Shelby is a rock star of a little girl, and I am incredibly proud of her. What is the worst are those moments when she does something that makes me proud, and her mother isn't there to be proud of her as well.
Don't tell me she's watching from above. That doesn't help me. So what? She gets to enjoy it all from her lofty perch while I have to sit down here all alone wishing I just had somebody to fucking take a picture of me holding my trophy daughter? That's all well and good if true, and I'm happy Megan gets to see it, but I'm by myself. They're now my memories with Shelby. I don't get to say our memories anymore. We'll never take another family picture like the one I'm staring at right now as I write. Shelby will never be able to talk to someone, in her sarcastic, Megan-like way of making fun of me, about a "remember when dad did this?" memory, because I'm the only other person that would remember it.
Tonight, Shelby and I attended "Scholars Night" at her school. She has a 4.0 GPA for the first half of the school year, and received an award for it. I'm proud of her, but it's not easy to do anymore. Sure, I shared it on Facebook, and tons of people commented on how proud they were, but there was someone distinctly absent. I shouldn't have been the one making that fucking post. Megan should have. Shelby had what should have been a happy occasion, and now that memory is fucking ruined because she came home with a crying dad, again.
I'm trying so hard to be strong for her, because no little girl deserves this. She should be able to grieve for her mother without having to console her dad. She should be able to achieve and excel in anything she wants to do and have her dad celebrate it when she does so, and comfort and help her when she doesn't. I'm not worried about financially supporting her, or making sure she has clean clothes, good food, and a roof over her head. I've always done that, since the day she was born. I'm more concerned that eventually something will come along that her mom would be proud of her for, and I won't recognize it.
Sometimes, I think I have more growing up to do than Shelby does.