Do You Still See your Dad?
I was picking up my stepson today at baseball camp. There were a few boys sitting close by whom I recognized.
One of them said I looked familiar but he couldn’t think of where we knew each other from. I knew right away. It was a boy that I had coached in baseball a few years ago.
His parents were going through a difficult time during that season. Their was a lot of anger between them. So many hard feelings that they couldn’t even be around each other.
I never got the entire story on their relationship but it was obvious the parents had no future.
I would see him again from time to time over the course of the next few years. One day I saw him playing in my neighborhood. It turns out his father had met and fallen in love with a girl who lived in the same circle as me. She had a daughter about a year younger than him.
They eventually had a son of their own.
It has been a couple of years since I last saw my young friend. I asked him today if he still hangs out in my neighborhood. His answer was upsetting. “No, I don’t see my dad anymore.”
I can run through a list of reasons as to why that may be. Maybe it was the mother’s fault. Maybe it was the father’s fault. Maybe there is a new man in the mother’s life or maybe it was the fault of my neighbor who his father had fallen in love with.
I have no idea what led to this little boy not seeing his dad anymore, I can only guess. But I can’t think of too many scenarios where this is a good thing.
I learned at a very young age that you should never ask a female if she is pregnant. Are we at the point now where we can’t ask a child if he still sees his father? I hope not but that sure is how I felt today.
Abandoned. Chosen. Special.
I’m reading the Walter Isaacson “Steve Jobs” autobiography. Isaacson tells a story that Jobs relayed to him from his youth. Jobs knew at a very young age that he was adopted. When he was about 6 or 7, he was talking with a girl who lived across the street. She asked, “so does that mean your real parents didn’t want you?”
Jobs describes lighting bolts going off in his head. He ran home crying to his parents. What his parents told him would shape Jobs for the rest of his life.
Here is an excerpt from the book.
“I remember running into the the house crying. And my parents said, ‘No, you have to understand.’ They were very serious and looked at me straight in the eye. They said, ‘We specifically picked you out.’ Both of my parents said that and repeated it slowly for me. And they put an emphasis on every word in that sentence.”
Abandoned. Chosen. Special. Those concepts became part of who Jobs was and how he regarded himself.
I think we can take a lot from this. You never want to make a person feel abandoned. As a stepparent or a parent of an adopted child, it is your responsibility to chase away any thought like this. Even if a child has been abandoned, we need to make them feel chosen and special.
You have the Power to be a Superhero to Young People!
I often tell my stepson, Reece, that I married his mother in many ways because of him. As soon as I met him I knew he was special and I chose to spend the rest of my life with him.
I like to think this has done wonders for our relationship.
Abandoned. Chosen. Special.
We’ll all feel abandoned at some point in our lives. There isn’t much we can do about that. But we have the power to make the young people in our lives feel chosen and special. And we should use that power as often as we can.