Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Let me tell you a story

about a little girl young lady. (She's in those lovely "tween" years, and would be horrified at being called a "little girl".)

Anywho, this young lady, who I shall call M, lives with her mother and father, in the same house they've been in for her entire life. She's very, very close to her mother. She helps with the housework, they do their homework together (Mom is a college student), mom is teaching her to do needlepoint... a good relationship.

She tries very, very hard to gain her father's affection, but never seems to "measure up" to his standards. Dad spends the majority of his time at home in the garage. He's very much a "man's man", and seems to have some difficulty relating to the things that are important to M. Instead of Dad working to come to her level, she tries and tries to do things that he will find interesting. "Daddy, can you help me fix my bike?" or "Daddy, can I help you work on that car?". Yet, all too often, M finds herself being told that she's in the way, and should "go inside with her mother".

Mom has been working very hard for many years at her college degree. She's finally completed it, and has been offered a job in her chosen field. Unfortunately, that job requires relocation, and does not provide a very stable environment for M. Very soon, Mom will be moving, and will be unable to have M join her in the forseeable future.

This will leave M with Dad, whom she adores. But Dad has never taken a very active role in the day-to-day parenting of M. There will be lots of adjustments and sacrifices for Mom, Dad, and M. Ideally, the family hopes to be able to reunite as a unit in the area that Mom is relocating to. In the mean time, it will be M and Dad, working things out, and making their own way.

I'd like to ask you to think for a moment about this situation. If you were an adult in M's life, but not involved in her day-to-day life, how would you feel? What would you do? Say? And to who?

1 Comment:

Beautiful Mess said...

Hmmm interesting situation. If I could do something, I would offer M to do things with me. I would ask if she wants to come over. I would leave the door open for the child to contact me, if she chooses to do so. If I was good friends with the family, I would mention something to the dad, casually. Like "M said she and you fixed her bike. How did that go?" And then go from there in the direction he led me to. I've done something to that effect and it worked out pretty well. Good luck!