I have been a Mom for a long time; in fact my first child was born in 1978 so like I said I have been a Mom for a long time. There is nothing that breaks my heart more than seeing one of my children hurting and not wanting to open up to me to talk about what is bothering them. Today I had to have that hard conversation with my young son because I knew something was bothering him. I was right. He is hurting and there is nothing I can do about his pain. That hurts me!
Recently my son has become friends with some boys in the neighborhood. They are Christian boys and so I am thrilled that he is making new friends. They are nice boys and I know that my son really likes to play with them and they with him. The problem is that they have a Dad that takes them fishing and on bike rides and bowling and teaches them things that Mom’s just don’t really know about. This is wonderful to see an engaged father with his sons, unless you don’t have that kind of father.
I know that I am not the only lone-ranger Mom out there. I am sure that there are many of you single parents who are dealing with something similar to what I am. I wish that I could go to Target or Wal-Mart and buy a new Dad but that just isn’t possible. If I could, though, I would be pretty tempted to do so. My son and I have to face the fact that there will always be others who have wonderful fathers and we need to learn to accept that fact and not compare ourselves to them. Here is what I told my son.
First of all, you are a terrific boy and I am so glad that you live with me. I know that I am never going to be able to fill the shoes of a Dad because I am a Mom. I don’t fish, I don’t ride a motorcycle, I don’t bike ride and I don’t bowl but neither does your Dad, or at least he didn’t in the thirty-something years we were married. So if you are wishing your Dad did those types of guy things with you I hate to tell you but he never did any of those things with your sisters. About the only thing he did was study and work. So it isn’t you and there is nothing wrong with you! You need to understand that fact! Forgive him for being so busy and know that he does love you but just doesn’t take the time to let you know.
Secondly, you are not alone. You have a Mom who loves you and cares deeply about you. You have sisters who love you and while they aren’t living near us you do talk to them as often as you want to. You have friends to hang out with and that is pretty cool too. You also have a church family to get better acquainted with and while I realize this isn’t quite the same thing as having an engaged father, you can make some pretty good friends through church.
Also you are a terrific child; he hates me to call him a kid! Right now you aren’t really able to do more than make a phone call or send a card or an e-mail but one day soon you will be able to drive and see your Dad. Maybe as an adult you will have a better chance at a better relationship, we can only hope. I reminded him that he could call and talk to his Dad anytime and doesn’t need my permission. He didn’t want to today and that’s okay too.
Finally I told him that he has a heavenly Father that cares about everything and especially cares about him. I suggested that he pray to God about what he is feeling and ask God what he should do. I explained to him that only God can fill the big hole of emotions and praying is the only way to communicate with God so ask God for help and guidance.
I closed our conversation by praying with my son and I asked God to send a man into my son’s life because he needs one right now. If he had a grandfather or uncles I know that things would be different for him, but he has no one but me on a daily basis. I can’t be both Mom and Dad and I know it. Only God can fill the hole in my son’s heart and so I will trust that God will meet the need for male companionship.
I want to challenge Christian men today to look around you in your church, your community and in your family. You won’t have to look far until you see a boy or a girl who needs a steady Godly male role model. Please be that person who cares.
I am but one, I walk alone, but Christ walks beside me. I cannot see around the bend, but Christ will go before me. I dare not spend time looking back but Christ was right behind me. Where ere I go, what ere I do, I know just one true thing, that Christ was here and Christ was there and Christ will never leave me. I’ll teach my son to walk the path that seems he is alone and not to fear what lies ahead because Christ is walking with him.
Until next time…Katherine