My daughter grounds me and keeps me on the straight and narrow. We had a great time today, and a wonderful discussion about things. We played Justice League Heroes and whooped and hollered like morons. She didn't get to swim because it was too cold, but it was a wonderful day nonetheless. Perfect day, actually.
That, of course, means that when she isn't with me things get a little dicey. I miss her immensely. I write. Watch the race. Sit in the dark and in silence. Make phone calls. Do whatever I can to not think.
I know several people going through the exact same thing. One common thread in all of those is that the guy doesn't really want to be involved in the kid's life. I can't picture ever being that kind of guy. I don't understand it. Well, I do, but I don't. I have often thought I want all or nothing, but that isn't fair to anyone. Some guys, however, don't seem to care about fair.
I can't picture not having my daughter in my life. Her laugh. Her smile. Seeing her make connections about life that she never made before. That's important stuff. That's stuff you only get one shot with. Why be absent for that? Why not take an active role?
Convenience. Pride. Lazy.
Men are weak. I will never think otherwise. I know women have their problems, too. But men ... men never grow up. Never get beyond that self-centered prickhood that served them so well at 14 that they haven't lost it by 36. Be free to be assholes. Make the kid an accessory from a life once led. You can't be a dad via telephone, idiots. What you don't get, however, is by the time you actually start to care and try, well, your kid thinks of you as nothing more than a sperm donor. Congrats. You're a nameless squirt into a bottle in a clinic. Nothing more. Nothing less.
Chances are, that's been the way you always were anyway. Nothing more Nothing less.