Sunday, December 18, 2011


It's crying time again you're gonna leave me, I can see that far away look in your eyes. I can tell by the way you hold me darling, that it won't be long before it's cryin' time.

I borrowed those words from a popular song to set the tone for this post. Well, the following piece is one of my journeys. It includes mommas and drama... a whole lot of drama. This was originally submitted in four parts. I've combined them into one post.

If a women has children by different men, what is she? Some are quick to call her a scank or a ho. Others might say she's a woman of low principles. Let me tell you a story and I'll tell you what I call them. I have a definition that's counter to popular opinion.

This story is about a man and a women that fell in love. Do you like a good love stories - I do. Like most love stories, there's a beginning, a middle and the end. This story begins with a man that had lived a few years and a young beautiful black women that was just leaving her nest. They met in the military; he a fast talker, slick walker. She was a young innocent girl out to see the world. He had a history. In fact, he was denied entry into one branch of the military because of past criminal behavior. He was young but the streets called him at an early age. Being of a criminal mind and no ones fool, he found a way to slip into a different branch of the armed forces.

Since he considered himself a lover and not a fighter and wasn't going to shoot anyone, he wiggled his way into the cool confines of office life. He felt like one of the Beverly Hillbillies ....swimming pools, movies stars AND air conditioning. Life was good, he had a first hand view of all the new women that arrived on the base. Aside from greeting them at the door, their records preceded them. At first he felt kind of funny looking at their past but he rationalized that feeling by telling his-self it's his job to make sure all their records were in order - it was one of his duties.

He came from the streets so he'd witnessed all the pimps and hustlers trying to lay their magic on women, but his thang was different. An old player told him that women love sincere men that make them smile. So his thang was sincerity with a smile and a pinch of dishonest ....just a pinch. He knew that most women felt isolated in the military and longed for home. Well, while looking through their records to see if they had any ...ahhh, any ...ahhh, things he didn't want to catch, he would look to see what high school they attended and the city they were from.

He was a clever old fox. While greeting them at the door he would extend his hand and then quickly pull it back with a startled look and say, "Helen Lampkin, German Town High School, women you haven't changed one bit". The ice was broken, the women was comfortable with her lost and found homie. Now, he still had work to do but friends before lovers was the name of the game, and two friends had found each other on a lonely military base.

One such women tweaked his heart along with his love of hide and go seek. She was a city girl that walked with a long stride that said, I know I look good and you can't have any. Her shoulders were back and her chin was slightly tipped up. She had heard all the lines. Women like that don't have to sleep alone. The old wolf knew he had to come with a new game. He decide just to be sincere without any lies. He told her what he generally did when anticipating a new arrival but that he just want to be straight up with her. He told her that he just wanted to meet her and he didn't want to start a friendship off with a lie. She paused and asked him if he looked in her medical records. He looked deep into her eyes and told her that he had not - he lied but the relationship blossomed :-). Hey, he was a wolf, okay.

Life was good, they were the talk of the base. They drove around in a brand new block long Oldsmobile Ninety Eight that she helped him pay for. They yelled out the windows at the other soldiers and turned up their music to blast Marvin Gay .....what's going on .....what's going' on.

They were in love. There was only one problem. This wolf turned serious lover had another lover - back home ...a child too.

Love is a funny thang, it doesn't divide in equal parts, well, not exactly.

This is part 1 of Baby Momma Drama ....Don't turn that page.

We all can rationalize our bad decision and give excuses why we committed errors in judgement. I don't wish to live in the past but I do not ever want to forget why I may have chosen a wrong path.

Even though I may have given the impression that I was promiscuous in my early years of military life, I was not. The military is much like any job or career. The workday has set hours and one goes to work and then goes home. Many military bases are like small rural communities. Some are in isolated areas. Even though I spoke of meeting women upon their arrival at the base, there were not many women.

I went in the military to start a new life. But as my mother would say, if you play with a puppy, it will lick you in the face. My father's version was, if you sit in a barbershop you will eventually get a haircut. I fathered a child as a teenager and her mother was waiting for me back home. We had planned a life together yet I was in the arms of another women. I was hesitant about telling this part of my story because there remains a sense of guilt that I hurt others by my selfish ways. The shame and guilt goes away when I address the issues and honestly accepted my wrongdoings. When I jacked up my slacks and said I messed up, I can then move on. But to share my story and my pain with others is a new journey. The road is tough when the fingers of fault are pointing directly at me. However, I've grown tired of many depicting mothers with children by different men as some sort of women with flawed character or low morals. I was involved with two wonderful women that just happened to run into a guy like me.

