Yesterday was my goddaughter’s first birthday. Her father, whom I’ve NEVER been friends with and only say “Hi” to out of respect for her mother, inboxed me on Facebook asking me to remove the photo I posted
Part of me was like “Stay the F_©K out my inbox!” But I realized despite what I know he’s done to my step sister, he’s never directly disrespected me. His request was worded politely and by no means aggressive. He’s only able to see the photo because my step sister is tagged in it. Then I was upset because he called the photo “personal.” *How the hell is a photo that I took, of MY godchild, on MY phone, PERSONAL to YOU?*
I can just see ANGER running around in my head try to “put the foot down.” But then I had to ask myself “Why are you REALLY angry?”
I’ve been examining my judgment of other people’s relationships & approaches to parenthood lately.
I’m biased. I grew up in a single MOTHER household. My mother, my youngest sister and I all have the same last name. There was never any confusion at school or the doctor’s office & I grew to know the world from that ONE view.
I found myself judging women who give their child the father’s last name if they aren’t married. And then I remembered my friend Denell has physical custody of his daughter. Should SHE have her mother’s last name? Does he have the right to petition to change it if she does?
I didn’t respond to my goddaughter’s dad’s request to remove her photo. Although I’ve come to respect his rights as her father to have concerns about the image of his child, I disagreed that it was personal. She was fully clothed. She didn’t have any hair to be “done”, she was clean and there weren’t any items in the background that could be used to identify her location. Her mother “liked” the photo and therefore I decided not to play pawn in one of their potential feuds.
It did however bring to the forefront my biases against men in parenthood. Only thing I had of my Daddy’s was his face and some days even that’s too much.
I recall being about 15 or 17 years old and Buddha tried to take my phone and I told him directly to his face, he had “No right to touch my phone. You didn’t buy it and you don’t pay this bill.”
When I was 14 Step Dad #2 and I got physical and I told him he had “no right to put his hands on me. You’re not my real father anyway.” I guess I’ve always been biased toward a father’s rights in parenthood. More important than a father’s rights, is a Daddy’s love.