Sunday, June 16, 2013

Father's Day

My dad with Doug & me and our kitties
Father’s Day is always a weird day for me. I’m part of a an extensively blended family – I like to say my family tree more accurately resembles a spider’s web what with the various step-mothers and step-siblings I’ve had along the way.

I’ve always just had two father figures though: my birth father and my dad. Barker was my birth father – I am the first of two children from his marriage to my mother. He and my mother split when I was very tiny and he remarried shortly thereafter. My mother didn’t marry again until I was six years old and that’s where Dad came in.

I was estranged from my father since I was 12 years old for good reasons. We had some contact again when I was in my early to mid-20s but nothing past about 1986. Nothing that is until one of my step-sisters reached out to me in 2004, looking to make amends for something she thought she’d done that hurt me. I learned then that Barker had died nearly five years earlier.

Growing up with Mom and Dad and my brother and two sisters, I never felt as though I fit into the family. I am the only one with brown eyes, like Barker, and I look a lot like him. I’ve long felt like I was an alien or some sort of imposter hiding with my blue-eyed siblings. And I always thought that Dad sort of felt that way too, just not quite sure about me or how I fit in – best example I can think of would be when a dog adopts a kitten, and somehow the two species make it work.

Even with that sense of not belonging, of being somehow the alien, I learned a lot from Dad. He might be surprised to hear this, but I think one of the reasons I am so very disciplined is because I watched him and learned to be that way myself. I also learned to stick with things, even when it’s difficult, and I learned to be generous when I have the ability to do so.

Here’s to you, Dad.

1 comment:

readersguide said...

I have similar weird feelings about father's day -- my birth father (I look a lot like him) died when I was 4. I have a stepfather, and 5 step siblings, and they are very close and I always felt not-like them. I may feel closest to my second stepfather, who my mother married when I was 25 or so -- I ended up liking him a lot, and my kids loved him very much and still miss him. So anyway, I post no tributes - who could I post without offending someone?