While playing house with my new lover we brought another child into the world. I wasn't man enough to tell either of the women about each other so I maintained two separate lives. I was close enough to my home town that I could drive home when I choose to do so. I lived this lie for 2 years until everything came tumbling down. I had become so comfortable with living like this that I even drove my second family to my parents home to let them visit with their new grandchild. I put them in an awful position. My father would give me the look of deep concern and ask me what the hell I was doing. My mother was force to take the route of don't ask don't tell. Everyone paid a price when the news broke.

After visiting my parents one weekend, I decided to stop at a local horse racing track. My skills at picking winners wasn't very good so I decided to leave after the 5th race. I was with Rita* (*name changed) and my son. As we approached the car a voice said, "how are you doing Carey", it was Debbie*, the mother of my first child. She had a gun in her hand, a 2 shot derringer. I was stunned, I walked toward her. My son ran behind me saying daddy daddy. He didn't know there was danger, he just couldn't understand why I was walking off from him.

At that moment my life changed and so did the lives of several others.

To be continued ........... Part 3 coming

This piece was written as a series for

The blogs mission if to have a place where co-parents can share their struggles of co-parenting - "the new father/the old ex/the new girlfriend/dating/ visitations, etc,.

Co-parenting is like the game of Tic-Tac-Toe; the game with the 9 squares. The square in the middle is the key. But unfortunately some parents always want to be the "ex" in the middle. The game is won when three "X's" or three "O's" are all aligned in one row, not when the ex is in the middle. It doesn't matter if they are aligned diagonally, across or up and down, they just need to be in line. But some parents are like the actor that wants to write the screenplay, build the props, and direct all the other players in their own way. They desire to be the "ex" in the center square at all cost. The co-parent turned director unknowingly turns a nice family movie into a horror flick. They stay stuck in the middle square failing to grasp the concept of a team player - family player. Tic-Tac- OH NO! Although the center square can be key to winning the game, the game can be won without it.

There I was, stuck in the middle. A man that had walked a tightrope of life was about to fall down. I was stuck between a gun wielding women and another woman lost in disbelief. Debbie's eye left mine and slowly traveled to the child running behind me. She looked back at me and then back to the child. Her face said it all, she realized that was my son. Her eyes swelled with tears. Rita was behind me calling my name.

Debbie was by no means the type of woman to carry a gun. Years later I asked her what she was going to do with the gun, she said, shoot your ass! I asked her why she didn't do it. She said, what kind of woman would she be if she shot a man while a crying child ran behind him saying, daddy daddy. I then asked her where she got the gun and she said, your brother.

I think it's safe to assume that many have a few choice names for me. I do not think it would be a stretch to include louse and jerk, and I would agree. However, in defense of myself, I would rather have been a wolf, a pig or a dog than to presently be a bad parent. I am not saying it's okay to be bad person or to have been a bad person. I think it's wiser to learn from our mistakes and grow through them. Some individuals are lousy husbands and dreadful wives yet good parents. Many people can not live with another person or at least their ex. Some didn't know how to love another until a child came into their lives. To a large degree, my story is no different than any other co-parent. There's a relationship or relationships that didn't work out. We can start right there. Who was at fault? Does it really matter?! Who's the judge of righteousness?

Parenting is not a reflex move - our emotions control us. We are the only animals on earth that get up by alarm clocks, and not because we are no longer sleepy. We drink several bottles of water because someone said it's the right thing to do, not because we are thirsty. We do so many things on the advice/words of others. Frequently they no nothing about us, nor our predicaments.

I had two great parents. My father has passed away. My father was the best man I've ever known. Not simply because he was my father, just because he was a good man. After my father passed away, I found out that he too had an affair. In fact, he also had a child by another women. The man was about the same age as my older brother. I came across this information by accident when a person asked me why I didn't attend my brother's funeral. I knew "my" brother had not died so I went to my mother to ask questions. They say the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. My father made a few mistakes as a young man and I knew nothing about them. Had my mother used this information in a spiteful way, it could have affect the whole family dynamics. There's a valuable lesson in my mother's silence. I think it's important that the child make the determination of the character of the man and it should not come from the mouth of the other parent - it serves no purpose.

The Momma drama continues....

Standing between two women, I was riddled with shame and guilt, I didn't know what to do. Debbie dropped her head and walked away. Rita was furious. I picked up my son and walked toward the car. It was a five hour drive back to the military base. Rita lived in base housing. I frequently stayed there several nights. We were not married, I had an apartment off base. That night I stayed at my apartment. The next day, after talking with Rita, I drove back to my home town to talk with Debbie. She said not to come but I went anyway.

To be continued ....... The final cut is coming up.

