Dear Fathers, We Need You
how can i expect her to concentrate when, at 13, all she can focus on is her broken heart? the wound that comes from not having both parents never fully heals, i don't care how much self-care you do - it's the kind of pain that will creep up on you at the most unexpected, uncontrollable times... no way to avoid it and you shouldn't - there's nothing wrong with being emotional, don't let anyone tell you to just "get over it."
this is exactly why i teach my students who are chronic day-dreamers to write notes to themselves and/or doodle when they can't focus - i am intentional about showing them how to channel their pain into art, instead of drowning as they daze into the waves of whatever painful experience their mind keeps wandering to... they have to learn how to do this while they are young, not when they are grown and far too jaded or bitter.
i really wish i had it in me to write a theoretical essay, relating the government's genocide on the Black man to the absence of our fathers, but i don't have it in me right now (plus my absent father is Dominican - so that's a totally different essay in itself). but just remember to lend some extra empathy to one another... you never know what anyone is dealing with inside.