There is one thing in this world my husband loves more than me. That’s his son, Quinn.
So, when Quinn’s mom and Keith divorced seven years ago, they worked out all sorts of neat things like “reasonable visitation” (which will, within the next couple of years — thankfully — mean Quinn comes to live with us and then goes to see his mom every summer for a few weeks) and weekly phone calls.
Weekly. Phone. Calls.
And one of the things Keith looks forward to more than anything in the world is his every-Sunday chat with his growing son. They talk about everything from what Quinn is doing in school to what’s on TV, from the weather to pets, from responsibility to tough choices.
And Keith hasn’t had a conversation with his son in a month now.
Yup. A dozen unreturned phone calls.
Messages left, week after week, “Hi, this is Keith. Just calling to talk to Quinn. Have him call me when he gets in. Thanks.”
I get it. I know it’s gotta be tough to manage a family and work and life. And Quinn’s getting old enough that he may not even want to talk to his dad anymore. Fine. Let him tell his dad that. When Quinn is here and doesn’t want to call his mom, we tell him it’s the right thing to do… that she misses him and he needs to call her even just to say hello. That’s good parenting. A nine-year-old is not in charge of things.
So, today, when Keith called and was told by — not sure — either a babysitter or Quinn’s teenage step-sister that Quinn was in the shower and that he should call him back in 15 minutes, Keith did as instructed.
And when the next call went unanswered… repeatedly… Keith became sad. Not mad. Sad. Depressed. I encouraged him to call again. He did… repeatedly… and finally the teenager on the phone clicked over and said, “I am ON THE PHONE with my driving instructor! He will CALL YOU BACK!”
Tick-tock, tick-tock, it’s getting more and more past Quinn’s bedtime and no one is calling back.
So Keith calls again… repeatedly… and no one answers. No one clicks over. No one but me gets to witness the emotional torture Quinn’s father is enduring.
Sadder still, I don’t think anyone else fucking cares.
Sorry, Quinn’s mom. I know you hate it when I blog about you or your family or your choices, but this is getting ridiculous. And it HURTS ME, as an adult child of divorce who CRAVED to know that her non-local parent even thought about her, ever.
So, I am blogging to make sure that when Quinn is ready to read about it, he can be sure — 100% sure — that his father thinks about him every day, talks about him every day, fights to spend MORE time with him, is desperately sad that no one bothered to send us school photos this year, and CALLS HIM EVERY GOD DAMNED WEEK, whether he ever gets the message or not. Whether he is ever *parented* in such a way that calls are returned because THAT IS THE DEAL or not.
I remember being nine. I remember not wanting anything to do with my dad. And I remember how much it fed my soul to get to know that he loved me so much it made him ache to be away from me.
I don’t want to think about Quinn, 30 years from now — crying like I am right now as I write this — because he was robbed of knowing how much his father missed him.