This piece is part of a series written for
The blog's mission is to provide a place for those going through the struggles of co-parenting to share their stories and to maybe find answers. Many issues are examined - the new father/the new girlfriend/dating/problems with the ex/visitations, etc,.

This 4 part post was written for a series @

I do not profess to be an expect on women's emotions. I am not a psychologist. looking back over my life, I've often wondered why the two women in my life didn't treat me differently upon finding out my secret. At that time, neither of them shut the door on me or called me dirty names. I continued to live a life with two families.

A day came when I had to make a choice. Obviously at that time I had not matured and I was trying to take the easy way out by having either Rita or Debbie make the choice for me. But neither ran off and I had to grow up. I honored my commitment with Debbie and we eventually got married. We were together for nearly 35 years. She has passed away after a battle with cancer. Looking back, I've come to appreciate how strong these women were and how they played a vital role in the development of our children.

Rita took an early discharge from the military and vanished with my son. At that time the emotional journey was too much for her to handle. My wife was sympathetic to her pain and that of mine. I had "lost" a son and she insisted that I find them. I was able to track them down through military channels. They were living in a state far from mine. The following years were a learning process.

When a person decides to entertain the overtures of another, they are attracted to that person and not necessarily the children that come along with them. Frequently the issues of co-parenting involves the new wife or the new girlfriend.

On the ex-husbands side, it involves the new husband or the new boyfriend. Divorce rates are up and families are not staying together as long as they did in days gone by. Men can be possessive and so can women. The new lovers are often intimidated by a good relationship between the ex's. Frequently, depending on the reasons behind the breakup, the old spouse has been known to oppose visit, or limits visits to the house of the ex-husband or wife while "she's" there.

Debbie told me later in our marriage that she always thought Rita was more attractive than her. She also said that since Rita had my first born son (had another son with Debbie later) that my sense of responsibility to that boy would drive me away. I learned these things later in our marriage. I also learned that was one of the reasons she agreed to let my son come and live with us for periods longer than summer vacations {less visits to her house}. I never really knew women as much as I thought I did. Some of my son's high school years were spent with us; summers with his mother. He played on a state championship football team.

I never faced the drama of the "other" women making demands. I think it was partly because the women were mature adults and had compassion and respect for each others dilemma. More so, I now believe it had something to do with the father's in their own lives. Each had a different story. Debbie's father left the home when she was a child. There were issues in Rita's childhood as well. Hence, they knew the importance of having a father in a child's life even though co-parenting puts a strain on those dynamics.

I've come to believe it's just as important that a good man be in the life of a young girl. I've met women who have said they've never been around good men, including their fathers, and therefore, thought all men were the same - bad. Debbie and Rita were never in each others company although they had to talk to each other on the phone.

Of course children try to throw parents into the middle of their compliants, mine were no different. Once my son called Rita to tell her that Debbie had "spanked" him. Well, Rita told him that if he ever calls her again in regards to Debbie spanking him, that she was going to tell her to spank him again - for her. Another time my son called his mother and told her that I made him walk to school. I never got a ride to school and thought the distance wasn't too far. She called me and asked about his situation. I told her I might have been living in the past "boy, I walked 10 miles to school" and decided to change my view. It was a pretty long distance. So I decided to buy him a bicycle. He said he would never be caught dead riding a bike to school; that was for nerds. The bike was relagated to short runs to the store and he walked to school ....he didn't die.

As I mentioned, I look back and have regrets that I didn't voice my appreciation more than I did. I was never around other co-parents, yet these days I hear the same arguments from the ex-husband or ex-wife. "The new wife is not fit to have their child around her son". It's weird because even if the children love being around the new mate, for some strange reason the ex's are not having it. Although I am not a doctor, I have my opinion why this may happen. Rita called me one day and said, "so, you have a big house, is it bigger than mine?" . In the early years of our co-parenting, I guess my son made the crucial mistake of saying something nice about my home and Debbie. Heck, I had to purchace a larger home when the children started eating more and getting bigger. Before the new purchase it was no big deal for boys and girls to sleep in the same room. But when my daughter started to develope, we knew it was time to make a change.

I don't know how this goes in other co-parenting households, but it was a sticky issue in mine. I don't know if women are more comfortable thinking the other women is a poor mother that doesn't clean her home? But it's been my experience that women don't want to hear anything good about the other women.

The problems of co-parenting are not solely related to the relationship of the parents. We thrust children together that have different parents or at least one different parent and expect them to get along just fine. More times than not, this is not the case. Children can be cruel. My son once told me that Debbie's children told him that his mother tried to steal "their" father from their mother.

