Last Friday was a beautiful day. At least, it was here. After work, Boyfriend and I took a walk and when we returned, he sent a text message to his ex to find out what time Drake’s baseball game was scheduled to begin on Saturday. (Background: Saturday was supposed to be “Opening Day” at the ball field. Boyfriend’s ex had previously given him a practice schedule which contained no game dates).
She responded right away to say that Drake’s game was happening at that moment.
And then she called him. She told him the game had been in progress for about an hour and Drake had gotten some good hits. She explained that Saturday’s game had been canceled in anticipation of bad weather and rescheduled for Friday night. Boyfriend asked why she hadn’t bothered to let him know. Her excuse was that she only found out about the schedule change at 9:15 the night before. Boyfriend reminded her that it is never too late to call him (and she knows this, as we’ve gotten many late-night calls from her). After he hung up the phone, we changed our clothes and headed to the field.
We were extremely late and there wasn’t enough light for Boyfriend to shoot any pictures. We saw Drake get one hit, a line drive that was dropped by the second baseman. As the opposing team fumbled with the ball, a run came in and Drake got to second base. In all, we watched one full inning before the game was called due to darkness. As the coaches walked off the field, Boyfriend approached the head coach and introduced himself. He asked that his contact information added to the distribution list and explained that he nearly missed the game due to poor communication between himself and his ex. The coach was quick to offer the same defense: the game was scheduled at the last minute. Again, Boyfriend stated that nearly twenty-four hours had passed and he believed that was plenty of time to have notified him. Again, he asked to have his information added to the distribution list. The coach made no move to record the information in his team-specific paperwork. Instead, I pulled a business card and pen from my purse and Boyfriend wrote down his personal phone number and email address.
… This isn’t the first time we’ve endured such a co-parenting faux-pas. It’s only the most recent in a long line of occurrences that leave me wondering, doesn’t Dad matter? Drake’s maternal grandparents were at the game, proving that his mother wasn’t unable to tell anyone about the change in the schedule. She simply chose not to inform her child’s father. Such behavior is expressly forbidden in their divorce agreement, yet there is no cost-effective way to report the issue and nobody cares anyway. Even the coach didn’t care… and what’s worse, he seemed annoyed that another parent wanted to know when he could watch his son play his favorite sport. The vibe was the same one I’ve sensed from teachers when Boyfriend has asked for a copy of the kids’ report cards. (In their defense, I’m sure that the coaches and teachers are annoyed that they are the ones who have to do extra work as a result of Mom and Dad’s refusal to cooperate with each other. I get that. Still, the answer is not to wish away the well-meaning dad!)
For years, I’ve watched Boyfriend fight to be present for his children’s events despite a lack of cooperative communication from their mother. At the same time, I’ve heard other mothers loudly make reference to their “deadbeat” exes who aren’t their for their children. And I’m left feeling quite skeptical.
Has anyone else experienced similar circumstances? Moms, is it really easier to cut Dad out of the picture? Dads, how do you feel about this? Does anyone have any creative solutions to this problem? Shared google calendars, perhaps??