Every once in a while, I have a hard time looking at your son, my son, and seeing you in his face.
Not because I hate you but because I hate who you aren't.
Not because I don't want him to look like you but because I fear the day he asks me why he doesn't look like my partner.
Sometimes, I wish I could yell at you, scream at you, tell you what a terrible father you are and pray that my words will get you to feel bad enough to change, to want to be involved in your son's life. But then you email me things like “I'm so sorry. I think about him every day and cry,” and I feel lost.
Like, who are you? What do you really feel? What do you really think?
What in the world is going on in your life and your head and what's happened in your history to make you think it's even remotely acceptable to not be in your son's life?
It's ridiculous that you've only met him three times. Met. I mean, how sad and pathetic is it that I have to say you met your son when you should know him?
You should know what it's like to have to wake up four times in the middle of the night to his piercing cries and furious eyes and see for yourself the way he holds out to me the arm that's fallen asleep.
You should know what his voice is like when he babbles, and you should panic when his body burns with a hundred and three degree fever at midnight.
I mean, seriously, how can you not take responsibility for the life you helped to create and sit through at least one damn speech therapy session with him?
Did you know he calls someone else Daddy?
I mean, how stupid was my decision to be with someone so full of apathy and empty of ambition?
It makes sense that you aren't a good father. Why did I ever think you might be?
You're a contradiction, a true hypocrite—spouting the ideals of your religion yet barely providing for your offspring as your religion mandates. Do you think it's really fair to your son to send him only a hundred dollars a month when it costs up to $20K a year to raise a child in this city?
Congratulations, you bought him a Cars Table & Chair set and a couple of boxes of diapers last month. Two years times twenty thousand. Do the math.
If I were who I used to be, I'd hunt you down and hand you your son and tell you to love him. But I'll never wander the streets looking for you with a baby strapped to my chest.
Instead, I sit here rebuking myself for letting my desire for companionship blind me to the sort of life I'd be leading now. My daily life is difficult beyond belief, but with deep sorrow comes great joy; and every milestone Equis achieves is joyous.
And love makes everything possible.
"Don't you regret being with that guy?" people ask me.
"No," I say. I can't regret being with you. Our partnership brought me Equis. Thank you for him.
My baby is the best blessing life has given me. He's amazingly beautiful and fun-loving. He has a smile that lights up my nights and a penchant for throwing tantrums that grows my patience. In spite of my emotional downs as a mother, parenthood has made me happier, stronger.
Equis is my everything, and I am his, in a way you'll never experience for yourself.
Good thing I gave him my last name instead of yours.
How has your experience with your child's other parent unfolded?
What would you say in a letter to them?