Also, my children by Debbie once told me that I let Rita's son get away with murder. I wonder if we do that? I wonder if we overly protect the child that is away from his other parent? I do know that Debbie went out of her way to show love to my son. She would ask him what dinner he would like for her to cook and I will never forget, it was tuna casserole. Every time it was tuna casserole. I never liked tuna casserole.

Today I am a grandfather. Looking back, I probably would change some things. But I wonder what I would change and if that would be a good thing. I was watching the movie "Benjamin Button" and there was a scene that stuck in my mind. It was a scene in which one of the characters was hit by a moving car. In the movie, the viewer had a chance to see all the different factors involved in reaching one defining moment in life. For instance, what would have happened if the driver of the car hadn't stop to pick up a package? Also, the women that was hit by the car was detained in her apartment. What would have happened if she hadn't misplaced her keys?

Maybe most events happen for a reason. Maybe my purpose in life is to tell my story. I've made a lot of mistakes and maybe others can learn from them. I love being a father and there's nothing I would change about that.

It's hard telling a story in which others are involved and try to keep their anonymity. Sometime we want to share the good parts of our lives. I wanted to share a little something but I don't want people going up to a man and telling him that he knows this and that about his mother or his father. So, one of the sons by one of the women in this story is presently playing quarterback in the NFL. I wouldn't change a whole lot about my life, including co-parenting.

I miss my father. If he was alive today I'd look forward to calling him and telling him thank you for being a good dad.

Thanks for reading along.

A Free Spirit Butterfly said...
I was trying to sneak in a comment at work and accidentally posted a Father's Day greeting on the wrong post. I think it went to Mz. Jackson...Anyhoo, Love ya and wishing you a very HAPPY FATHER's DAY!Free Spirit!

Keith said...
Man this was an incredible story..I held off commenting until the entire story wa told.. A lot of times when I read you,I feel like except for a few details, I'm reading my own story...I too know about Air Force life and women and the problems that come along with both...This was very insightful and I hope it ispired at least one young reader out there..It was certainly a story that needed to be told. Big Up's to you man..for being more man than a lot of these cats out here! You were blessed to have two wonderful women in your life..That's more than a lot of guys ever get (or deserve)Happy Father's Day to you, (From one Grandfather to another :)

Opinionated Diva said...
Totally agree with Keith...incredible story. I literally said, "wow" out loud at the end.Takes strong people to co-parent and maintain their sanity...your wife was an amazing woman.

Blu Jewel said...
Having been decieved by my mother as a child into me thinking my stepfather was my biological father, I have a lot of respect for Debbie who encouraged you to find your son and have a relationship with him. I was 5 when I finally met my biological father and even though he and I grew pretty close, there was a lot he did to fail me over the years she shared. I later found out that I not just the two children I grew up with at his house, but 5 other siblings; whom I didn't meet until late in my life; save for the eldest whom I met when I was about 13.I think it's important; regardless of how the child was conceived that he/she be afforded a relationship with their parent. I think it's cruel and unfair to use adult drama as a tool and a means to manipulate or hurt the other parent. I'm happy that your situation worked in your favor in the end and that you were able to have and maintain a relationship with all your children.Love to live; live to love! said...
Hi there!Thanks for sharing this!Wow...I commend you for finding your son and for maintaining a relationship with your children.You said:"I've come to believe it's just as important that a good man be in the life of a young girl. I've met women who have said they've never been around good men, including their fathers and therefore thought all men were the same - bad."I encounter so many black women who have had negative experiences with men - beginning in their childhoods. Many of them to feel a bit of resentment that I don't share that history. My parents got married BEFORE having children, and were degreed professionals BEFORE having children. My father wanted his children. He loved being a dad. There was no "oooops I'm pregnant!" aspect of the way he encountered fatherhood. His encounter with fatherhood was COMPLETELY intentional.I think that is a huge factor with most black men... how they encountered fatherhood and if they actually SOUGHT parenthood.As for the situation with the women... I think that men need to be EXTREMELY careful not to become involved with a woman who will not treat his children as HER OWN. Sooo often, a brotha will be enamored with a sista who is devoted and affectionate and committed but she really doesn't have those same feelings for his children. She politely tolerates them because they are part of the package...and this always surfaces later on in the relationship.Happy belated Father's Day.Peace, blessings and DUNAMIS!

Maxine said...
This is a beautiful post, Carey. It is honest, and real, and confronts issues all of us are dealing, or will probably deal with, in our lives. It's rare that men speak honestly about these things, particularly in an open forum. And while the preacher in me wants to chastise your infidelity, the reality is that monogamy is often an unrealistic aspiration, and who knows if it was even meant to be...

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