Sunday, June 15, 2008

Father's Day - My Two Dads and My Man

Since it is now the wee beginning of that special day for Dads, I will have to pay tribute to my own. This may take a while, please be patient.

My Dad. My step-dad, actually. I do consider him to be my dad, though. He provided for me; he stood up for me during some of the most trying & important times in my life; he was uber silly often (especially after a few beers); he took me camping & tubing; he gave me a dysfunctional but honest view of the world.

He spent over 17 years married to my mom and continues to be my dad even though they have been divorced for almost that long, now. Even though it's rare I hear from him anymore, he remarried a psychotic chihuahua (if anyone knows anything about chihuahuas, they know how possessive they are), I still think about him often. He will once & a while call me if he gets depressed or upset about his current living situation.

He is the man I helped convince that the woman he was living with was not doing right by his son - I did this from 1100 miles away. He actually listened to what I had to say. He responded to my scariest concerns. I miss ya, dad! I will call tomorrow & hopefully your chihuahua doesn't piss on your leg or bite through your cell.

My other dad. My birth father. Hmmm, where do I go with this? I'm unsure about that. When I first moved to Indiana, I got in touch with that side of my extended family, as I hadn't seen any of them for over 13 years. We kept in mild contact for a few years, lost that contact, then I contacted a few of them again about 6 years ago. I have been in mild contact with one of my uncles (awesome dude! Happy Father's Day, Uncle Joe!) and a couple of my aunts. My father was one of 10 kids.

During this time, I didn't speak with my father. Some of the family members were guarding me against it. I've not heard very good things about him from his own siblings. I don't know him. I do know that he called me several days ago and mentioned he would be in town. The time that I'd heard from him before that, well, it didn't go very well.

What I didn't understand at the time of the previous call was his expectations of me. I hadn't called him (nor would I) in several months. He spouted on about how I should call more often & he wanted to be a part of my life (I was 34 at the time). The responsibility isn't mine, it never was. I gave him an idea of how I felt about him and I honestly didn't think I'd ever hear from him again. When I answered that last phone call, I didn't know what to think. I almost didn't want to talk to him. He spoke of issues he was having & how he'd moved & had his leg amputated (I think he mentioned that the time before - or is it both legs now?). This conversation was centered around him - a little narcissistic in nature. He failed to ask about the kids, though he mentioned they were his grandkids, his only ones, because I was his only daughter. He mentioned that if ever he should die, that I would get everything....chuff. He doesn't have anything, least not that I know of. He mentioned that he has the pics of the kids in his wallet, he keeps them in there...hooray for you!

I did spend a month or two with him the summer I was 15. In that short span, I spent more time with friends of his or doing what I wanted than with him. It was a fun summer, don't get me wrong - what 15 year old doesn't want to spend summer nearly unsupervised? Before that summer it had been at least 9 years since I'd spent any time with him. After 36 years, it's all too important that I work time into our schedule to go see him (because I certainly won't be giving him my address...eeeks!). Yay for him! If he has all my 36 birthday presents saved up, I might do it!

My hubby - Dock Man. He has learned to be better dad than his own. He is the silliest dad, for sure! He sings silly songs, makes up his own words and has conversations with the kids using those words, likes to have hockey fights with the boys, he is the "fun" parent. At the same time, he has the kids' respect. They behave better when he's around (not fair!), they listen better to him (sooooo not fair!) and he is the "fun" parent (I know, redundant, but it had to be said again). The kids know he loves them & they adore him. He will spend his Father's Day doing what he loves best - following his fantasy baseball without interruption! No chaos tomorrow! I hope it's as peaceful for you, hon, as you helped make Mother's Day for me! I love you!

Shameless plug of my son's photography. (Kyle's pics from his field trip)



noble pig said...

Wow, I feel like I know you now. Those are reat stories, happy and sad. Thanks for sharing Lex.

Amber said...

Hey, been there. Got the two dads and the two moms and the new girlfriend and the new boyfriend. I gave up counting many years ago. Sorry bout the strife with the birth father. Thank goodness in finding a man who is good enough to be a real dad to the kiddos. Hope he enojoys his daddy's day.

insane mama said...

Wow, thanks for sharing all that, I only have one mom and one dad... I'm kinda boring that way. My children though, I'm afraid they are going to have to deal with more than one dad unfortunately.

~Billie~ said...

Tell the hubby Happy Father's Day!!


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