Bloom where you are Planted

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This was always a phrase that expats would use back in the day. It taught us that when you find yourself in a place where you didn’t really choose to be, and then realized you were going to stay a while, you had to welcome the change with open arms. It taught us to learn to adapt and take advantage of the opportunities in our new found country.

Well I’m no longer living in a foreign country, but I am living in another state. It was not part of the plan to come to this state from California four years ago and stay here for as long as we have. It was only supposed to be temporary and then move on again. I have always been the type of person who has never stayed in any one place too long.

Over the last few years, I knew that all this moving from place to place would eventually come to an end. I had told myself that wherever I was prior to my daughter entering high school, I would have to remain until she finished her education. It is almost like a game of musical chairs. When the music stops, that’s where you sit. That time has now come.

After what has seemed like a lifetime of thought, we have bought a house and will finally plant roots. 

I have always believed that distancing yourself from the place you grew up is the fastest way to determine what ties you have to places and whether they’re strong enough to keep you there. I’m not sure if this place is strong enough to keep me here, but I am determined to get as much out of it while I am here.

I am ready to make this home and to start new memories that will last a lifetime!

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Time Lost

I wonder what it is like to have a child and even though there is distance, to not even try to keep communication going. I often think to myself that when my daughter leaves and start her own life, I could never imagine not being in communication with her. I will email her, text her and call her every chance I get to be there for her and give her the support she needs. I would be wanting to hear how her life is going each and every day. I could not imagine my life without knowing all she is doing from the smallest things that happen in her life each day to the big accomplishments.

I guess its different for a parent who never really bonded with his child from the beginning.  There doesn’t seem to be a reason to keep communication going if you never had it in the first place. But then again, why start something up if you do not follow through?

If the truth be known, I was told many years ago when my daughter was born in Greece, that the father is not part of the child’s life until the child is five.  The reason being the child needs the mother until that age. Not knowing much about the Greek culture at the time, I believed it. It wasn’t until years later when I found out the truth.

Back in 2007, when I was getting ready to leave, he seemed very concerned about not being able to have communication with her. But as the years have went by, the truth came to light.  Follow the link below to read when he said back then…

Holding on to Hope

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To my Daughter’s Father Part II

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I wish you would have done it right and were her first love and the man who would never leave her heart.

I wish you would have been the father in her life and the one she would measure all others against.

I wish you would have been there to teach her what a father teaches his children.

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I wish you would have been there and not missed out on all those exciting moments in her life and there have been many.

I wish you would have been there to give the advice and help in understanding why things are the way they are.

I wish you would have been there to answer those difficult questions she has always had and be there to explain to her the reason for the answer given.

I wish you would have been there to share the difficult times that she has encountered in school and with friends during her childhood journey.

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I wish you would have seen her grow throughout the years into a mature young lady – one who holds firm to her beliefs and passions.

I wish you would have been there to see her off during her first day of school each year and were able to see her music performances and art shows.

I wish you would have taken the peace offering of me sharing all her days with you.

I wish you could have been there to help raise our daughter and be part of who she has become.

Maybe you couldn’t have been there in person, but you could have experienced it all through pictures and via skype.

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To my Daughter’s Father

A daughter should never have to beg

Over the years, I don’t think it has ever crossed your mind what you have put our daughter through. It hasn’t been the distance or even the fact that I brought her back with me to my home country. It has been your absence, not so much physically, but mentally.

She has had many questions throughout the years, questions that have been difficult for me to answer.  You have put me an awkward position answering her questions that were really meant for you.

The most difficult question would come from a sad voice on her birthday each and every year. She would ask, “Mom, its my Birthday, why hasn’t he texted or called to wish me a happy Birthday?”  

My response to her would usually be, that you were too busy even though I really knew the truth. I would quickly change the subject in hopes that she would forget and that usually worked but only for a while. I was always careful and would bite my tongue each and every time she asked about you in order to not make you look bad in her eyes.

I remember her waiting around and checking her phone before school, just to see if she would finally get that “Happy Birthday” text. Unfortunately, it never came and she would  hang her head down and leave for school. It was difficult having to see the sad look on her face and knowing that her day would be ruined as a result.

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Christmas was yet another time she would ask about you. She would do so when she would receive a package from her aunt (your sister) from overseas. She would ask  why you hadn’t sent anything or even called her. Once again, the subject would be changed and you remained in the clear.

Now that she is older, her questions have changed. Looking back, she now understands it was your choice to not have communication. As it is now, the excuses you are giving her are so transparent, she has no other choice.

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Worlds Apart – Overcoming the Distance

My daughter requested a Skype call with her father. He kept her waiting for over two hours because he said he was busy. First he said he was talking to his boss (even though he doesn’t work on weekends). Then he told her he had a troll on their social media. What does that have to do with why he wouldn’t get on to talk to her?

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As time passed, my daughter came to me and said she had been waiting for over two hours and felt that he just didn’t really want to chat with her. From the look on her face, I could tell that what he had told her the day before had really gotten to her.  Two hours later she gave up and texted him saying she didn’t feel like talking on Skype.

He replied, “I make half of what your mom makes a month. Yet I am paying half of your ticket to Greece and all of your expenses during your stay. And you know what? I ain’t complaining because I haven’t seen you face to face in five years. I work 60 hours a week yet I am paying three times more taxes than your mom. I am paying $7.50 a gallon on gas because that’s how much it costs here to drive around. It will cost 150 Euros to go back and forth to take you to your aunt’s, but because I haven’t seen you up close for five years, I do not complain. So..when I say I am busy, I probably truly am.  So, you know what? I don’t feel like it either!”

After my daughter received the above, she apologized to him not knowing what she was apologizing for.

He claims he will be paying for the half the ticket but that is yet to be seen. As far as him covering her expenses while she is there is all summer, she will not be with him except for one week the entire summer.
 Amazing Quotes About Being Ungrateful And Selfish 25 best deadbeat dad quotes on pinterest deadbeat
He then said:  “I have a certain level of animosity toward your mom. She has deprived me of your childhood and your presence in general.”

She then replied, “It’s not about the physical distance that separates us. It’s about what you do to overcome that distance, and you aren’t doing much.”

I don’t think I could have said it better myself. In this day and age of technology, one can communicate in various ways. Through emails, texts, Skype, Facebook and many others areas via the internet. It doesn’t matter what part of the world you live in. There is no excuse as to why a parent could not keep in contact with their children. If they don’t, its because they don’t have any interest in doing so.

Its been nine years since I left him and at that time, my daughter was five. I kept communication with him regarding how she was doing and after that first year, he no longer wanted to know. Even after she went back for a visit when she was ten, I told him it was up to him to determine what type of relationship he wanted with his daughter for the future. Unfortunately, that relationship never flourished.
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The Guilt Trip

When I purchased my daughter’s airline ticket, she told her father she would be going  Greece for the summer. He asked her if she would be spending any time with him and she told she would for the week he would be off on summer vacation. He seemed to not like that much at all.

In fact his reply was: “I will pick you up from the airport and will drive you straight to  your aunt’s then!”

My daughter felt a little bad not fully understanding why he was acting that way.

I can understand how hard it has been for my daughter as she has not had much of a relationship with him over the years.  There has been no phone calls, no birthday cards, no texts and no Christmas gifts. I believe the worst part of it has been when he contacts her via Skype, all he talks about is himself. He never asks her how she is doing or how she has been. He doesn’t even ask her about school. The truth is, he only started communicating with her prior to last summer only because he thought she would be going for the summer.

What kind of father tries to make his daughter feel guilty over something that is beyond her control?  The answer: A father who plays the victim to circumstances he has created.

When I heard he was picking her up from the airport, I emailed him the flight information so he would know when she would be arriving. He then emailed back saying he would pay for half the ticket and that he would be picking her up from the airport and would be taking her to her aunts.

I was shocked that he offered to pay for half the ticket. But that is yet to be seen. He hasn’t been there to help provide for our daughter since we left years ago when she was five. So why would he even offer to start now?

Just in case things turn sour, or in the end, he doesn’t pick her up from the airport, she will have money on her to purchase a ticket to fly to her aunt once she arrives in Greece.

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Greece Bound for Summer

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My daughter has been wanting to go to Greece to spend time with her aunt and grandfather. Some of you may remember the difficulties we faced last year in renewing her passport. Well I am happy to announce, she has her new passport and is ready for the long journey overseas.

The last time she went back to Greece was when she was ten. She flew with Lufthansa and they provided an escort for her since she was under age. They treated her very well and made her travel experience fun and exciting. So, I decided to look them up in hopes that she could fly with them again.

Have you ever noticed that when you go on line to begin searching for an airline ticket, the prices seem to go up every 15 minutes? 

I knew that once I got on line to purchase the ticket, I would have to do so quickly. When I searched for Lufthansa, all I found was Air Canada that way and Lufthansa back. The times were great and the price was less than I had expected to pay, so I decided to snag the flight before prices started going up.

As I began to complete the information for the purchase of the ticket and got down to her year of birth, as soon as I put it in, a message appeared:

“This passenger must be 16 years of age prior to the date of the flight”.  I quickly decided to pick up the phone and call Air Canada directly.

The man who answered informed me that the reason why I was not able to purchase the ticket was because my daughter was under the age of 16. That, I already knew. I then explained to him that was the reason for my call. I inquired regarding their escort service for minor children under the age of 16 and was told they do not provide an escort service for children, only for those who require wheelchairs.

I then asked him, “You do not provide an escort for minor children but they are free to purchase a ticket and travel alone internationally?”

He replied, “Yes. Air Canada does not take responsibility for minor children traveling alone. If her flight is canceled or delayed, we will give her a hotel voucher, but here in Canada children are not able to check into a hotel without a parent. So, you will have to make sure she has enough money and a cell phone as she will have to remain at the airport.”

After a few minutes of thinking about what he had just said, I tell him to proceed with the ticket purchase.

When I got off the phone, I informed my daughter of the ticket purchase and that it will be her sole responsibility to make sure she makes her connecting flight within an hour. I went on to tell her that if she misses her flight, she will have to shed some tears to see if they will put her on the next flight out. If not, she will remain at the airport until I purchase another ticket for her to return home. And if this happens, she will miss out on her entire summer in Greece. At that point, she became very nervous and stressed saying she wasn’t sure if she could do it.

At that point, I felt a little nervous for her myself and I tried very hard not to start stressing with all those thoughts floating around in my head of what could happen. She has always told me she wanted to be a traveler, well, here was her opportunity.

Two days later, the way I was feeling quickly disappear when she sent me this:

I’ve come up with a system on how this is going to work…

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When I’m about to board and then get ready for take off…

A bald eagle dives for a fresh kokanee, taken at Coeur d'Alene Lake Idaho

When I am about to land…

eagle

When I’ve landed

 

Posted in Children, Daughter, Everyday Life, Kids today, life, Parenting, Single mom, Single parent, Travel | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments