I’ve never met you or even spoken on the phone, but when I was dating your son a few years back, I know he told you about me. I’m the girl he knew for over a decade, the sober girl who was trying to help him kick the drug and alcohol problem that landed him in the hospital more than once, the one who wanted him to get better.
What he probably didn’t tell you is that I am the mother of his child.
Before you decide that you hate me, I just want you to know: my primary purpose in life is protecting my son, who is better off without an emotionally unstable, toxic, and hot mess of a deadbeat dad in his life. You may be wishfully thinking: perhaps he doesn’t even know about this son? But yes, he does and he never wanted anything to do with him.
In fact, he hasn’t attempted to contact us since the week I told him I was pregnant, shortly after I peed on the stick that would change my life forever. That same week he started dating another girl. I heard that he started drinking again, which isn’t surprising. I have never asked him for a dime, nor has he volunteered to contribute financially. I don’t feel bad that Jackson (that is your grandson’s name) has never met his sperm donor, but I have struggled with guilt when it comes to the topic of you, his biological grandmother and grandfather.
I don’t know that much about you, but according to your son, you are really good people. He told me that you are loving grandparents to his daughter, the product of a similar circumstance and of whom he barely has a relationship with, so I can only conclude that you would be the same way with Jackson. That being said, I didn’t feel it was my place to reach out to you, considering the circumstances and your son’s wishes. I also feared that you would pressure him to “do the right thing,” which in my opinion would be the wrong thing.
I am fairly certain you don’t know that Jackson exists, because if you did, I would like to think you would have tried to find him. I have every intention of being honest with my son when he’s old enough to understand, and I’m sure he will ask about his biological grandparents one day and probably want to meet you. I would like that very much.
Even though I will never be able to understand how a man could make a decision to abandon his own child, it spawned this unbelievably beautiful life for Jackson and I, and both of us have been showered with unconditional love since the moment he was born.
Jackson hasn’t gone a day without a daddy. I reunited with Nick, the love of my life, toward the end of my pregnancy, and from that day on he has been committed to spending the rest of his life with us. It was Nick who cut his umbilical cord and held him the first few moments of his life, who woke up with him in the middle of the night and held him until he cried himself back to sleep. He was there to see him take his first steps and say his first word (which ironically, was “dada”) and to celebrate every birthday and holiday. Jackson loves him so much, and it melts my heart every time I see the two of them together, wrestling, running through sprinklers, or cuddling in bed, and when I hear Nick proudly brag to people about his son. Nick loves him the same way he loves our daughter, Jackson’s little sister, Barrett, who joined us less than three months ago.
After we got married, Nick legally adopted Jackson, taking on full physical and financial responsibility of him for the rest of his life, which I found to be more significant than him saying “I do” on our wedding day. Your son eagerly signed away his rights, telling my lawyer that he wanted “those people” out of his life forever, and ordering her never to send correspondence to his apartment because his girlfriend didn’t know anything about it.
Little does he know what he is missing out on, because Jackson is without a doubt one of the most happy-go-lucky, enigmatic, and carefree children ever created. I wish you could see him at preschool, throwing his head back in intoxicating giggles watching the robot dinosaur move around, or at the playground, chasing the other kids around in circles. He knows all the numbers one through twenty, as well as the entire alphabet (he makes me sing the ABCs to him every night before bed!). His greatest passion in life is choo choo trains — seeing them, playing with them, talking about them, reading about them, riding them; we joke that he is going to be an engineer one day. He loves to sing and has a delicately beautiful voice, and if you sing him a song once, he will remember some of the lyrics and when you least expect it, sing them back to you.
My family is so dysfunctional, so I was worried that Jackson would miss out on the whole grandparent experience, but Nick’s family embraced him as their own flesh and blood the moment I carried him into their home when he was just two months old. Their love for him is unfathomable. When I was pregnant with our daughter, Nick’s father told his wife that he couldn’t imagine loving anyone (other than her, of course) more than Jackson.
Your son, who tried to bully me into terminating the pregnancy through a series of slanders, including telling me I was going to be a terrible mother, was so wrong. I kick ass. I am 100 percent devoted to my children, and I have been with Jackson every single night of his life, minus the two spent at the hospital when his sister was born.
Many women feel “abandoned” by men who leave them during pregnancy, carrying anger and resentment toward them, but I am truly grateful for your son and the gift that he unwittingly gave to me. Three years ago I was alone, empty and lost, and today my life is so full, all because of that little boy, so clearly destined for this world. I joke that he was sent here to save me because of how my life has transformed in the last three years. On blissful Sunday mornings, lounging in bed with my husband and our two children, I have to pinch myself because I never thought I would feel love like this.
I rarely think about your son, but every now and then Jackson will turn his head a certain way, or stare at me just so, and all I can see is him. In those moments, I wonder what he was like when he was Jackson’s age. If he had any quirks or mannerisms similar to my son, what he looked like, and if his favorite foods were macaroni and cheese, bananas, and grapes?
Maybe I should have contacted you years ago, when I first discovered I was pregnant, but I have discussed it numerous times with my family and friends and they all think it’s better this way. For what it’s worth, though, I am sorry.
I can’t help but think that I have stolen precious moments from your life, like watching him eagerly blow out the candles of his birthday cake, hearing the words “I love you Nana and Pop Pop” sweetly slip off his little tongue, or simply not getting the chance to love one of the most amazing little humans on this planet.
Then I remember: I didn’t rob you of your grandson. Your son did.More On