Thursday, August 6, 2009

The Lost One Returns

I know that is has been quite some time since the last time I wrote but I have a very good reason for returning to my mindless musings. Almost 15 years ago my oldest daughter's dad walked out of our lives. This past Thursday he returned. Now before everyone gets all excited and starts telling me what a jerk he is and the he shouldn't be allowed to see her let me fill you in on a little back story.

We were kids. We were perfect together. No one could make me smile and laugh the way Phil could. He always brought me up when I was down and we always believed that we would be together forever. But then the baby came and with it the responsibilities of being adults. It was great at first. He was a wonderful dad. But when he told me he wanted to drop out of school and get a full-time job that is when things started to go downhill. I was a high school dropout myself and I didn't want Phil to make the same mistake. He was a very talented football player and a good student. But he kept insisting and I finally said that if he did we were done. He was young and immature and I know now that I was putting too much pressure on him.

We crumbled under all of it. After we broke up he still came to see her. He doted on her like any good dad would. Enter Herrold. My future husband and the one thing that Phil could not get past. It killed him to see Herrold with me and his daughter. My family referred to Herrold as "Daddy Herrold" and Phil could not handle feeling like he was being replaced and made the decision to leave. Now I know that is not right but I also know that he was a kid and that I did not do anything to stop him. In fact maybe I thought our lives would be easier if I didn't have to deal with the jealousy and the arguing. It made me miserable to fight with Phil because I did still love him, regardless of what had happened between us and I did not like to see the pain in his eyes every time he came over. So I let him walk away.

Last week a mutual friend of mine and Phil's called me and ended up coming to visit me at work. We of course talked of Phil and I told him that I had been unable to find him all these years (yes I did look, we told her about him when she was 10). He told me that Phil was one of his "friends" on myspace. I went home and after two days of actively avoiding looking I had to see for myself who he was. I did not click on his page with any intention of contacting him. I guess I just wanted to see what kind of a man my boy had become.

As I clicked through all the pictures, looking at this man whom I had known as a boy my head was filled with all the old memories. I tried to remember fighting with Phil. I tried to remember him being a bad person. But I couldn't. He just wasn't a bad guy. He had just been a kid. So the next thing I knew I had sent him a message.

Skip to Friday night around 10:30pm. We had discussed us meeting before she was told that we were talking. So he sends me a text asking me to meet him. Which I do at a Denny's. I was sick to my stomach the whole drive there. I didn't know what my reaction would be when I saw him. I got out of my truck and saw him leaning against his truck, his back to me. I don't know how I knew it was him. He was twice the size he was when I knew him (muscular not fat) and now had long hair, but I knew it was him. Then he turned around. Seeing his face alone almost brought me to tears. There was the boy I had loved and had a child with all grown up but that impish smile of his hadn't changed a bit. We didn't hug although I think we both had to think about whether or not we were going to and based off the other's actions did not.

To my disappointment he informed me that he now had doubts about whether or not she was his. I wasn't angered by this just disappointed because as he sat across from me all I could see my was little girl. All his facial expressions, the way he bit his lower lip, his posture as he sat and especially his smile all reflected her. I told him that I understood and that we would need to get that done before he could meet her. What I thought would be an hour meeting at the most turned into over 4 hours. After too much coffee and tea (and the fact that I desperately needed a cigarette) we went out to my truck and sat and talked for hours. As I was getting ready to leave I told him I would look into the cost of paternity testing and he said he didn't want to wait and that he was starting to feel like if he could just look into her eyes he would know. So we agreed that he would meet her the next day after I got off of work. I knew she was his and I truly believed that once he saw her all doubt would disappear.

I was right.

I will make another entry tomorrow on their first meeting.