Monday, October 25, 2010

From Father to Visitor

This post is an encouragement for the dads who are going through or have ever gone through a divorce or separation and have had to adjust to their children visiting them. Having been through such a situation, I can tell you that it seems like a punch in the gut to go from having your child(ren) living with you to them visiting you periodically. Some of you are heart-broken every time you think of only seeing your children every other weekend, when you were so used to having them in the home all the time.

I wrote the poem Visitation to encourage the caring dads - letting them know they're not alone. If you find yourself in such a situation now, just know that you're not the first to go through such a transition. The key is to maintain your relationship with your children even under the different living arrangements. In time, you will be rewarded - knowing that your children continually feel loved by you, despite the ending of the relationship between their mother and you.

Be encouraged. My mom always says, "The darkest part of the night is just before dawn." For some of you, the nights have been dark indeed. But, as has been my experience, the dawn is inevitable. Today, that chapter is almost a decade-old experience for me. And my daughter has adjusted quite well. She knows she's loved by both her parents and even though that marriage didn't work out, she's fully assured that all is well.

So just hang in there guys! Things seem to work themselves out in time. Be encouraged - and enjoy reading the poem, Visitation.


I was there when the doctor told us
That we were having a girl
Our parents were right there to hold us
We were so on top of the world;

I was right there for your christening
I was holding my bundle of joy
The preacher said, “Look, do you see him?
He’s smiling like a little boy;"

I was there when you started the first grade
You made me the proudest of dads
I really thought I had it made
Didn’t know things would turn out so bad;

Now the marriage I lived for is over
We’ve started new lives on our own
Now I struggle as I try to recover
‘Cause you live all the way across town;

I’m your father, not a visitor
This feeling is so new to me
I want to see you grow older
To be what a father should be;

I just don’t know ‘bout this system
Didn’t know it was really this bad
I don’t want you to be a victim
I just want to be your dad;

Yet I still hope for tomorrow
I know better days lie ahead
But for now I try to mask this sorrow
Some words are better left unsaid

My dear, I will leave you never
So you don’t have to be sad
Our tie no one can sever
Always and forever, your dad.

© 2010 Rodrick Walters

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