Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Jesus, You've Got Mail.

I've mentioned before in an earlier post about wondering why and how did Sandra's teachers and guidance counselor took a special interest in the fact that her parents are separated. And now I know why.

Went to her school for Parents' day. The ex and I agreed (well, we fought first. sigh) that I should be the one attending it, you know, to avoid making a scene. I was late as usual. The classroom was already packed with earnest kids and matching doting parents, the sight that would be teeth-tingling if I totally lacked any wholesome Brady Bunch family empathy. I was alone, but okay. Maybe just a wee bit envious, but I thought if I can just go through the motions as quickly as possible, this event would be painless.

Or so I thought.

There were lots of cards displayed on the class bulletin board. Parents' day cards with a Dear Jesus letter. I thought it would be a great idea to go scoot over there and look at 'em cards and avoid socializing altogether. I caught the teacher making a sideways glance at me as I approached Sandra's card. And before I could say Holy Press Release, I caught The Dear Jesus part in her missive. I don't want my parents to have problems and pls try to put them together and love each other agin (sic). Talk about bringing in the big kahunas, my daughter is now asking Jesus what she couldn't ask me. The thing is, THIS card isn't a personal letter, it's a class project for the teacher, the whole class and all the other parents to see. I glanced at the teacher again and she smiled at me. Hmmm... So this is what it feels like to star in your own reality show. LOL

At home, I asked my daughter about the card, and she told me not to worry about it. "Besides, I asked Jesus, Mommy. Not you. You don't have to do anything about it".

I wish it were that simple. I wish I can call on divine intervention and have my prayers answered. But even the most pious of people cannot afford to have that much faith, or be just fatalists. And oftentimes, people being human, would pray for the wrong things anyway, and God knows (if and when he's listening) if he'll take these prayers seriously.

I thanked Sandra for the prayer. Yes, maybe Dad and I shouldn't fight anymore. I'd pray for that. But right now, just that.


Anonymous said...

I did the same thing when I was a child. I prayed to God that my parents wouldn't fight anymore. That they too, would get back together again. But that didn't happen, and so I asked my mother if I would ever have another father. And eventually, that happened, and for a while, I was happy. But then my step-father ended up being an abusive kind of father. And my mother and him, for a few years, always fought. I ended up praying for him to go away. Ironic, isn't it?

Things are better now. My mother and step-father seem really happy together. Granted, I still don't like him, trust him, etc...But he was the type my mother wanted to be with, so what can I say?

I can imagine how it is, being a single mother, looking up and asking "what the heck should I do?". I'm sure there are a lot of questions you ask yourself. I'm sure you get a lot of interesting looks from other parents/peers/teachers/etc. I'm sure it drives you batty (I'd go nuts).

I don't really have any advice or anything else to offer, but I hope things work out with you and your daughter.

atleastimgorgeous said...

Well, I think for kids, a prayer is just like wishing to Santa or some fairy godmother. Much as I'd like to scream with maternal pride over her praying for something selfless, her prayer is also a bit focused on herself. What she really wants is the convenience of having an unbroken family.

But I do hope she'd come to realize that things -- even the ones she doesn't approve of -- will be acceptable. Just like you did. I guess you have given me some insight. Thanks. :-)

Ed said...

First time I am here, and oh boy I am so touched by that little sentence your daughter wrote.

I came from a foul marriage myself and the only thing I am thankful about is not having a child in between my ex-wife and I. If we had one, I am pretty sure I will be caught in such a situation too. More often the children are the ones to suffer the backlash of a broken marriage. Yet, it's hard to describe to them what we adults feel.

My family is the guardian of my my niece and until this day when she ask me about my ex-wife, I find it hard to relate to her how I feel. It's really not any easier than confiding in a good friend.

Anonymous said...

One big thing I learned growing up in so many types of family over time, there's one thing I know for sure. There ain't no picture-perfect family. If you see those types, they're such a good illusion - but that's kind of it. There's so much more drama and crap behind the good images some families seem to emit.

To be honest, sometimes I see single mothers, and I feel like their kid(s) are better off. Some men are NOT meant to be fathers. People say there's a benefit to children growing up with two parents, but I think a single parent can provide a lot that many two-parent families can't. But really, it's down to the type of person the parent is I guess. It's just my opinion, anyways...

I do feel strongly with the idea that the more struggles one faces throughout life (even in childhood), the smarter, wiser, and more perceptive the person becomes over time. Life shouldn't be perfect. Not completely!

atleastimgorgeous said...

ED - Kids ask the most pointed, knife-in-the-heart questions. Little girls especially because they express their pain more eloquently and have no qualms about crying or showing how affected they can be. One good thing though, they are tougher and more resilient than we give them credit for.

SOUL - I agree that many marriages don't seem to be as blissful as they seem to be. I should know, I lived the suburban wife role and attended other couples' dinner parties until I got blue in the face. On the other hand, I still believe that with the right person, the right motivation, the right kind of love and understanding, the ideal marriage/family is attainable. I also still believe in rainbows and happy endings (you can slap me now, haha).
Thanks for the kind words about single parenthood. You sure cheered me up today. :-)

LADY LUXIE said...

I felt soooo much for your daughter...and sooo much more for you...As a teacher ( well you could say former coz' I resigned last year and now freelance as a communications consultant..or not...coz' I don't have any project for this month..which makes me a bum..cute one though..)and former principal and a mother of two teenage boys...and married for 18 years..make that 19 but the first year was lived in um' "sin"...

anyway..I wish the teacher didn't post that on the wall..I wouldn't have..I'd have found a way to make sure you got the art and another versed one for display. You see, I ask kids to do the same thing..but I analyze and use best judgment and think how all parties would "feel" seeing something on exhibit....Students tell teachers lots..they express candidly what can't be eloquently shared at home..teachers have to exercise discretion, empathy and concern for all regarding sensitive personal issues.

Anyway...just my two cents worth...

I want to tell you though that judging from what I've read you are a strong positive no nonsense downright caring woman. Your daughter is lucky and blessed to have you for a mom. You will definitely succeed in rearing her up to be a fine woman herself someday. No doubt.

Secondly, you still are a family even without the father of your child around. And you are right...fighting will not solve anything. Somehow...healing must take place and a definite closure from past hurts sealed. From that decision you and the father of your child can communicate in kindness which will serve as a chain to healthily assure your daughter that she is secure in the love of both her parents..and that you are ok.

Ah' I probably sound ninny tattling about concerns that I do not fully comprehend...I apologize..

I did feel in my heart that I had to tell you..

you are powerful..
and beautiful
and that your life ahead will be as chocolate icing is on chiffon cake...

sweet and satisfying..

take well:>