Life as a single dad is just fine with me. After 2 decades together my wife and I just grew apart. Actually she grew up and I stayed wild and free. So the other day I was telling my twin daughters that if I had a choice between being a husband or a father I would choose being a father. After the marriage imploded I moved back to my favorite city, Miami and I started over again. I was recovering from a near deadly Harley accident and a major meltdown. It took a few years to get back on track but all is well now in Magic City. I commute to my daughters house in Chaaaleston South Carolina (Y’aaaaalllll) almost every weekend and I have to say it’s better than living there. I’m a city boy and I never did well in little towns. I need the vibrancy of my beautiful city with all it’s cultures blended together. My daughters say Miami is their favorite place and we now have two homes for 2 families. The Dad house and the Mommy house are just fine. And even if I have spent $100,000 traveling to visit the Carolinas and my babies it’s all good. Life is short and I just want to be happy and free and a good daddy. Maybe I was not good at being a hubby, but I got the daddy thing down just right!
I love being a single dad. It’s awesome. Sure when I leave my girls in Carolina and head back to Miami I am sad and miserable but we have learned to make the best of it. When I visit my girls in Charleston SC we go out and drive around having long talks while jamming out to tunes! I keep a Mustang GT parked at my old house and Black Beauty- that’s her name- is our magic machine. We drive to nowhere usually at night in our super fast and slick Pony and as we eat up miles of road we share our love for each other. Sometimes we stop at the park to play soccer or swing. We always go to Folly Beach where we stop at Berts and enjoy ice creams. Lila has Superman ice cream, usually 2 scoops in a waffle cone. Audra has a double scoop of chocolate in a waffle cone. I eat a few chocolate King of Pop popsicles and a cheeseburger and maybe some Biggie Smalls chips! Our Mustang GT, our ice cream breaks and our fun at the park make the visits together perfect!
When I visit my girls I try to do chores around my old house. It’s funny to be a guest at the house you once bought and shared with your wife. It hurts to see the empty look in my ex wife’s eyes. There is no love left in her heart for me, just contempt. But I still love her. I always will.
So I cook and prepare extra meals and sometimes freeze them so things will be easier for her. I go shopping and buy groceries. I pick up furniture that she buys online for her endless decorating and upgrading. I pressure wash the house and massive driveway and pool deck. I do laundry. I spray for bugs. I clean the toilets and showers and mop the floors and fix the pantry. I help the kids with anything they need like buying them record players and replacing our record albums that mommy donated to Goodwill along with many of my prized possessions. I do all the things that a good husband would do. Without receiving a single hug or word of praise from the mother of my children. Sometimes my ex is angry if I mention the work I do. So I try to stay mute. But I do my best to make her life better when I visit and after 5 years I am finally allowed to stay in the house. No more expensive hotels or Airbnbs. I get to stay in the bottom bunk in my daughters room and I am in Heaven. It’s better than being all alone in my tiny apartment in Miami or at some lonely hotel room. But I can tell my ex wife does not want me around and I know that if I died tomorrow she would not care because I don’t believe that she thinks fathers are needed or that they even matter. Because of this there are days when I feel worthless and like a failure as a father. Even though I try my best to fix up around the house and do more than some married men do for their wives it will never be enough. But that’s okay because I am proud of myself. I feel lucky to be alive after 5 years of tough times on my own. She may not want to be married to me. But I know I would marry me! In a way I have because I am slowly learning to love myself again. I have realized not to look for love from another person because maybe that person does not even love themself?
Spending almost 25 years dedicated to pleasing one person has taught me to appreciate being single. I am happy to remain a bachelor forever because I gave myself away to a person that is now a stranger to me. It’s funny in a sad way. I guess we never truly know who people are do we? And romantic love can fade away, but the love of a daughter is real and forever. This is what will keep me alive.
(Update: I originally started to write this article back on March 22 2020 while on a flight back to Miami from the Carolinas. It was just a few days after the pandemic started. I am finishing the story today in late August. I am visiting my girls again in the Carolinas. I have been blessed to see them almost daily since Easter. I was bringing them to work with me in Miami for a few months until I was laid off from my job. I believe my crusty old manager decided that single dads are too distracted and useless so he canned me. And now I am laid off but I don’t care because I would pay a million dollars a day to be close to my girls.
I am cherishing this time we have together because they are growing so fast that soon they will be too busy for dad. Today as I lay in my daughters bottom bunk finishing this essay I have no worries.
My family is just the 3 of us now and together we can do anything. My daughters love will get me through this temporary slump, because that’s what family does. They make you stronger and help you when you are down! I know I will be back on my feet again soon because I now know that fathers do matter despite what my ex wife, the lawyers and the courts think.)