I was shocked and amazed at how smitten she appeared. It seems, however, that the affection was short lived.
At first, I thought he just wasn't being very nice to her. She wrote a song a little later about a boy not treating a girl right. She said she wasn't writing about him but relationships in general. Then, last week, he called the house to speak to her. The phone call was only a few minutes long.
"What happened? That was short," I asked her as she put the phone away.
"I didn't have anything to say. I told him that I don't want him to call unless I have something to say."
Um... O. K.
Here's the thing about raising two little girls as an independent, single mom....
They will most likely grow into two independent women.
That's not a bad thing, given the fact that they should hopefully find out who they are before deciding to marry. (Dear God, please...)
But let's also examine the relationship that Rose has with her father:
- He has always traveled extensively with work, even when we were married, which left me as the sole disciplinarian. He didn't feel like being the bad guy after being gone all week. He would allow me to make the laws, with a few exceptions, while he would stand behind me and say, "Yeah! What your Mom said!"
- He was closer to the silly court jester than he was an authoritative figure. And Rose is very intuitive with people. She knew that his role was to play, pick on her, make her laugh and fix things as only daddies can do.
- He is still a softie when it comes to discipline. She doesn't even take him seriously when it comes to discipline. He is getting better but the fact is, I am around her on an everyday basis and he isn't. He wears down easily and she knows how to manipulate him to serve her needs.
- I don't think she respects him at all. I'm not even sure that he shows them any respect. I do believe that children should be respected. A person's a person no matter how small.
Realizing that a girls' relationship with the opposite sex has much to do with her relationship with her father, I must surmise - from what I've seen so far - that Rose's opinion of boys (and subsequently, men) is as follows:
They are completely expendable, able to be used and discarded at will. They are to provide things for me and I can acquire these things by manipulating them to serve my purpose.
I have a completely different feeling about my sweet, lovable Grace. She was only 1 year old when her daddy left. I'm afraid that she may have abandonment issues and cling to the first man she falls for. (Dear God... please no...)
Of course, all of this is based purely on my perceptions, which are based on my own experience and skewed observations. Still, I think its a pretty astute observation... but I'm happy to be wrong.
How do I raise independent women to also have a respectful and loving relationship with a good man?
Maybe I have been guilty of modeling some of this behavior. I was told on a daily basis, from childhood, that men were worthless. My father didn't show me any respect and I didn't respect him at all either.
Rose, for the first 4 years of her life, saw her Mommy as someone who had to get things done with or without Daddy. I was very obsessive about the type of childhood she should have and didn't allow her daddy much say in it. I didn't trust his fathering skills. He didn't act like the father I wanted him to be... which would have been a different father than my dad was.
I didn't learn to trust him - to allow him to parent however he wanted - until way after we separated.
My children still see a Mommy as someone who gets things done. I do hope, however, that she sees me treating her father with more respect and love. I hope its not too late.
I'd hate to see her using men as pawns to get her way. People can joke all day long that my beautiful, charming daughter will be a heartbreaker but I also know that her heart can be broken too.
I suppose that all I can do is model a better and more respectful relationship with the love in my life now. I know that they have their own lessons to learn. Hopefully, I'm raising them to bounce back from whatever life throws their way.