Blog Archives

Rougher Than Most

Father’s Day hasn’t been my favorite day for 10 years…10 years without my dad.  The first one was the hardest…the first one after my mom met The Step wasn’t easy for me…but after I had the boys, it became less painful because I focused on The Ex instead.  Last year, I thought more about my own dad than I did anything else – probably because The Ex was still around for Aidan and Sean (sort of)…

This year has been rougher than most…

Aidan made a Father’s Day card for The Ex that said: “You’re the best dad ever.”  And I wanted to cry – for multiple reasons.  First because this beautiful little boy still thinks his dad is the best one ever…and second because he doesn’t know it’s supposed to be better than this…he doesn’t know that dads are supposed to see their children more than once every couple of weeks…he doesn’t know that dads are supposed to make an effort to be a part of their children’s lives…he doesn’t know what he’s missing…

I’m not such a cold-hearted bitch that I would ever tell Aidan he’s wrong about his dad.  I purposefully don’t say a single negative thing about The Ex to either of the boys…and they adore their absentee father.  Good for them…I suppose.  He’s a lucky man, and he has no fucking clue.  He has the love of the two most beautiful boys on the planet…they don’t care that he’s broke…they don’t care that his living conditions are unusual – Aidan is dying to see where his dad lives…all they care about is him and being able to spend time with him.

Today, because it was the right thing to do (and only for that reason), I took the boys to see their dad…it was only an hour and a half – and yes, I would give him more time if he wanted it…but they were ecstatic…time with their dad is a precious thing…

I’m not a fool – I took that moment to do something without the boys…I went to the grocery store…it was the best $50 I’ve spent in a long time because I was able to focus on the task at hand…it was wonderfully luxurious…and I was fine…until I got to the car and realized it was time to go get the boys…and I started thinking…

I thought about my own dad and how much I miss him…especially when life is hard…I know if he were alive, he’d give me rough, no-nonsense advice that would sound (to the untrained ear) more like yelling…but I would pay attention and consider what he said…I don’t begrudge my mother one moment of happiness with The Step – but it doesn’t make me stop wishing Daddy was still alive…knowing what I know now, I’d rather be the child of a divorce and have both my parents than this

I thought about The Ex and how much of an idiot he is…I know that he loves the boys…and I think he shies away to keep from hurting…it must hurt to be away and be under the strain he’s experiencing…I get that…but to me, his are the actions of a coward…everybody hurts…everybody gets scared and stressed…we all know I’ve gone through those emotions a million times…but I haven’t walked away from my responsibilities…I haven’t walked away from the people I love because it’s somehow “easier!”

I thought about the boys and how I want so much better for them…I now understand what it is to look at a man and assess him – not on his looks, his clothes, his car…but on his ability as a partner, as a parent, as a provider…it’s a strange thing…it makes the whole process a lot more clinical that’s for sure…thankfully, I still have a little mojo in me, so it’s not completely sterile and clinical…ha!  It also makes me very picky…so far, in my limited experience, I’ve only come across one man who fits the bill…and we’re in a holding pattern…and I’m learning patience…

Overall, the only thing that matters is that the boys had a good time today…all they know is that they saw their dad and they had fun…and in the end, that’s probably all that really matters on a day like today…

To all the real men in this world who love, nurture, and provide for your children in whatever way you can, I say, Happy Father’s Day.

Advertisements

I Miss My Dad Everyday…Not Just Father’s Day

NOTE: I didn’t mean to, but this one is REALLY long.  I’m not offended if you just don’t have the time or patience to make it through the whole thing. 

I’ve been mentally writing this blog for days now.  I miss my dad on day’s like this and I always feel sorry for people who know me but never met him. I make a little more sense if you know my dad.

Daddy died in March 2002 – 6 weeks before I graduated college, 7 weeks before I married Almost Ex.  He had been diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) 2 years before.  Most people know ALS as Lou Gehrig’s Disease.  I never liked that name because it implies that the disease belonged to Lou Gehrig. And I don’t say that he “passed away.” I never have said that…it sounds too nice, too genteel.  He died…he would have rolled his eyes at anything different.

Daddy had a huge impact on my life.  He was a stay-at-home dad before it was considered almost normal.  I spent a LARGE amount of time with him as a kid.  He taught me how to make his meatloaf, how to fold laundry…and how to play Blackjack. We played for pennies and one day, after many months of play, I finally won his whole stash. He also taught me a little common sense (because I definitely wasn’t born with any) – his favorite trick to play was 52 Card Pick Up.  I fell for it twice..yes, twice. He also taught me, “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.”

Since his death, I’ve been accused of idealizing my father.  Not quite.  I will admit (and now that I’m adult I’d say it to his face if he were alive) he could be a complete jackass sometimes.  He was the most strong-willed man I’ve ever come across in my life and even if you showed him proof that he was wrong, he still would never admit it.  In his mind, his word was law, and his opinion was always the right one. Always.

Because of my dad, I don’t deal well with bullshit, I know most of the words to just about any song from the 50s, 60s, and early 70s, and I don’t give up control of the remote control easily.  Because of him, I still love the University of Florida Gators, I know how to make a quick spaghetti sauce, and I know how to dribble a basketball (sort of) and play Horse.  Because of Daddy, I trust no one, I don’t ever repeat a mistake, and I’m harder on myself than anyone could ever be. I adore that man, even now.

I miss him on the big days (and the random days, too) – the birth of both boys, the purchase of our home, the end of my marriage, and anytime something really good or bad happens.  I can imagine what he would say or do in almost every instance.  He would have been a lenient Grandpa, allowing his grandkids to get away with crap he’d have kicked my ass for.  He would have helped me landscape my yard because he loved to watch things grow and create beauty.  He would have cracked a joke when my grandfather died so no one forgot to laugh a little even in the midst of sadness.  And he would most definitely have an opinion on my pending divorce.

I’m a Daddy’s Girl, but not in the princess sort of way.  Anytime I speak my mind, that’s him.  Anytime I crack a sarcastic joke, that’s my dad.   My dad didn’t believe in saying the words, “I love you.”  I only remember hearing it once in my life and it was a few days before he died.  He believed in showing love.  He took care of every need he could, he pushed the ones he loved to be the best they could be,  and he righteously defended my mom and me (even when we desperately just wanted him to stay out of it).  Thankfully for the world, I’m like my mom too.

He was an amazing man.  I know he would worry for me right now…I also know he would probably be in my home trying to help me run my life…he would remind me to crack a joke or two to lighten the mood…and he’d have a great time intimidating any man who ever looked at me twice…

He was hard to love.  You either loved him or hated him, there was no middle ground.  I loved him, feared him, respected him, and tried very hard to make him proud.  Letting him down never felt good…losing his trust was horrible…gaining it back was almost impossible.

I miss him so much.  But I know I wouldn’t be the person I am today without his influence during my childhood and his absence in my adulthood…

%d bloggers like this: