Both my babygirls came into work at the end of the day yesterday on the way through to the city. Of course, we had all the little "boys" in an uproar, so I wrangled them out quickly.
I had to attend a server meeting at the bar. Junior was going to the city with her sister to 1) drop her sister off for dinner with her grandparents 2) meet her father and get her nose pierced 3) meet up with me and have dinner with both her parents on her first official adult birthday.
I get out of the meeting to see she's called. I call back and ask what's up. She's nearly in tears. "I'm lost." I can hear her sister on her cell phone talking to her grandfather trying to get directions in the background.
"Where are you?"
"I don't know. I was on SR XXX and there was a detour in town and now I'm lost. And there's these black people screaming at me and I'm really scared." I caution her to not yell back at them (which she would be inclined to do as a smart-aleck) because these are not the type of people she wants to get pissed at her. They were wearing colors.
Well, this is cool. We find out what street she's on, and she's in the south part of town which is not a good neighborhood. I know; I used to live down there when the kids were small about 2 roads down from a row of crackhouses. Seriously. So I tell her where to turn around and follow the street back to the highway. She tells me she's going to have to pass those people who were screaming at her again. I tell her just drive, don't look at them; if they motion you to stop, don't. This was the part of town where you don't stop for the lights or signs unless you have to for other traffic.
Now look, I don't mean to offend or sound bigoted. I've raised my kids to be diverse and accepting of race, gender, challenges. When we lived up by Akron, she ran with people of many cultures. It's a different thought train in this area. There is no large college with a variety of culture. So I've had to teach them safety. I stay on the phone with her until she's through and finds the right road. She then tells me she needs to call her dad to let him know she got lost, has to drop her sister off, and will be a little late.
I roll into the Applebee's where she's sitting with her sister and sister's grandparents. She had left a message on his cell letting him know she was going to set there until he called and they could meet. We talk to the grandparents, who have been very close and very good to her over the years, even though they are not related.
She tries again to reach him. She dials, puts the phone to her ear, then closes it and sets it down. I lean over and ask quietly what's up.
"The phone is off."
And here is where the ranting begins...
You worthless piece of shit mother fucking waste of air. You don't deserve such a beautiful child. You don't warrant the time it takes her to push her speed dial and call your lazy, self-serving, stupid ass. She is gorgeous; she is smart; she is witty. The best part of you lives with me.
But I'll be willing to bet you'll call her tomorrow on your OTHER daughter's birthday to talk to her about how much you love this other little girl and being a dad is so great and how you missed out on so much.
Just like you've done for the last 3 fucking years.
Words cannot do justice to the primordial sludge that you are. You missed all her birthdays. You missed her first day of school. You missed her basketball games. You missed her proms. You missed her graduation after PROMISING you'd be there. You missed her graduation party; telling her you were ON YOUR FUCKING WAY and when you were supposedly 20 minutes away, called YOUR mom to have her call YOUR daughter to tell her you were turning around and going home because it was raining too hard and your OTHER daughter was in the car frightened. YOU CALLED HER to set up the birthday dinner. It was YOUR FUCKING IDEA to meet and have dinner. You talked to her AN HOUR before she was to meet you. And just like always, you ignored her calls, and turned off your phone so you wouldn't have to deal with her asking where you were and what was going on.
Just like you did to me when you found out I was pregnant with your child. You complete bastard. You had the nerve to ask me if I was sure it was yours, like I was some common street whore and hadn't been with you for 8 months.
How prophetic that I answered, "No, it's mine."
And she is, and has been. For 18 years I have worked 2 and 3 jobs at a time, put myself through school, put my life on hold to make sure she was safe, and had the necessities. Remember when she was 7 and you let my husband adopt her so you wouldn't have to pay child support? She does. And although we're not together, and haven't been for 8 years, he was man enough to keep accepting responsibility for her even when he moved on to another family. With all his flaws, he is more man in one pinky than you will ever be in entirety.
For 18 years, I have fought; been both mom and dad, to kick her battle with drugs, to counsel on her drinking urges, to guide her to do something with her life. To give her rules and boundaries that she fought; and you would step in once or twice a year in all your infinite knowledge of raising her and tell me to lighten up.
And today, she has been an adult for 24 hours. And again, you have kicked her down. Do you know what she's accomplished in her short life? She came off a drug addiction at 15. We didn't think she'd live to 17 or finish school. She graduated on the Honor Roll, with honors from State competition in her school club. She has excelled in her work with children. She is going to college. She works, hard. She understands the concepts of earning what you get. She is phenomenal at managing money for an 18 year old. She is street-smart and is unafraid.
Don't you DARE take that from her. She no longer has to have anything to do with you. It was because she already knew you that I kept the lines open when you gave her up. And she will have that hope as long as you string her along. She is not immune to your charms. I am.
Do you remember when she was four? You were supposed to come get her for the weekend. She was so excited; had her little bag packed and was waiting by the door. I do. My brother does. He was there. You never showed. Never called. Didn't answer your phone when I called. 2 1/2 hours later I picked her up where she lay sleeping on top of her suitcase to put her to bed. She threw a holy fit because "Daddy's coming to get me." She was pissed at me because I had to tell her you weren't. My brother still hates you for that day.
So crawl back under your rock you spineless assclown. And you can rest assured, I will be the one walking her down the aisle when it comes time, because you have not earned the right to the title of "father."
She was visibly upset. I was so pissed I was sick, and I had to keep up a happy face. Exchanging knowing looks with the grandparents, it was unspoken that we would not speak of it.
We decided to have dinner there, the company was good, and the waitresses did a "boot camp" version of Happy Birthday complete with balloons and a sundae. She was a kid, and was happy for a moment, surrounded by the people she loved most in the world.
Last night, we got home, and she cuddled up with me on the couch like she used to as a child, spent and drained. It was a perfect moment.