The girls called their dad and left a message at his last known cell phone number when they learned about their acceptances to their schools for next year. Haven't heard from him yet. I don't really remember when the last time it was they did hear from him, but it's been at least a month, maybe longer.
I'm always torn about this. Part of me gets really ticked off at him for hurting them like that, especially Sylvia. She handles it pretty well, but it's still there. I see her trying to connect with him on FB, and get no response. I think we both assume he's not on the Internet much.
Then today, I made the mistake of checking his FB page. He's connected the iPhone app.
I think there might literally have been smoke coming out of my ears. For many reasons.
First, NICE that you can afford an iPhone. Haven't seen any form of child support in HOW long now (3 years easy, and that's probably being generous), and yet, he can afford an iPhone. I can't afford an iPhone. Must be nice.
Second, he is aware that it's still a phone, right? That it has the capability of calling his children? He's got to know by now about the girls' schools. It's been on FB, his entire family knows and has congratulated them, it might as well have been in skywriting by now. He can't call and congratulate them?!?
Third, I think Sylvia already saw that he has an iPhone. The other day, it came up that they haven't heard from him since they left him a message about their schools. I told them (again) that he probably doesn't have a phone. Sylvia looked like she was going to say something, but didn't. She goes on his page a lot more often than I do, sending him Fortune Cookies, tagging him pictures, practically begging her own father to notice her. It breaks my heart. And while I wouldn't necessarily call him out on his page (not for his sake, but hers), I still stop myself from sending him a private message saying, "CALL YOUR CHILD." Because he just might. And it would be nice for that call. And he might even call back a couple of times. And then he would be gone again.
Maybe he is trying to be gone for good. And maybe that wouldn't be a bad thing after all. At the same time, I think she would need closure of some sort. (I say Sylvia over and over because Riley really does seem fine with it.) If that is his plan, to be gone from her life for good, she needs to know that.
I hate this. I hate that she's always the one who has to grow and accept and adapt. But if I could know this was the last time? It just might be worth it.
That's not to say it would be easy. She'd hate it. She'd cry, she'd lash out at me, and even after we got through the worst of it, it would still hurt from time to time.
I'm sure it'll feel a little empty when she graduates from 8th grade not to have her dad there. But she knows he's not coming. She's prepared for it. There might be a hole there, but it won't ruin her day. I don't want him to be capable of ruining any of her days. But I don't know if that's possible. Probably not.
And this is what I hate the most. Not knowing what to do. Well, really, knowing there's nothing I can do. I seethe with anger, but don't know how to productively manifest it when it comes to him. I cry, but in private, where she can't see my heart break for her again. And I just keep doing what I do every day. Buy her school supplies, say yes or no to her requests, tell her to take out the trash, and kiss her good night. All I can do is love her.