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Obligatory Fathers’ Day Post

June 16, 2014

For Fathers’ Day, the kids used to make me cards with cute little sayings on them like, “you are a better Dad than a real dad”.  Now that they are a little older, they are figuring out that I am not a great dad at all.  I never intended to cover both parenting roles in the first place, and it always killed me that they thought I was.  Today my facebook feed is and endless barrage of ‘best dad ever’ spiked with the ‘salutes to single mommies’.  Barf.  The links to the stories about how fabulous single moms are all either written by rabid feminists or complete twits who are oblivious to the damage they are doing to their children by intentionally choosing to be ‘Heroic Single Mommies’ ™.

Taking my kids to car races, knowing how to maintain my vehicle, using construction tools, driving heavy equipment are just part of who I am or are job-related skills I have acquired over the years. It’s no more extraordinary than being a decent cook, knowing how to flush a toilet, making my own soap, knowing how to apply winged eyeliner and false eyelashes, and having a secret passion for obscure classical literature.  If there is anything special about me at all, it is that I have faced the fire and refused to allow it to burn Respect for Men out of my very soul.

I am painfully aware of the damage that not having a father is doing to my kids. My oldest child, the one who took the brunt of the abuse, associates the lack of physical abuse with ‘being a father’.  That’s it, nothing else.  A dad to her, a real Dad – like some of her friends have – is just a guy who doesn’t hurt them, and she doesn’t have one of those. She doesn’t want one, doesn’t believe it can happen, or, best case scenario, would never admit it to me.

game overGuess who loses?

 

Despite the fact that I speak openly about their father from time to time, emphasizing the positive, and all my attempts to introduce good male role models into her life, the child is actively indifferent to male influence.  Male ≠ Harm is an equation she refuses to accept. She has even shown some irritation when I do speak about her biological father in a positive manner.  Dear God, the eyerolling…where did she get that habit??? She is a teenager now, and chances are Slim to None that I can do anything to change her mind.

cowboy-and-sunset

And Slim’s packing his bags and leaving town as we speak…

Number Two, is just a few months younger than Number One, and her approach is more like mine.  Despite never having had a person live up to either of our expectations, we both still sort of hope it might be possible. She sees people as individuals with equal opportunity to be good or bad.   She knows that Dads are just people, and people can be assholes or angels or something in between regardless of gender. She is choosing her own ‘family’ to make up for whatever she lacks here in our household.  Yep, the child is growing up and she is the architect of her own world.  She is with her best friend right now,  making Father’s Day dinner for her “adopted” Dad.

steak and gravy

Steak with brown gravy, corn-on-the-cob, ‘taters, and chocolate cake.

Oh, and– she looked at me like I pooped on the dining room table when I suggested that she use a mix for the chocolate cake. Gotta give her credit for that, nothing but the best for the guy she looks up to, and the best is made from scratch, much like her second family. Adopted Dad is a tattoo-covered biker and his wife, “mom #2”  is a fun, sort of punk-rocker mom.  I love them both and their influence over my kid is quite welcome. I have lots of respect for them as individuals and as a couple.  I know they have been through some really rough times, and nothing they have was handed to them.   Yet, they are still some of the coolest people I know.

Unlike Number One, Number Two has a boyfriend, the same little dude who has been “her guy” since we moved here.  (He’s not a little dude anymore, he is as tall as me, and it’s super-cute when his voice cracks. He just changed his profile pic to one of them together, awwwwww!!!) Blondie, the boyfriend, is a polite kid from a decent family,  with a decent Dad. In fact, Blondie’s Dad, who lives in another town, came to where I work to introduce himself, he also became my friend on facebook where chat about the kids fairly regularly.  Through fb, Blondie’s Dad gets to see pictures of his son that he would otherwise never have seen, mainly because the “mother” is a terrible shrew who is of the opinion that Her Time Is Her Time and Dad is persona-non-grata.  I think it is extra disgusting that Blondie freely admits that his “mom” constantly talks shit about his Dad. Even as an Every-Other-Weekend Dad, the guy is On It.  He knows Blondie spends a fair amount of time at our house, while predominantly under the supposed ‘care’ of his mother…guess how many times SuperMom has talked to me?

bad mom

Zero. Zip. Zilch. Nada. That’s pathetic, BTW. 

Peaches, my baby, loves everyone, but she loves men in particular.  She loves the Old Man across the street twice as much as she loves ice cream.  She adores Bike Boy and Bike Dad.  I really hope she outgrows it, and I probably shouldn’t have let her be around Bike Boy or Bike Dad.  She’s attached so easily to anyone who is nice to her.  She is especially easily attached to people who are nice to me.  I can’t fault her for her taste, but I also can’t protect her from disappointment if things don’t go well.

Maybe it is better that I don’t shelter her anyway.  Sooner or later she needs to catch onto the fact that people really shouldn’t be counted on like that.  Or, she won’t.  I haven’t seemed to master that yet, why should she? <<sigh>>

surprise douchetard

(*Don’t read too much  into this – Sometimes an internet meme is just handy as a visual.)

The point of all that is, each of my kids, heck, every kid, and for that matter, every person has some idea of what a Dad should be.  What it means to each of us is totally subjective and deeply personal. Wish I could give to my kids what they would like to have for a Dad, and I am sure that it will happen right after this:

riding unicorn

Here’s to any dad out there who is someone’s idea of a Real DAD… I hope you have a truly happy Fathers’ Day!!! Oh, and if you are one of the ones telling single moms, Happy Fathers’ Day, please do fuck off.

 

 

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