Back in the day when I was still young and sexy (not that anything has changed)... anyway, way before I became a mother, I had met several mothers whose baby daddies had walked out on them. Not only had the men walked out of their lovers’ lives but their children’s too.
I know people have different reasons for walking out of the lives of people they once were head over heels in love with. What I have never really understood is how someone can walk out of their children’s lives and feel nothing.
Before men rush to pull my oesophagus out of my throat, let me make it clear that this applies to both men and women. We have equally had women who have walked out of their children’s lives. By walking out, I mean walking out deliberately and not caring how they fare on after that. Not walking out due to circumstances beyond his or her control.
Anyway, as I was saying, before I became a mother, my little interaction with friends showed me that most daughters, once grown up, end up looking for their biological fathers no matter what story they were told by their mothers. Most sons, on the other hand, don’t even bother looking for their absentee fathers.
Instead, they grow up very protective of their mothers. If anything, in most cases, the last person they would wish to see next to their mothers are the fathers who walked out on them. I made this observation purely from the interaction I had with friends. This included those in the situation I am talking about.
Later on, I had my beautiful daughter and, as fate would have it, the father not only put on his sports shoes but he put on his best sports shoes and took off faster than lightening. This got me wondering why he would he just wake up one morning and fall off the face of the earth. I swear to you; I am not a nag. I am meant to understand that nagging wives can bring out an athlete in a man. But even if I was a nag, is it bad enough to make you deny yourself the joys of fatherhood?
How does an absentee parent feel each evening when they go to bed knowing some innocent soul somewhere is growing up without knowing them? Not that I am telling anybody to jog back into my life, no. In fact, there’s a huge ‘Keep Off’ sign all around me.
What keeps running through my mind is, what will I tell my daughter the day she asks where her father is? She is only three so she hasn’t asked yet, but I know the question is around the corner. I have, however, made up my mind that when she drops the question, I will tell her the truth -- that her father just woke up one morning and left before even laying his eyes on her.
I will not lie to her that he is on safari. What safari now? I will not lie that he is dead because I know he isn’t dying anytime soon. In fact, I pray that he lives longer than Methuselah. This man did not even wait to see my belly grow. He left when my belly was flatter than the runway at Heathrow Airport.
My next biggest worry is, since my earlier research showed that most daughters look for their biological fathers in adulthood, will my daughter one day wake up and begin the search for her father? And if she does, how will she be received by his majesty Johnny Walker The Great who has been walking away from us all this time?
What drove me to write all this? It was Mother’s Day the other day. Fathers were all over wishing their children’s mothers a happy one. My baby daddy didn’t even send a text. Maybe he thinks I gave birth to a big grey cloud hovering somewhere in the skies.
My biggest prayer is that if my daughter one day would wish to meet him, he would be kind enough to meet her and impact her life positively. He had better not break my daughter’s heart because I, daughter of Itindi The Great, will not take that lightly. I will bring down his kingdom and all the Igwes there will scatter!
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