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dad: kiddie support

By my mom's estimate my dad probably owes her something in the neighborhood of $20,000 in back child support. When I've mentioned this to him he bristles at the very idea that he should have to pay child support, or gives a wounded look that he I haven't aknowledged him for the child support he has paid. He claims my mother told him when she left him that she would never ask him for child support. Oooooh-kay.

Now my sister and I are completely grown. I think once every six months or so my mom would start court proceedings again way back when, but my dad proved quite agile at legal machinations. A combination of not showing up in court, skillful pleadings to the judge, showing up with a sob story and a lawyer at the last moment, and having absolutely no income to speak of allowed him to defer the long arm of the law just about indefinately. I won't say he didn't pay any child support, but proportionately I don't think the final numbers would be very impressive.

It's not that he was just a malicious layabout...he works...in his own way. I don't think he's had a regular job where he was employed by someone in a very long time, and I don't know anymore if he's capable of such a thing. It makes me chuckle to think about it actually. Soon after he got hired he would be telling his boss how he could transform his business into something of much greater scope (anything is possible!) and sell lifetime memberships for...uhhh...car insurance.

Besides, it is a waste of time to work for an hourly wage when one is constantly on the cusp of putting together that big deal that will fill stadiums with people willing to pay for a lifetime membership to The Life Center. I know he believes that when he makes his millions he will lavish us (including my mom) with wealth that we could never imagine. I know it. He'd never admit he doubts it for a moment.

My mom remarried a year or so after she left my dad, and then a year or so after that, they moved to another city...Rockford, where I grew up. From what I gather, my mom and new step-dad didn't leave a forwarding address, and I didn't hear from my dad for what I think was a few years.

I remember I asked one day what ever happed to the ol' man, and I think my mom said that she didn't know how to get ahold of him. I remember being gripped by despair that I had somehow lost touch of someone so important, and faced the stark possibility of never seeing him again. (I was maybe...seven?)

"Well, maybe we'll be driving to Chicago one day and we'll pass him on the street!" I said, but I knew the chances were pretty slim. God, I remember how utterly hopeless I felt about it.

Well I needn't have worried. He must have eventually went to the courts with some cash, because one day my mom told us that the visitation was to begin. Much of this visitation happened at good old Cherryvale Mall.

to be continued...


Oddly, I feel kind of sympathetic towards your Pop as well as towards you and your mom.

It's not odd...that's kinda the picture I'm painting. My sister and I got raised and fed just fine. We both have the dharma and our own lives, my mom just bought a house and is doing well. He's the one who's still living on the streets of Chicago.

thank god for buddha!

Yet again, it's funny how you can see so much of yourself in someone else. I remember feeling the same way when my mom got married to my dad - and my father stopped coming over. I was nine.

The next time I saw him, I was 22. My sister found him in Texas. We met, we hugeed, shared stories and adresses. I'm 28 now, and I haven't really spoken to him since.