My youngest daughter turned 7 last Friday. Typically this is a time when her mother and I, though divorced, spend time in each other's presence in a most healthy way. This year though, my daughter wanted to have a sleep over. I began to feel a desire to question whether this was being steered in some way as the sleep over was, with each conversation, becoming more exclusionary to me attending any portion of the event. In the end, I was excluded all together from the event itself. The possibility of steering triggered me, and I was sad that I would, for the first time, miss one of my daughter’s birthdays. Along with sadness came anger toward the person I perceived might be doing the steering.
So I did what I do and asked Love to return me to positive intention where the mother of my children is concerned. Once this desire was voiced, I saw clearly that it might just be me feeling that it was steered, but that whether or not it was, it did not have to be a problem. In relieving myself of the “problem” perspective, Love let me see a path that was even better than attending an event that would not necessarily be enhanced by my presence. After all she would be playing with her friends in her house and daddy would be little more than a distraction. However it is important that my daughter know how much I value the day she came into my life. Now that this was not a problem I saw that it might be a solution.
See, try as I do, it is very difficult to get one on one time with my daughters. Here was an opportunity to do just that. So without a hint of anger, but rather excitement about a new plan, her mother and I discussed me having some time with my daughter on Saturday after the other children left. Since I approached this without sadness or anger it was easy to negotiate this, and I had a very simple and wonderful time with my seven year old on Saturday. We went to the bookstore and picked out some books, she had a little birthday money and we discussed options of what she could do with it, and we had a wonderful lunch together including ice cream. In the end I got to see my youngest daughter a little more independent than usual as it was just us. I will cherish this day forever, and now I might just steer the birthday celebrations, so that I get one on one time every birthday with each of my daughters. OK I won’t steer, but at least I’ll let my desire be known during the planning stages of future birthday celebrations. This has also relit the fire that I once felt for how important this one on one time is. Due to the reinvigorated flame I will be trying once again to negotiate one on one time with my daughters. Even though in the past this has become a very difficult discussion, perhaps Love can show me the way.