Since Father’s Day is rapidly approaching, I thought I’d write a post for the Dads out there.
I was blessed to be raised by a pretty amazing Dad. He worked incredibly hard to provide a good life for my Mother, brother, sister, and I.
No matter how gruff he was or how much we disagreed, I knew that I was loved. I knew that we all were. He especially loved my Mother and greeted her with a kiss every day when he got home from work. They were best friends, sweethearts, and gave me an example of the kind of relationship I wanted (although, it would take me years to find it). He liked to make up rhyming nicknames for everyone (Gingy Wingy, Lizzy Whizzy, etc.) and to do little dances when he won a fight with my Mother. He loved Budweiser and Kools and canned meats. He had forearms like Popeye and an impressive beer belly. He was either deeply loved or violently hated by all who knew him because he refused to take shit or back down from what he believed. He was my Father and I have missed him every single day since he passed in October 2012. I still pick up the phone to call and ask him how to fix a leaky sink or what kind of car to buy or to talk about the crazy weather. I have to remind myself that he’s gone and that calling him is no longer an option.
I got a tattoo of his signature shortly after he died as a small reminder of him and because I knew a tattoo would drive him absolutely insane. (Daughters still have to cause trouble sometimes…)
I now have three children of my own from two different relationships. (I know! Slut!!) They are amazing kids. I am thankful every day to the men who gave them to me despite how terribly our relationships turned out. I couldn’t imagine life without these three little humans.
I still get along with the men who gave me these children and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I could spend my days filled with hate and anger and tears, but I simply refuse. People often ask why it is important to me to maintain a good relationship with my children’s fathers. First, I never want to be the reason that my children don’t get along with their other parent. If they screw it up, that’s on them. Second, the things that happened between us to end our relationship, is between us. It has nothing to do with the kids. We are all adults and should be expected to act like it. And, finally, I’m tired. I don’t have enough energy to hate anyone or to spend my time worrying about someone else. My goal is to raise happy, healthy, productive members of society. That’s all.
I am now re-married to a man who is an amazing Stepfather to my children. He has never for a minute treated them like they weren’t his. He loves them unconditionally and does his best to have a good relationship with their biological fathers. He has changed our lives so dramatically in the past year and I am so very grateful.
I am fortunate that the kids love him just as much as he loves them. One of my girlfriends told me that he is the best thing to ever happen to my kids and, sometimes, I think she is right. He paints my daughter’s nails, gives them bubble baths, transports them to their activities, makes them brush their teeth, treats their boo-boos, and worries about them growing up right. He also loves their Mother and greets her with a kiss every day when he comes home from work. There really should be a Stepdads Day…