We love you, Papa!
In a couple of weeks we will hit the 3rd anniversary of our separation. I can't help but see how much progress we have made in such a short amount of time. I am so proud of you and the family we built together.
I know we are not the traditional type of family but what we have is exceptionally special and it deserves to be protected and nurtured.
I know the first patch of this new path of our life has been anything but fun. Divorce is a dirty word and often synonymous of failure and long term problems. Many had described it to us as a rocky, slippery route down to hell and I think we both felt that it was an accurate description of what was going on in our life after the first few months of separation.
We knew coparenting wasn't going to be easy but we would have never imagined it was going to break us and mold us into two completely different people.
When you walk a path that has been blazed and paved by many before, you tend to follow it because you assume that who created it put a lot of thoughts into it. You assume it is the best, fastest route to destination so you don't venture on unexplored grounds in search of what could be a better way of doing it.
During the first months of our separation I took the lead in the walk and quickly followed the steps of the many. I treated you with anger and resentment and I stubbornly defended my ways and my views as if every interaction was a battle for power and control. I left no space to your ways and views and arrogantly pushed you back in anything that related to our daughter.
At the time I was the main care taker by necessity (she was still breastfeeding and she was not used to spend even a day without me) so I felt I had a right to impose my opinion on yours given the amount of energy and time she required from me.
About a year after separation we had a fight that changed everything. I reached my rock bottom and finally saw who I had become: an angry, bitter, controlling, uncooperative and unloving ex-wife that was on a mission to destroy and punish.
That day I had a bitter cry on the floor and asked God to help me find the right way and I decided it was time to venture in the woods cause the old safe route was literally leading me to hell.
Since then, things have progressed slowly but surely and as I have created a safe space for you to grow and express yourself I have seen you bloom into the most caring, amazing dad and ex-husband that anyone could hope for.
It's not been easy to amend the damage that I created between you and our daughter and for almost 2 years I have witnessed you being consistently rejected by her in spite of your constant presence and unconditional love. I've seen you change, grow, adapt to her, be a scientist of fatherhood always trying new things to build that bridge between you and her. I've seen you cry, be sad, feel hopeless, but never ever give up on her.
At times it's been unbearable to see you give yourself to her so openly and lovingly and see no response back. No matter how much I encouraged her, she would always revert back to me and we eventually realized we couldn't force our ways on her. She needed her time to heal wounds that probably we didn't know we created and she needed to find her own way to your heart. And she did.
Today I see you and her together and I feel the times when she was distant and cold are just an old memory. It's amusing to see her treat you like an equal (i.e. a kid) and sometimes even behave as if she is the mature one. I love to learn about your new challenges: who drinks more water and has the whitest pee, who can get more holes on the golf putting, who can give the sweetest kiss and who has the strongest muscles. I love seeing her play hairdresser while she combs your beard or seeing you two peak outside the window at night to wish good night to the squirrels, the moon and Dadi Vandana. I love when you imitate her cry and she rolls her eyes with a smirk on her face. I love when you let her pick her clothes and endorse her choice even when there is absolutely no match. You are her rock and her safety port, her best friend and counselor.
Your child-like personality is a gift and I often tell myself I must have done something good to have you as the father of my daughter.
Thank you for being so patient with us and for showing me that Love is the only and fastest way to the heart. We love you Papa!
For more info on humility in relationships: