Since she was four years old, my daughter, now eleven, has not seen her father.
When she was two years old, her father called me and asked if she would resign her parental rights so that he could stop paying compensation. I said yes.
The cost was well worth it because I was sure she would never let her down again, and I wanted to save her the pain of having a negligent father.
I lied to her about her father and her whereabouts.
“I did my best to respond to her questions.
The father called the daughter when she was four years old and informed her that he had been diagnosed with cancer and wished to see her. Before meeting at a park, we had to wait a day.
He came for about 20 minutes, despite his request for a two-hour visit, and I never heard from him again.
One summer, we ran into someone who had known him, and he mentioned how much the girl resembled his other kids.
That person began sharing information about her father’s new family to us.
As I considered how painful it must be for her to hear all of this, my gut clenched.
I did everything I could to get the conversation over as soon as possible.
She smiled as we were preparing to get in the car to leave.
The daughter said:
Mom, he’s figured out how to be a father, at last.
It’s such a sweet thing. I’m happy for those kids!
On that day, my daughter, who is 11 years old, taught me everything I needed to know about forgiving people.”