• Male Emperor Penguin nuzzling chick During my husband’s recent 20-year high school reunion, which I dreaded having to attend, we got to making some small talk with one of his old high school buddies, Anderson, with whom he hasn’t spoken in over ten years. Andy was boasting and describing a worry-free life of being single without a care in the world. This was foreign to us since last we checked, he was married with three children. It turns out that Andy had gotten divorced almost three years ago and had been in and out of drug rehab for the past two years. Maybe he was just trying to talking tough to cover up his pain, but none the less, it was upsetting me the way he described his life as if he was on vacation or something.

    I tried to hold my tongue but that didn’t last too long.  “What happened to Veronica and the kids,” I asked? “Oh, she got re-married to some guy who, who I think, is a much better father than I ever was,” he responded. He continued with his foolishness, “I mean I checked that out when I met him because after all, he’s got my kids.” As if he had some say in the matter. Wow, was this guy totally out of touch, or what?

    You think he’s a better father? Don’t think, you can be sure! He was definitely right, and the fact that he acknowledged his shortcoming showed some hope. However, having a replacement father figure doesn’t absolve him from his responsibilities as a father. Both financially and to clean up his act to be a proper role model for his children.

    I understand that things happen in life and your children are resilient and will survive, and even thrive without you even if they have to get their needs met elsewhere. However, no one can truly replace a biological mother or father unless, perhaps, they were adopted at a very young age. Don’t get me wrong, they will have great step-parents or other guardians who will most likely better than their biological parents. Nonetheless, there’s always a pull and curiosity factor in a child’s mind about their biological parents.

    Knowing your limitations and removing yourself from their day-to-day lives might sometimes be necessary to prevent negative influences. however, your responsibilities don’t end there. Your children will want look up to you as a role model, simply because half of them is made up of you! It comes with the territory and comes down to whether they will see you in a positive light or as an example of how not to live their lives. So, don’t pass the buck and at the very least leave them with a positive legacy of always showing them that you care!