Just writing the words “My father” is setting off something inside of me.
My father is the man who raised me…
except, he didn’t actually raise me.
He provided for me.
That is all he did.
And is that really the same?
My father has always been a self- absorbed man.
The kind of man that you would think is too wrapped up in himself and his needs to have children.
Except he did.
My brother was born when my father was 36. He turned 40 a few months after I was born.
Except on my birth certificate it says he was 36. He lied about his age because he didn’t like getting older.
He lied on my birth certificate.
My mother was his THIRD marriage.
Apparently, the other two woman before her came to their senses and ran from him.
You know the kind of guys that you date when you’re younger that have no direction in life or plan?
That was, and is, my father.
My father traveled the world before he settled down with my mother. He lived in Denmark and spoke Dutch. He traveled across Europe with his brothers.
I think a part of him settled before he was ready.
He would always talk about his travels when we were kids, always complaining about living in NYC and how much he disliked it- but never did anything about it.
I was a Daddy’s girl when I was younger, always closer to my father than my mother. He would never berate me, or yell at me, or judge me…. or… parent me.
I only now realize that it wasn’t him being a good father, it was him not being a father.
He never took a day off of work to see my plays, or asked me about homework. He never fixed my hair, or changed a diaper. He never asked me how my day was, or inquired about what was bothering me.
He just didn’t.
He never hugged or kissed me.
Wait, that’s a lie.
He kissed me maybe once or twice- for no apparent reason. When I was 22 years old, he walked past me, hugged me, and kissed my head.
It took me aback.
I went into my room and started crying.
As a grandfather, he is much more warm than he was with my brother and I. He kisses the girls a lot and plays with them as much as he can. But he NEVER EVER buys them anything.
Not even a trinket.
That bothers me to no end- because it’s not about the superficial: It’s what it means. It’s the thought.
I am a VERY giving person. Some would say too giving. So I cant even comprehend being stingy to those you love.
I remember when I was a kid, my father took my brother and I to Six Flags (Amusement park). It was a lot of fun. As a 9 year old, I wanted a gift from the gift shop. He took us in, but refused to buy us anything (mind you, we were doing well at that time). Instead, he told us to gather next to all the stuffed animals, and he took a picture.
Yes, he did that.
Or the time when we went to Disney World and he wouldn’t buy us anything.
I would NEVER do that to my kids. Ever.
And again, I know that it may just seem materialistic- but it’s not.
He could have just bought us something small and stupid- a key chain, a trinket.
But he chose not to.
He chose not to do a lot of things.
Until THIS DAY I do not have my high school year book. The year book I pretty much wrote myself. I was handed the yearbook on the graduation stage with my diploma, but it was promptly taken away a few moments later. Why you ask? Well, there was a tuition balance of about $500.00 and they wouldn’t give it to me until it was paid.
He still hasn’t paid. I still don’t have the year book.
IN MY LIFE I would never do that to my child. Embarrass them like that? Really? for $500? I would hook on the street to get that $500 if I had to.
He just didn’t care.
That seems to be a theme in his life.
He always manages to just get by.
I just don’t think that’s enough anymore.