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Bossip can you help me? I’m a 34 year old college educated black man that made the worst mistake of my life. My grandmother always said common sense was not very common and I was never accused of being the brightest when it came to personal affairs. I was in college when I met my ex-fiance and we had an instant connection. We would go to concerts, art galleries and talk about everything, we had the same likes and interests so we got a long very well. After we graduated we moved in together because we were in love or so we thought and it worked out until we discovered she was pregnant. I urged her to terminate the pregnancy but she had her reasons why she didn’t want and she decided to have our son. During her pregnancy things fell apart. I felt like she was robbing me of my “golden years” and trying to make me a permanent part of her life. It turns out my son, who is now 11, is the best thing that ever happened to me. She left the state and went back to her hometown shortly after she had (our son) and I lived my life as if they didn’t exist. It was a sh*tty thing to do and it never sat right in my heart but I was doing my own thing while she was raising my son to be the beautiful young man he is today. She never pressured me to come around or adhere to a support payment because she said if it wasn’t in me to be a father then she wasn’t going to force me. She allowed me to see him whenever I decided to show my face and despite a few fights from time to time which were mostly provoked by me she remained cordial and pleasant. My son is amazing and thanks to her I can honestly say he’s already more of a man than I am today. I takes a lot for me to admit that but I realize I’ve been absent for birthdays, holidays, first days of school and many other milestones that I cannot get back. My son has started asking the questions that I knew I would have to answer at some point in his life and I answer them honestly but I’ve hurt him deeply and it hurts me more. I went to see him a few weeks ago and me, him and his mom all hung out and it hit me, I’ve lost my son and best friend. I realized that I want my family back. I want to try and be the family we should have been. The problem is she’s moved on and has been seeing this dude for about a year. Neither one of us have had anymore kids or gotten married so I think it deserves a chance but how do I get her to realize this?

Good day to you, sir! Thank you for writing in and sharing your story! Once again, another classic case of “you never know what you’ve got until it’s long gone!” Let’s start here, it takes some guts to admit your parental shortcomings on the world wide web and hopefully your story will bring light to the fact that it’s never too late to get involved in your child’s life . . . that young man needs you in his life. So, if nothing else, continue to see about your son and remain active in his life regardless of what comes of your quest to reunite your family. What is it, exactly, that you need her to realize? Not only did you abandon your responsibilities but you neglected your child. If that’s any indication of how you react under pressure or when times get tough, how could she and your son trust you enough to give you another chance?

Sure enough, 23 years of age is quite young to have a child but, sir, but you knew the potential outcomes of your actions (which takes two) and from those actions came the quintessential love child that, by your own admission, you ignored and acted selfishly and irresponsibly. Since you recently visited your son and his mother, you’re realizing just how much you’ve missed and, naturally, want to be involved from here on out and that’s good. But here’s the deal, maybe you’re overwhelmed by the feelings you’ve dismissed for your son and his mother all these years and, possibly, the guilt that’s been weighing heavy on you. Surely, it’s a lot to process and if you were allowed a do-over, this would likely be the time you’d use it, right? Take some time to sort through your thoughts and feelings before you go opening up old wounds. Your son deserves the best from you, so take your time and get to know him better and show him just how dedicated you are this time around! At this point, your actions will determine the end result and also trumps anything that comes out of your mouth.

Now, here’s the brutal truth: your son’s mother is probably so over you. She’s been picking up your slack, financial and otherwise, for 11 years now! Answering questions you should’ve been around to answer, wiping away tears that she wanted to cry herself and playing both parental roles. All the while allowing you to come and go as you please for the sake of the child you made together. She’s been putting him first which is an idea that you’re just now warming up to . . . 11 years later. You have a lot of catching up to do so it might be best to place your time and attention on your son and give her a break, already! Again, she’s been doing your job for years without courtroom drama and an open door policy to see your son. Now she’s moved on and you want her back? That’s selfish at best! Just be a father and enjoy your son for now and if it’s meant for you all to be back together, then it will come into fruition effortlessly but don’t go kicking up dust in their life because you suddenly want in. Cool it! Be a father to your child and let things fall into place naturally. Good luck to you, sir! Good luck!

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