WRONG

golden leaves

'I'm more important than [her]...I'm his daughter' I heard Saffron exclaim as we talked via Skype this morning. It hurt me to hear those words as yesterday she was so excited about the possibility of going away for three days with her father alone. Without the new girlfriend. The other option, she explained, was her father going away with the girlfriend. Sadly, the girlfriend won over my daughter.

Before his arrival, Saffron would often lament '...but he can see her anytime in Texas'. Her reasoning was astounding and insightful, particularly for an 8-year old. I asked her if she had mentioned her wishes to her father. She tells me she did several times but was dismissed with the response of his wishing to spend time with his girlfriend.

'He never listens...I told him a billion thousand times' she continued. Then she fondly recalled the time we spent together in October. The time I spent every day with her for two weeks. She is thankful for it, as am I. She also remembers the four days I spent with her and her siblings this past summer as I flew from Ireland to Berlin to surprise her for her birthday. I am grateful my boyfriend understood the importance of my last-minute departure. The look on her face as she noticed me at the farmer's market the day of my arrival was one I will never forget.

'I'm sorry, baby. There's nothing I can do' I continued to tell her. Truly there was nothing I could do. I tried my best, advising him several times against taking the new girl with him to Germany and telling him he should focus his time with his daughter. He chose not to listen. Neither to me nor his daughter when she expressed her desire to spend all of the holidays alone with him.

Often I wonder about the repercussions of such a wrong and inappropriate choice. I wonder how someone can choose a new relationship over spending time with a daughter one has not seen in four months. The decision baffles me and I am sad for my daughter. I wish I could give her an explanation which makes sense. However, there is no explanation for this decision - at least not one suitable for a child.

A child should never be made to feel unimportant, especially to a parent. In time, the child might forgive but will never forget and is something which will be carried on into the adult years. A decision so simple turned wrong in a moment. Never to be made right. What saddens me most is the fact there is nothing I am able to do to change the outcome and to make things right for her. As a mother, I feel powerless in this situation even though I have done all I could to avoid this incident from occurring.

After our call, Saffron sent me an email reminding me of the special dinner we planned for the day of her return in five weeks. I promised her she would stay with me the first night and following day before my departure for Ireland. Sweet words from my kind-hearted girl: 'When I come back you will make fish with rice and brocolye Your the best mama in the world I miss you mama I wish you were here mama Love saffron your big girl.'