About Your Father, Part 1 (In Progress).

Ages 3-4:

The monsters¹ took him.

Age 5:

No, [name redacted], I don’t know if the monsters ate him. Maybe they just made him one of their own. Or maybe they groomed him to take over their empire. Like the Dread Pirate Roberts². He also could be working very hard to free himself and find his way to you.

These are all possibilities.

Age 7

He could make magic. He could animate dinosaurs. He knew how to rewire small worlds. He knew how to make people love him.

Someday, I hope you are one of them.

Age 8.5

We were together as long as you’ve been alive.

I didn’t notice he hadn’t grown up… I didn’t notice what he’d grown up to become, until you were already a bean, sprouting.

We talked about you often, before. There were things he wanted for you: a home with a “shooting wall,” where once a year he’d film you, answering interview questions, so that when you were a grownup, you could watch yourself reason and gesture as a child. He wished you groundedness, rather than popularity, a balanced diet, a multilingual mind³.

I don’t think he intended his absence as a deficit. It will be. It has been. But not a large one.

We are fine. You are amazing.

¹ The monsters are called Greed, Insecurity, and Selfishness. But these are words I hope you’ll rarely need. I will not teach you them, at three.
² You will have seen The Princess Bride a few times by your fifth birthday. If you’re afraid of the ROUS, we’ll practice our swordplay till you’re as deft as Inigo.
³ If there are travel grants for eight-and-a-half-year-olds and their mothers, rest assured, we’ll win one.
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9 thoughts on “About Your Father, Part 1 (In Progress).

  1. l. says:

    I am so so happy to have been led to this blog.

    your words are so powerful. they leave me with wet eyes at work. beautiful.

    thank you for sharing such a personal part of your life.

  2. trE says:

    To have a storyteller for a mother, this child will be lucky as hell. Witnessing the miracle of magic through words daily is my dream come true. I hope you compile all of your writings regarding the pregnancy, the birth, the rearing, and ages of your child and allow him or her to read them one day… Beautiful…

  3. Kimberly Thomas says:

    Absolutely yes. I am riveted… I find myself so drawn to your next entry that dinner just got in the way of my interest. Your story is not unfamiliar; I also had a long-lived transient relationship, complete with foreign travel plans, romantic homecomings, distant parents, and apartments designed to impress and please the gorgeous, possesive and self-involved mysoginist I loved. His deep interest in pursuing a blonde busty doctor and his own solitude precluded his parenting the child we conceived after four months apart… on one last friendly evening. He told me I could “choose” to parent, but he recommended abortion. To this day, he “loves” me, and he has been a decent yet distant “parent” to my son, since his awakening when my boy was six and suddenly more interesting… the total frustration, resilience, heartache, confusion and duplicity of feeling comes across in your words, just as I remember it… but far more eloquent in its expression. It has been 20 years since the day I called from states away and said “We have a son…” and he replied “No, YOU have a son.”

    • slb says:

      i truly admire your strength and i’m glad to have you as a reader and commenter. you have more strength than i; i don’t think i could make that phone call.

      it’s always sort of melancholic to discover how common a tale ours is. but it sounds like yours and mine have some particularly similar overlap. eerie.

      thank you again for sharing your thoughts.

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