My ex is in the "area" for work & had the weekend free so he drove 5 hours from NC to come spend the three-day weekend with Captain Knuckle. Yesterday, he went and watched him play in a basketball game. After it was over, one of the other parents who was there called me and told me how surprised & impressed she was with Captain Knuckle's dad and how he interacted with Captain Knuckle and all of the other boys on the team.
I was a bit taken back at first but then this friend went on to explain that she had thought that because his dad lived so far away (dad lives in UT) they didn't have a good relationship. Uh...no. They have a great relationship and I am very very thankful that they do! It makes my job so much easier as a parent, if that makes any sense at all.
Despite our personal differences, I am so glad that my ex is a good father to our son. He has has put in tremendous effort over the past 12 1/2 years to make sure he is a part of Captain Knuckle's life, regardless of his current military assignment or location. And he gets along well with Mr. Amazing Man which sure makes things easier for Captain Knuckle too - he doesn't feel like he has to chose sides.
So three cheers for dads who are willing to do the hard work in keeping the relationship their kids strong, even if they live thousands of miles apart.
People are often surprised that my husband, who lives 3,000 miles from his daughter for 2/3 of the year, knows what she is working on at school, talks regularly to her teachers, has been to her brownie meetings, and is on a first-name basis with the parents of several of her friends.
In fact, he is so active in my step-daughter's classroom throughout the year that last year when they calculated volunteer hours for a thank-you event, my husband had logged more hours in the classroom over the course of the year than any other parent.
I'll join in giving him, your ex, and all the other great dads three cheers!