My Uncle Richard, Dad's older brother, was in healthier days a rascale of the highest order and I loved him for it. Nothing could send chills down my father's spine faster than the idea that I might be influenced by his older brother. Uncle Richard, to put not too fine a point on it was the type of guy you kept your kids away from for fear of his influence. Like me, he enjoyed his drink but in bigger quantities. Like me he also liked women - or as he puts it-"Little Girls." I remember him giving me my most valuable lesson - "When it comes to sex, learn to use the tounge and fingers, your dick is only for ejaculation." Even today in his sickly state, Uncle Richard reminds me to make sure that my next wife is "Half My Age," (Every woman over 25 is OLD).
Uncle Richard is what you could call my first role modle in rougish behaviour. As far as he was concerned, screwing anything was fair game. However, even this most rougish of my family members had some standards and drew the line at certain things. As far as my uncle was concerned, it was unacceptable to cheat your children. Wives and girlfriends as far as he was concerned, could be replaced but kids were another matter.
So I suppose in a perverse way, I figured that if this most rougish of characters refused to cheat children, I figured there had to be something there. I think the old rouge has a point. Adults, as I am discovering, are pretty awful. Most adults deserve what they get. Children on the other hand are a different matter. No kid ask to be born into the circumstances they are born into. Adults, if they're worth anything, ensure that they're kids get the best chances in life that they can get.
I am by no means a saint. The people who know me today cannot help but snigger when someone brings up the fact that I was such a good student of Christian theology that the school chaplin spent seven-years trying to get me confirmed and that as a small kid, I had one of Tibetan Budhist's most senior lamas declaring I was a "Pure Soul." Yet, despite my misdeeds, I was blessed by Thui's presence in two short months in 2006. This made me realise that doing right by a child goes along way to repairing your awfulness. It's something I've observed to be true, even in the most rougish of my friends. One of them has produced and raised not one but five gems. Say what you like of the rouges, but when you see the way they've touched the lives of kids, you realise that they've left a wonderful legacy for humanity depsite their misdeeds.
So, I cannot figure out what makes some men stoop so low that they will cheat the small children in their lives? I think I've done some pretty awful things in my life and I've known people who have behaved pretty appaulingly too. Yet, and yet, all of them have ensured that they were never awful to kids or at least their own.
I mean child abuse is evil. What else can one say? Then again, I've heard that many child abusers have medical conditions and so, as well as punishing them for their crimes, there is a need to give them treatment and rehabilitation.
But there are other crimes against children that are not child abuse. One that comes to mind are the men who refuse to maintain support for their children during a divorce. What makes them do it? For the life of me, I can't understand it and if anyone can come up with a reasonable explination for such behaviour, I'll listen.
I'm a child of divorced parents and I am divorced myself. So, its easy to for me to understand why "grown-ups" split. Just as its easy to fall in love, it also easy to fall out of love. Husbands are the usual culprits who cheat on their wives and I can understand when the wife does not want a cheating husband around. Then again, I've experienced the other end and know that wives can be intollerable. So, in such situations, divorce is a healthy option.
Yet, children are a different matter. OK, men don't go through childbirth but I've been fortunate to be blessed by two wonderful stepfathers, who have shown that fatherhood is not necessarily biological. A father may not carry a child but he does play an important part in creating the child and when you play a role, a bond of sorts must be developed. I remember Lee, my mother's second husband, when he had first separated from my mother. He need to see me see me, his stepson was as great as it was to see my sister, his flesh and blood. I was a child in his life and we had a bond. It actually hurt him that I didn't turn to him when I had problems with Gina.
Having encountered a few stories of father's who have cheated their children, I now count myself even more blessed that not only have I been the natural son of a good man, I am also the stepson of two great men.
One of the most recent ones for me, is a story on how a man walked out on his wife and two kids. The wife is desparately trying to collect arears on his child support and the payments are years old. Apparently this has gone on for seven-odd years where he's petitioned the courts to have his child-support reduced and even waived. The man claims he has no money to provide for his kids but plenty to drag his ex to court several times. I can't believe that he's willing to invest the time and effort to avoid paying basic living expenses for his own kids.
Like I said, if he had issues with his wife and doesn't want to pay her, I can understand - but for the life of me, I can't understand what he has against providing a few pennies for his kids? Sure, if you don't want to put the money in your ex's account - may be offer to pay half the school fees. Surely, you'd imagine he'd want to fight for a role in raising his own kids.
I've never met the bugger and I don't want to. No matter how rich or well connected he is, a man who's very presence can get his 8-year old son so emotional in a negative way is not worth dealing with.
Like wise, there are men who go out of their way to make wills to exclude children from previous marriages. Again, it's beyond me why they'd go through all that trouble to screw up their kids - we're not talking about rich men who have discovered they're brought a bunch of wack jobs into the world and feel it's necessary to cut them out and make them stand on their own two feet. These are guys who happily made one family, left it and then created another and now want to ensure their first family is left out in the cold.
I know another man in Europe who earns over a 100,000 pounds a year. When he left his wife, he found it difficult to give her a hundred nor did he feel it was worth his while to actually buy one of his son's a Christmas present (he actually stopped the kids pocket money).
When men behave like this, it is akin to admiting impotence. They can't take it out on their wives, so they take it out on their kids. That's not manhood, that's neoCON eunachdome.