When Prince was a couple of months old, I took him to the beach for the first time. My dramatic exit from Luc’s house had just happened a little over a month earlier and I was still in a bit of shock. I went from being engaged to a man I “thought” I loved (I say “thought” because the real man wasn’t anything like the man I believed I was in love with) and celebrating the birth of my baby boy, to being slapped in the face with a harsh reality that I believe deep down I had been fearing. I wanted to badly for this man to be the father I had hoped for my son, but the reality was that he was not even a man worthy enough for a first date – let alone someone that I should have ever chosen to have a child with.
Before I had children, I always imagined how my son or daughter would look up to their father as I had looked up to mine. I dreamed of the type of man who took his children out for special events, read to them at night, and did everything he could – ever single day – to make sure they had the best life possible.
During our drive to the beach, we stopped at a gas station. I watched a father get out of his car with his son. The father looked at his son with joy and the son proudly followed his father while he watched every step the man took…in order to make sure his own steps matched. As I sat there nursing my son and looking into his bright brown eyes, I started crying. I cried because I knew that Prince would never have that kind of father. The man I had imagined (and had wanted to believe I was with) didn’t exist in Prince’s father.
Some people might read this blog and think that I am a man hating anti-father’s rights sort of woman; however, that could be further from the truth. I know many men who would jump in front of a train if it meant saving their child and who deserve the support of “father’s rights” groups court during custody trials. I have also received letters from men who are battling psychopath mothers in court. I accept that disordered people come in both genders.
I wanted my son to have a good father – I wanted him to be safe and happy – and I wanted him to have the opportunity to grow up and be a man someday. The court, however, only cared about whether or not my son had access to both biological parents and not about the actual welfare of the child. The court wasn’t concerned about my child growing up, it was just concerned with getting the parents out of court.
When the Washington Post Editorial came out this morning, I read some disturbing comments. People seemed so ready to blame me for my bad choices (i.e. falling for Luc’s lies). I was blamed for “not using protection” as if this made it so that Prince deserved this fate because his mother didn’t force her boyfriend to wear a condom. (As if this reader even knew the circumstances surrounding my son’s conception or it was any of his business)
The fact of the matter is that whether or not one believes I am a whore (which my friends and family can attest that I am not), should have no relevance in this story. Children should never be judged and held accountable for the decisions of their parents. An innocent child died and this could have been avoided. It isn’t about sex, it isn’t father’s rights, and it isn’t about a woman’s vengeful attitude – it’s about a child. It is about a group of people who have taken an oath to protect and serve (i.e. judges and police) and how these people failed to protect an innocent child.
So to all the haters out there who want to write me off because you don’t believe my story, or you want to protect your part in this, or you are just plain hateful – don’t try and hijack this discourse. Prince’s story is important and I will not let people diminish its impact because of their ignorant attempts to cloud the issues.