Daddy Dearest

There is an ebb and flow to the hours of testimony by the Cuban father trying to win custody of his now five-year old daughter. Eruptions of passion and indignation punctuate long stretches of plodding questions and answers.

And every once in a while, someone says something that makes you look up, freshly attentive and grateful for a common sense headline that crystalizes a simple and stunningly clear fact of life.

It’s the headline of the day. And Judge Jeri Beth Cohen had it today.

Ready? Here it is:

“We don’t live in a perfect world. There are a lot of less-than-perfect fathers.”

How true is that?

In 16 words, the judge handed the Department of Children and Families the reason that Rafael Izquierdo’s less-than-monogamous sex life, slack correspondence from rural Cuba and less than urgent travel arrangements may not matter in the big picture of whether he can shoulder the responsibility of parenting the child he fathered five years ago. He’s certainly trying now. We’re still waiting to hear why, his agenda, his motivations — but he is trying.

I can think of too many instances when DCF worked so very hard to give biological parents chances that they probably didn’t deserve. And some of those results were heartbreaking. It kind of makes you wonder why they’re giving Izquierdo such a hard time.

He has certainly been a less than perfect father.

But I sure have seen worse.


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