Wednesday, April 28, 2010

I Can't Compete ....

.... with a memory.
Especially a memory that has become gold-lined over the past 2 + years.

I'm referring, of course, to my teenagers' memory of their father.
Don't get me wrong .... he was a great husband (the best I ever had .... ok, so he was the only one I ever had .... whatever). He was a very good father. He was an exceptional man with a strong moral and spiritual compass and he always strived to do the right thing. Always.

But let's face it ..... he was (..... brace yourselves .... ) human.

But now that he's gone (and maybe this is more relevant because he died suddenly and unexpectedly) I think he's attained mythic proportions in the minds of some of our children (as well as in the minds of many adults).

I am the parent who is left. The one who has to say, "No" .... and has no one here to back her up.
I'm the one who seems hell bent on ruining the lives of my teenagers .... just me. Because, of course, Jim would have let them do whatever their sweet little hearts desired (again .... whatever).
I am the one .... the only one .... upon whom to vent and throw up every emotion.
I am the one who has changed.
And there seems to be a consensus that I am the only one who has changed.
What. Ev. Er.

I am the one .... the only one .... who gets accused of having no idea who my children really are. Deep, down inside.
I'm the only one who constantly gets accused of being a horrible parent, of not understanding, of asking too many questions (in my quest to understand them better, which evidently is a horrible faux pas), and of being selfish beyond belief ..... because I sometimes do things for me so that I can keep a small grip on sanity.

I'm the one who gets accused of not loving my children enough because I'm dating someone now.
I'm the one who's told that their love for me should be all that I need.

Fortunately .... for them as well as for me .... I have developed broad shoulders and an even broader sense of humor.

And .... I am also the one .... the only one ..... who can NOT wait until they each have a child who ends up JUST LIKE THEM.



  1. My daughter has no memories of her late father and when I remarried and the newness of having a father wore off, she began to spin tales that pitted her perfect dead dad against her step-father who was not the sugar daddy she thought daddies were supposed to be.

    I had to put her straight. Her late father would have indeed expected her to follow rules and be respectful (in fact, he would have been harder on her in many respects). I assured my daughter that her late dad wouldn't have put up with her crap any more than her step-father or I would.

    There was one particularly memorable "come to jesus meeting" where I flat out told her that I would no longer tolerate her playing the dead dad card on me. It wasn't fair and her father would be disappointed in her for doing it.

    That was a while ago now. She has a more tempered view these days. Thank goodness. I couldn't have stood another decade of it as I waited for her to reach adulthood and sense.

  2. My husband has won Father of the Year several times, (in the minds of my children), since his death. I have been told that "I am the worst mother ever." It's very tough to compete with a memory! Agreed.


  3. T want to thank you for your words. I lost my husband about six months ago. My children- girls are 16 and 14. It is difficult sometimes to be the single parent now and I also have hear the same words, but it is comforting to know I am not alone in dealing with this issue.I just wish I could find other young widows like me where I live in Southern RI.