Those words broke through a conversation as I turned my focus to the sweet little face of a blond-haired, blue-eyed little beauty who was awaiting my attention.
"Ty doesn't have a daddy."
"No sweetie, he doesn't. Not yet."
My laissez-faire reaction was lost in the sharp-gasp of the mother who was completely mortified with the assumption that what her daughter said had hurt or embarrassed me.
But really? I think it's a big deal to everyone but me.
Ty doesn't have a daddy.
Ty doesn't have a father.
It's just me and Ty.
And I'm 100% okay with that.
He does have an amazing PaPaw and a pretty awesome Uncle Mike that step up to the plate until he, someday, does have a Daddy.
But he doesn't have a Daddy yet.
And really, it's okay.
Ty's 'genetic-donor' (as I call him in a very non-hateful or spiteful way) wasn't a fling or a one night stand or some random hook-up. But he also wasn't a boyfriend or a part of a committed relationship.
What he was (and still is) is someone who was present at a time when my heart was hurting and my thought process was lacking. He was (and still is) a friend who made a decision to do something that was probably not the best idea ever, that eventually resulted in the best thing to ever happen to me.
He was (and still is) a friend.
But he's not Ty's daddy.
And I really don't even consider him Ty's father.
And don't think badly of him for my saying that either, okay? He's a good guy. I promise he is!
There were a million-and-one circumstances alight when I found out I was pregnant that I made the decision that it would be best not to publicly announce the paternity of the baby I was then-carrying.
When he heard from individuals other than me that I was pregnant, I'm certain that his reaction was terror. I mean, seriously, what twenty-something guy dreams about the day that he gets some girl knocked up and ties himself down to a baby for-the-rest-of-his-life? Especially when the girl-in-question isn't and hasn't ever even been a girlfriend.
So I don't doubt that his reaction was horror or something similar.
But I imagine that his reaction to "Ashley's not telling the Daddy" was probably a wave of relief. And I'm okay with that.
He was in his very-early twenties. He wasn't ready for a kid. He wasn't ready for responsibility. Heck, he's in his mid-twenties now and he's still not ready for a kid or responsibility.
And I'm alright with that. I'm capable and willing enough to accept responsibility for both of us.
I'm okay with the fact that I get to be selfish about my son.
I don't have to share him.
There are no weeks or weekends that he goes to live with another parent. There are no holiday schedules to work around. If, someday, I want to move, it won't be a problem because there will be no other parent to work around. If someday my friend wants to move, there will be no problem because it won't affect the little boy whose heart would otherwise be devastated.
If, someday, I get married and my son ever wants to take the name of my husband instead of his PaPaw's last name (which will be Ty's choice, not mine, as I'd be just fine if Ty carried on the name that otherwise would have died out with my dad and his brother) then there will be no dad to consult, approve, or have his feelings hurt by that decision.
I'm okay with the way things worked out. Ty's 'genetic donor' is okay with the way things have worked out. And Ty doesn't know any other way but the way things have worked out.
I assure you, my little boy has not suffered from not having a Daddy.
And I'm confident that his Daddy-less state won't always be the case.
Someday he'll have a Daddy.
Someday a great and wonderful man will come along and he'll love Ty so much that it will make up for the years that Ty did without a Daddy.
And in the meantime, he has my Daddy to borrow from, and I can't think of a better Daddy he could have!
(I am partial.)
But Ty doesn't have a Daddy.
And I don't say that as a bad thing. And on the occasions that Ty states that, he doesn't say it as a bad thing either.
It's just a fact and should be said as a fact.
But sometimes facts change.
And someday that one will, too.
Ashley is a thirty-something wife and mother of two boys. She enjoys spending time with her family, as well as reading and decorating their home. Her blogging adventures began in 2006 as a single mother and have carried on through marriage and a new life with a husband, a ten-year-old, and an infant.