Friday, February 19, 2010

Lessons in Fatherhood

Sometimes, I’m caught off guard by Justin’s openness to Migc and Kristen. I know, there are men that do it all the time, and women too, but he is exceptional to me. The depth of his love for them brings me to a stand-still sometimes.

Last night, in the ER, I had one of those moments. I handed over our medical insurance card and the woman asked if Justin was dad to Migc. I said, “yes, well stepdad.” She said, “He’s dad to me.” He is. Their father carries insurance on them, but he has always played games with it and I’ve never used it. Since it was court-ordered, I’ve never used it. In fact, I don’t even have an insurance card because he doesn’t provide one, though I know he carries insurance because the order was sent to his employer. Justin not only carries them on his insurance, he pays 100% of all medical bills not paid by insurance. Again, their dad is supposed to pay 50%, but he doesn’t. He refuses to. Since we’ve lived here, he’s never paid one. Justin doesn’t do it because he has to. He doesn’t do it because it’s court ordered or because I ask him to or for any reason other than because they are his children and that’s what you do for your children. He has never thought twice about whether difference in blood should determine what he does or doesn’t do.

I’ve talked also about him being put on 2nd shift at work. Immediately, when that happened he began seeking a new job. On 2nd shift, he still gets to see Jaden and I during the day. He will get to see Kara too. With the shift change, he gets one hour in the morning with Migc and Kristen and maybe weekends, if he’s not required to work. He cannot handle that. He can’t even handle the thought of it. He has to see them. It kills him that he can’t. He’s willing to change jobs and relocate his family for the major purpose of being able to spend the time he wants to spend with Migc and Kristen. Their father works average jobs in Chicago. He could work the exact same jobs here in Wichita. He has no family, no ties to Chicago whatsoever, yet is unwilling to relocate just himself in order to see them. Blood doesn’t mean a thing!

Then two nights ago, we were talking about this delivery and if the placenta is still too low-lying to have a vaginal birth. I told Justin that we would have an unassisted homebirth, where I would hemorrhage and die before I would have a c-section. I was kidding and he knew it, but still, he looked at me and said, “No you won’t because remember, if you die, I don’t just lose you. I lose Migc and Kristen too, and I can’t do that.” As strange as it may seem, that thought plagues Justin and I. It’s true. They would go to the dad that doesn’t care for them and love them the way Justin does, and he would never allow Justin to be a part of their life. That thought is an ever-present fear of Justin’s.

He had a good example in his own dad, but that doesn’t keep me from being stopped in my tracks sometimes and amazed that a man can be so capable of loving children not his own. There is no depth he wouldn’t go for them and no mountain he wouldn’t climb. That’s what being a dad is!


1 comment:

Amber said...

that's an amazing section you just wrote about your husband! Truly blessed you are :)