Monday, September 5, 2011

Father of Mine

Father of mine
Come talk to me
Father of mine
See what I have come to be
Father of mine
I miss you
Father of mine
Do you think of me, too?
Father of mine
Mom holds my hand
Father of mine
She's with a new man
Father of mine
You have been replaced
Father of mine

I wrote this poem about eleven or twelve years ago when /I was struggling with the relationship I had with my biological father - or lack thereof, really.  A lot has changed since then.  I stopped going to school, got a job, moved out of my parents' house, moved to another city, got another job, met a guy, fell in love, almost died in a car accident, left the guy, moved back to my parents' house, got a new job, met a new guy, fell in love and somewhere along the way, I stopped caring about having a relationship with my biological father.  The most significant change however, was that I had a child.

You change in so many ways when you have a child.  The changes are different for every new parent.  Me, I felt stronger, more focused, less stressed out, more grounded.  those who now me best are probably laughing to themselves a little.  Let's just say... usually I'm less stressed, more grounded, yadda, yadda, yadda. 

One of the most positive changes, I feel, is that I have learned to appreciate my step-father more.  He and my mother have been married for just over 15 years.  He's been a part of our lives for just about 19 years.  Our relationship have been... well indescribable.  For the first few years, we were pals.  Then I entered my teenage years at the same time my kid sister was born.  Now anyone with teenaged daughters know that this is a powder-keg situation just waiting to explode.  Again, anyone with teenaged daughters knows that she will use just about any excuse she can take to explode.  Especially if it means she's going to get her way, or better yet, attention. 

I wasn't a bad kid; I wasn't rebellious, didn't do drugs, didn't get mixed up with the wrong crowd.  I would just get... frustrated at times that my parents (I thought) would get in the way.  Add to that some jealousy towards my kid sister and I would look for someone to blame.  Usually it was my mother who would suffer my teenaged wrath, but there were a couple of memorable times where my step-dad and I would butt heads.

A result of those couple of times was that our initially amicable relationship grew lukewarm; at least on my part.  For his part though, he was really patient.  He was always very aware of the face that a step-father/step-daughter relationship can be very volatile and I guess he knew to wait.

Having a child of my own helped me to realize that my step-dad has always been there for me in exactly the way I needed him to be there.  I have always known that he is a terrific father to my kid sister, but it wasn't until I had my own child that I realized what a great father he has always been to me. 

Everyone knows the adage that any idiot can be a father, but it takes a special man to be a dad.  My biological father may have contributed to my very existence and for that I am forever thankful(though it's my mother to who, I will attribute most of the credit to).  However it is my step-dad I am lucky enough to call Dad (thought it too me a long time to get there).  To  me, that is a wonderful give that I have finally learned to cherish. 

I love you, Dad.  Thanks. 

Dad and I playing hockey, about 16 years ago.

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