I love my Dad. I always have.
My parents divorced by the time I was 5. I remember the night vividly. He was at work. Unbeknownst to him, his wife and two kids packed up some shit, left the house stealthfully under a blanket of dark skies, to never return again! Okay--it wasn't really that dramatic. He was at work. But I'm sure he saw the shit coming! We just left and stayed with my aunt & cousin which was AWESOME in my book because that was like my best friend at the time! We could play all. the. time. I was stoked! Never once do I remember really giving a shit that my parents weren't together anymore. I didn't cry and will them back together, making promises to be a good child and thinking everything was my fault. (Does that kinda thing really happen like it does in movies??) I just went with the flow.
My Dad was always there, but not in an authoritative way (my mom found other douches to take on that tyrannical role). But he never lived far from us, we could visit when the mood struck us, we were around him on holidays, the occasional camping trip. As far as that side of the family, we definitely spent more time with them so we're all pretty close. We were never traded around like ragdolls "You get them every other weekend"--none of that bullshit, thankfully! I always obeyed my Father, because that's what kids in my day did. You listened to adults. That's as far as our connection went. I never once asked him for advice, never once confided in him, never once cried on his shoulder. My Mom bared the brunt of everything, good and bad, and I wouldn't have had it any other way.
I DO love my Dad.
I try to love him unconditionally but he really pisses me off! I know he's proud of me and likes me to go out with him to meet all his drinking buddies. It never really bothered me until the past few years though, that we don't have a closer connection. Maybe it's because of the song. I always connected with my Dad secretly through that damn song. "Old Man take a look at my life, I'm a lot like you. I need someone to love me the whole day through". In my 20's I liked to party--HARD! I never wanted kids because I knew that if I had any, especially in my early 20's that I would be such a shitty parent. A selfish parent. And I never willed that on a poor, defenseless baby. I was like my Dad--all about myself, responsible by having a full time job but irresponsible in every other way, hopping from lovers to hopefuls in the soulmate department and everything in between. Something has changed. I WAS like my Dad. I still like to party but it's not as often. And I want kids now and I know I'd be a loving, nurturing, caring and sometimes patient parent. I would want my Dad to be a Grandpa and take some pride and satisfaction in that role. However, considering my Dad's lack of interest in other's lives I highly doubt that would happen. Case(s) in point:
- my brother has a baby & another on the way. We thought that would be some sort of leverage to get our Dad to come visit but even if he did I doubt he'd be ooing and aahing over these little hyper, cute, sweet human beings.
- Our youngest sister (we have different moms) just graduated from high school & practically raised herself the past couple of years and he seemed more disappointed in the fact that he was missing a pool tournament than being elated in the fact that she kept her head on straight, despite the odds, and graduated with honors and a scholarship!
- When I actually told him about my serious relationship with Jeff (I've never spoken to my Dad about relationships before), he barely muttered a word.
I'm sure I can speak for all 4 of us kids by saying:
We don't ask much of you Dad. You've had 31 years of parenthood to get your shit together. We would love for you to be more proactive in the lives of your children--it could reap benefits in your own life. You're a talented guy, funny and have a vast potential to be loving. We just want to see and talk to you more. Happy belated birthday.
Love your oldest and therefore wisest;) daughter,