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I Love My Baby Daddy

Photograph by Getty Images

He hates it when I call him that, but we're not together so I don't really care. We broke up nearly 11 years ago and this is the first time I can honestly say out loud that I love him. Sure, it isn't the type of love I had for him back when we were undergrads, all hot and heavy. It lacks the passion of romantic desire but it is laced with something even more potent—appreciation.

My baby daddy takes such good care of our kids. My two sons live with him while I flitter and flutter around the country, trying to make something of myself. The only reason I am able to be this free is because I can rest easy knowing he has them and he's a great dad.

For years I hated his guts. There were times when I would pray for his death. He didn't appreciate me. He didn't value my love. He left me and moved on to another woman and I was left to pick up the pieces of my broken dreams without him.

But today, who cares? I released all of that anger cloaked in "woulda, shoulda, couldas." Everything that happened is done. I began to see the blessing in our break up when I stopped trying to play the victim. Victimhood was so easy. It allowed me to place the blame on him for my inability to achieve my goals. My anger and resentment was my only attachment to him, and I needed that attachment because without it I would be all alone.

I love him for leaving me. I would have never struck out on my own.

I love my baby daddy, not because I want to be with him but because he is the nurturer of my children. I love him for all the trips he takes them on. I love him for arranging for tutors for them. I love him for grilling burgers and taking them to church. I love him for teaching them to do chores. I love him for being at every one of their recitals, ball games and programs. I love it when I call my sons and ask what they are up to and they say, "Daddy’s taking us to the museum/the Swap Shop/summer camp/the movies."

Sometimes I'll listen to their adventures with their dad and I'll ask my son, "Boo, can you ask your daddy if he'll be my daddy too? I'll be good."

I love him for leaving me. I would have never struck out on my own. I would have been stuck up under him trying to assist him in his goals. The world would have never been introduced to the magic of Te-Erika.

I love him.

I made an awesome choice back when I was young. Of course I was just looking at that smooth black skin and stellar transcript, but I must have sensed something else too. I love my baby daddy for helping me to create such amazing sons as a gift to this world. But most of all, I love him for being the rock while I am not.

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