Two years ago while shopping for a Father’s day card for my dad I happened upon one that described the type of father I believe my husband will be perfectly, and I bought it. It has remained in a box in our closet since then – I had seriously hoped that this year would be the year I was able to use it but that was not the case. I still hold onto it though because I have to believe that one day I will be able to give it to him and tell him that I bought it before we knew and before the struggle and that even though I didn’t know when I’d get to use it I still believed that one day I would finally get to give it to him.
Father’s day has always been a bit of strange holiday for me – I have a father, I have an awesome amazing father, but he wasn’t there the day I was born and I don’t share any of his DNA,. My mother had been friends with him when I was a baby and ended up falling in love with him, they started dating when I was about four years old – they have never been married but have lived together since I was five. When I introduce him to other people I introduce him as my dad, I refer to him as my dad but I’ve never called him dad. I have called him by a nickname given to him by some friends when he was younger for as long as I can remember.
There is a part of me that wishes I could call him “Dad”, but my parents never forced it and when I think about trying to say it it just seems weird to me. For me the man I always referred to as “Dad” was the guy who was drunk at the birthday parties he could remember to show up for, it was the guy who called my mother horrible names long after they had been divorced, it was the guy who yelled and sometimes did more than yell. I haven’t referred to that man for years by anything other than his given name, he took the idea of “Dad” and made me hate the word for a really long time. The man who raised me I call him Dino, he’s the guy who was always there for me, the one who helped me pursue my dreams, he’s the one who has always believed in me and loved me. Maybe that’s how it was supposed to be though, our relationship was always pretty close but he has rarely ever called me by my given name instead there is a nickname he gave me when I was little and it stuck, and still to this day he (and only he) uses it. Perhaps that is our language for father/daughter. This man who raised me, I am more like him than the man who I share my DNA with – we may not look alike but we are very alike. He is my father and I am his daughter, and I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.
Happy Father’s Day to all the men out there who are wonderful fathers or will be one someday 😀