Last night was my sons annual football banquet. Each year I put together a highlight video for the boys and their families to watch, each boy is given a copy as a memento of the season. Last night was no exception and after hours of preparation the video was again ready to go and copies made for each boy.
I arrived at the restaurant early to make certain that everything was ready to go and that video would play on their televisions. Once this was finished I anxiously waited for my boy to arrive. I hadn’t seen him in days and was excited for the opportunity to talk with him. I quietly sat and waited about twenty minutes for him to arrive.
Suddenly I felt him place his arms around my shoulders as he hugged me and said hi dad, I love you. My heart swelled momentarily until I heard his mother sternly inform him that he couldn’t sit with me and had to sit with her. I watched a sadness appear on his face as he gave me another quick hug, whispered I love you and went to sit near his mother. As I surveyed the room, I noticed that the other boys were all sitting together in the center tables, my dear boy was sitting head down next to his mother as he quietly obeyed her demands.
I sat there, my heart aching for my boy as he humbly and dutifully did as he was instructed, all the while watching the other boys laugh and play. I was grateful to see his mothers friend arrive nearly 30 minutes later when she finally allowed him to sit with his friends, so she could have her moment to “talk”.
Alone I sat at my table, watching my boy both quietly sitting next to his mother and also as he laughed with his friends. I fought the tears and anger at the way his mother controlled him. I thought to myself how much I would have loved to have been able to sit with him, yet this was his night to be with his friends, it wasn’t about what I wanted, it should have been about what he wanted, this was his night for him and his team.
I often sit in silence. I often sit alone. The numbness from the continual hurt at watching my kids many times from a distance pierces my soul. I hunger for the days when they can express their love for me, their dad, without fear of the reaction from their mother. My only hope and prayer is that one day my children will come to grasp the magnitude of my love and devotion for them, even if at times it is from a distance created by others…