Jul 15, 2010

Old Man

Dad.  Yeah, the title refers to the song by Neil Young.  I DO NOT refer to my Dad or any guy in my life as "my old man".  Blech! Everytime I hear this song I think of my Pops.  His birthday (my Dad's, not Neil's) was earlier this month.  I didn't call him.  But this damn song keeps reverburating through my head.  I could've given his cell a ring, but he probably wouldn't have answered.  I tried him on Father's Day to no avail, then I called my Mom and wished her the same because really, she was my mom and dad.

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 don't regret my parent's splitting, I completely understand and empathize what it's like to be in a miserable marriage.  I am completely fine with not telling my Dad my deepest, darkest secrets.  But what I'm not fine with is that my Dad never calls, that the only way he'll come visit me is if I bother the shit out of him to do so, and that he doesn't take more interest in his children's lives.

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,
Amy Rae

5 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  2. I'm with you buddy. I always feel guilty for not tracking my dad down. Why should I? He does nothing to find me.

    To me, it's so strange not to want to see what your child has grown into. What they know, how they decided to live. what a waste. what is more important? In my case it has always been alcohol.

    You're awesome for still loving him. I'm finding it hard to these days. your mom is a bad ass much like mine. we went through some shit but look at us now. I wouldn't have changed a thing...well- maybe a few things :P

    <3

    shannon

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  3. Grrrr....not sure why comments are posting as doubles!

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  4. It's funny...I've surprised many people by continuing to try to maintain a relationship with my Dad even though he refuses to see both Serafina and myself.

    I think the day I stopped having expectations of my dad, it got easier to live and just love him without hurting.

    I wish you could have the consistent, parental love from your Dad that you deserve.

    Love you, cousin.


    Jess

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  5. I'm friends w/my dad on FB, but really we have nothing to say to one another.

    I am one of those who doesn't get the whole, "Well, he doesn't really care about me, but I still want to talk to him" situation. But, that's just me. I'm of the mindset that if said individual made it plain as day he/she didn't quite care enough to invest time into my life, then I'm not required to do anything myself. Nor do I want to. *shrug* However, most of my sisters are just like you and try to maintain some kind of contact and desire more interaction, so you are definitely not alone in your feelings.

    Family can be really confusing sometimes, huh?

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just say it already