Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Sundae Inspiration

I don't know what it feels like to have a father check out on their child and act like she does not exist. That is the position R (my ex) has adopted with J. When she was younger, she would ask when she might have "a" father like the other kids. She did not seem overly concerned about it having to be R, but someone needed to fulfill that role in her life. Over time, she had developed a protective layer of indifference to help her from being hurt over his absence - disappointment over not having her wish for a father figure fulfilled.

I often tell J that I am the luckiest Mommy in the world because I have her. She wonders how it is that she could be so incredibly precious to me and mean nothing at all to her father who saw her last when she was four months old. How does he not want to know about her, talk to her or see what she looks like. If she was as precious and special as I claimed she was, would her father not be a little more interested in her. It just does not add up for her.

I have struggled to come up with a way to explain this dichotomy and inspiration came in the form of a fictive ice-cream sundae (one of J's favorite treats). I told J "Pretend two friends go to the ice-cream parlor on a Sunday morning. The shop is very crowded and by when it is their turn to order, there is only one ice-cream sundae left. One friend suggests that they get it and divide it in two because they both love it more than any other kind of ice-cream"

"The other friend says, that he would get something else instead so that way they won't have to share -he does not agree with the idea of a half a sundae. So the first friend has the whole ice-cream sundae and loves it. The second friend gets a flavor that he really does not like that much and ends up throwing it away in trash. On the way back, the first friend is really happy she got her favorite treat and did not even have to share it with anyone. The second friend is mad because he made a bad choice and could not enjoy any ice-cream at all.He wishes he had agreed to split the sundae but now it is too late"

"I am like the first friend, you are like the ice-cream sundae and your dad is the like the guy who had to have everything his way or nothing at all. He is the one who lost what was most important in life and will realize it t only when it is too late. So now you see why I say I am the luckiest Mommy in the whole world ?" My "sundae parable" brought a big smile to J's face.

1 comment:

Vikas Gupta said...

Ah, interesting! Delightful.

Necessity is the mother of invention.

P.S.: R is a cruel man, needless to say.