As far as father’s go, I may not have gotten the pick of the litter…but I definitely got the best ones to teach me the lessons God knew I needed to learn to become the person I am today.
My biological father was an alcoholic whom my mother divorced when I was a year old. I never spent much time with him growing up because he was too busy being drunk. Thankfully his family always kept in touch with us and, to this day, I am closer to one of his brothers than I ever was to him. I often wished, in a way only a child can wish, that I had been blessed with THAT brother for a dad.
I understand that God picked D to be my father because B would never have been able to teach me how resilliant I am. Having D as a father taught me that there are people who choose to love me even when my own father cannot. I honestly don’t know if my father was incapable of loving me, or if he loved me and I just didn’t understand it at the time.
I know my daughter now struggles with this one. Her biological father has not had any contact with her since I left him. She was 13 months old at the time. In her eyes, if the man who created her with love, the man whose world she was the absolute center of for the first thirteen months of her life, could not love her…who ever would. It’s a difficult struggle for any girl…the one man who should love you unconditionally…and you are ‘not good enough’ even for him.
My step-father, N, married my mom who was a single mother to four children, the youngest having Down’s Syndrome. I have often wondered how he brought himself to take on this family and then added three more children to the brood!
I was Boy2’s age when they met, my sister was B1’s age…I see this now, and the different relationships we have with him now and wonder how my children will be when a new man enters my life full time.
My step-day made mistakes. Some may say they are mistakes that cannot be forgiven. I disagree. His mistakes helped to shape me into the woman, the parent, the person I am.
People often comment how children do not come with an owner’s manual…not only do another person’s children not come with said mannual…the rules can change at anytime based on the third parent (and sometimes a fourth) parent in the child’s life…and often without warning.
My Dad (N) not only took the position…he did so in a way that I’m not sure I can ever put in to words…just as i wrote that…the words came…
My Dad, EARNED the title Dad. I called him by his first name until I was in to my 20’s…it was then he was promoted to from N, to Dad. He had earned it. I think his biggest accomplishment in the last 33 years was his not only the willingness to make the same mistakes that every parent makes but his ability to admit when he was wrong. Many biological parents never figure this one out.
A distinct advantage my Dad had was the fact that he was a complete partner in raising us children. He was Mom’s equal in terms of decision making, discipline, etc. He treated his biological children no different than he treated me…even growing up with a different last name, there are always people surpised when they realize he is not my ‘real’ dad. I find this funny and comforting…it reinforces my perception…that he loves us equally.
I may have never had a man growing up who I could cry “Daddy” to when my little girl heart needed a daddy…but I definitely had everything I needed.