At my son’s 3rd birthday party he had been playing with a balloon when it suddenly burst – as balloons do. He gathered up the pieces, or at least those of them that were big enough to pick up, and tearfully handed them to me. “Daddy mend?”. Fortunately I had more balloons so I simply inflated another one and gave him.
Over the years, the incident stuck in my mind. It became a metaphor for a parent’s job. Pick up the pieces as best you can and try to put them back together. And I think I have done a pretty good job. Sometimes a chequebook solves the problem, sometimes it’s more complicated. But whatever is broken, Dad will do his best to mend it.
My son is 44 now – divorced, and in the middle of an extremely acrimonious battle for custody of his son. And I have never felt so helpless. He may be an adult but he is still my son. I see uncomfortable parallels between the 3-year-old tearful over a broken balloon and the 44-year-old barely holding it together because he hasn’t seen his son for nearly three months.
He is heartbroken.
And so am I.Recommend0 recommendationsPublished in