the efforst I’ve made or in whichever way he figured I haven’t.
There will come a time, when I’ll have to figure all this stuff out. Until then, when I have found it somewhere deep down to understand why this is all acceptable in defence to our differences, then that’ll be the day I find closure. Until then, like most things in my past which I’ve no control of in trying even a tiny bit to fix, it’ll have to sit somewhere between I halfly cared to none.
The good of all this? I’ve my own family now, and my family is the best thing that has ever happened to me. It’s what I have always wanted, it’s what I have always needed.
It’s that time again.. I’ve spent a couple of hours trying to get this out. It was that hard for me to dig in there and find it in me to share. So please be kind.