By Lana Moline
My son is 14 years old. He is an athlete, a brilliant student, very handsome and he can do whatever he puts his mind to. I joke with him a lot about who he will marry and how his kids are going to leave candy wrappers around the house like he does or ask for money or want to go somewhere all the time. These are all the things that although I clown him about, I love everything about him. Our relationship is evolving. He’s my oldest, my introductory gift into motherhood. Our story started out rocky because I was single at the time and involved with a man who still probably struggles to understand just how important his presence is in his son’s life. Nevertheless, he bonded with my husband at the age of 2 and overcame some tremendous emotional upheavals considering his ambivalent relationship with his biological dad.
I share with single mothers of sons all the time that it’s an uphill battle but things will get better as long as there is love, honesty and consistency in their lives. My story is a little unique because my son’s father has no justifiable reason not to have a solid relationship with our son and so there was never a roadblock to keep him away. As a result, my son has dealt firsthand and genuinely for himself the isolation that came as a result of him not returning phone calls or consistently being around. Also, he’s had the opportunity to confront his father for himself and get off of his chest exactly what he was feeling.
I think it was 7 or 8 years ago where we both happened to be back in our hometown visiting our families for the holidays. My son’s father called and asked to see him and I acquiesced. They visited in the living room for maybe an hour or so. During that time, my son voiced his feelings and I heard crying and outrage. It was my sweetheart asking “why don’t you spend time with me?” ”Why don’t you call me?” It broke my heart. Those were fair questions and at that moment, I stepped completely out of the loop because my son had spoken his peace. Promises were made that day and sadly not all of them were honored but what I as a mother accepted was that there are places that my son will need to go without me as a man where all I can do is pray his strength.
Years after that I saw my son unplug from a relationship that did not supply him with the things that he needs and plug into the ones that do. All of this was probably more of a lesson for me than anything. I have confidence that my son will grow up to be strong, brave and fair because that’s the way he wishes to be treated. Although my instinct was to totally guard, shield and protect him from all of this, he could not have learned a better life lesson. Sometimes people fail us but we can go on. For the record, let me say that I do not consider his father to be a bad person. I just thought that, much like I am, all parents are head over heals in love with their kids. A hard lesson learned at the expense of my baby.
Lana Moline is an integral part of the Blackloveandmarriage.com writing team, freelance writer and poet who lives in Ft. Worth with her three kids and husband Emile. Married 11 years, both media professionals have vowed to maintain integrity in all aspects of print and broadcast journalism.Visit her atLana Moline Speaks.