‘He said he didn’t have a father’

Eleni Baliousi’s two children Loukas, 12, and Constantinos, nearly 5, have different fathers. «I met Loukas’s father when I was 20, two years before his birth. We split up when he was just 6 months old. The first year his father came to see him but his visits soon stopped. Loukas wasn’t worried about not having a father until he was about 5. One day I went into a bookstore with him and when I refused to buy him a particular book he wanted, the salesperson told him his father would get it for him and he replied that he didn’t have a father. I felt terrible. He began asking questions. I got in touch with his father, who began to see him again for about a year, but again his visits stopped.» Baliousi, an equestrian trainer, remarried six years ago, when Loukas was 7. After her second son was born, Loukas’s stepfather began to favor his own son and eventually the marriage foundered, although they are trying to get back together. «What I want above all else is for my children to have a good relationship with each other and to feel as if they are truly brothers… without any reference to their fathers.»