Not Everyone Has What It Takes To Be A Dad
I was a daddy’s girl and raised in a loving family and being closest to my Dad, I have taken this terms – Dad and Father – for granted until I have my baby 17 years ago.
Raising him as a single mom with huge help from my family, this two words came to surface from time to time, whenever his biological father’s name came to surface with some trivial-and-yet-important issues along.
I made a point from Day One that I would not, have not and will not stop the father from getting to know my baby. He is allowed to come for a visit. Forget my hurts and bitterness. It is not about me anymore. It is about my baby.
I did email the father on my baby’s development via pictures. That’s my responsibility as the mother. I want my baby to know his background. Despite the circumstances, he was conceived out of love.
I know my brother has been playing a Dad role wonderfully to my son. Caring for him 24/7 while I was away in the city. So, on my baby’s front, he is one happy boy. He’s got his grandparents doting on him and the whole clan doting on him.
Despite no sign of any efforts from the man to start building the bridge with my boy except occasional FB messages, me being a decent human being that I am, still updating the father from time to time on the son’s life here.
From young age my baby is very perceptive in nature. I didn’t have to tell him anything in details. He just put two things together. And he never raised the question about the man who fathered him.
When he was six and seven the father did ask about coming over to see Adam. But for some reasons unkown it didn’t materialise.
Then almost two years ago, the father suggested that I sent my 15 year old baby to fly across to Frankfurt on his own so the father can fetch my boy because the grandparents really wanted to see Adam.
That’s preposterous! Absolute nonsense! I was beyond disbelief. Trying to keep myself in civilised manner, I wrote him a letter, explaining why I couldn’t allow that. First, they have never met. Second, Adam doesn’t like flying much. And he wouldn’t go anywhere if he’s not inclined to do that. And no one can make him. Not even me. Besides, I really don’t know my son’s feelings about everything especially about his “absent” father. I suggested why didn’t he fly over here and meet the son in a comfortable environment (for my son to be in). Build the rapport. Catching up for missing 15 years. Adam is a human being and not a doll where I would fly him at whim. His feelings are my utmost priority. And just like I expected, the father just disappeared.
And lately, I have discovered how his teachers and others came to Adam and enquired about his father. And my son proudly said that his father is a German and works in Europe. And that statement pained me, for obvious reason.
And the father’s name appeared today, yes today’s his birthday. But it wasn’t his birthday which has gotten me so riled up. It’s about something else. I wish I didn’t know. I wish I have a heart of stone. I wish I don’t have that journalist inquisitive mind…
But as hours passed, and my pain slowly easing out, I was really glad to have guys as my best friends. While I was venting out with full emotions and tears, they’d came back with their funny, practical and rooted in reality opinion.
The same issue but they looking at it in a totally different perspective that we women, tend to overlook the main issue as we wallowing in self-pity and flooded our entire being with mixed unpleasant emotions.
“You have your billion dollar baby with you. Imagine how many single women the world over in their 30s and 40s who couldn’t care less about finding a father (for the baby) but they are desperate to have a baby and they couldn’t even have one for many reasons,” Jeff said trying to pacify me.
“Look at Adam, he is growing up beautifully, loving and compassionate boy that many parents could only dream of. He is a happy boy and he is perfect. So what if the sperm donor doesn’t see that for the past 17 years. That’s his loss. Not yours… not Adam’s.”
While Danny, earlier during the day, was clueless of course, couldn’t make heads or tails of my sadness. He said ” Isn’t his life is his business?” when I asked him to interpret two sentences which had turned my day into sobbing mess. Basically that’s the end of our conversation. I wasn’t in the mood to explain my pain.
Besides, I was in the office, it wasn’t a suitable place to talk about this stuff. Later in the day, when I told him about writing this post, all he said was, ” Oh boy!” Lol! (I was grinning from ear to ear)… This one can read me like a book. He said, ” Don’t be mean.” Seriously I wasn’t about to. Only after reading this post, Danny understood everything and he was sorry for being clueless. Seriously, I held him blameless. It was my fault not being clear on things that bothered me.
Apparently, the adage is true that everyone can be a father but not everyone can be a dad. How true. Plain and simple.
How irony, when all my life I have met several wonderful compassionate men who didn’t think twice about stepping into a Dad’s shoes when comes to my baby. For Adam is blessed with the cute, adorable and warmth personality. And yet for his biological father, its different story altogether.
My late husband John is one exceptional dad to Adam. We got married when Adam was very territorial about his mom getting close to any man. Adam’s reason was simple and heartbreaking to hear…”I don’t want to lose you mommy… I only have you…”
And yet, John knew his way around Adam by letting the boy be himself. Never interfere son-and-mom times. In no time, though still mildly guarded, Adam opened up to John.
Years later, in John’s final hours, it was Adam in his mind through and through. Though he couldn’t talk then due to pneumonia and heat stroke on top of his Alzheimer’s Disease, I knew John wanted to talk to Adam…
I remember how Adam came to sit and talk to John. Standing outside I let son and dad moment undisturbed. My heart broke into million pieces when Adam saying goodbye to John… His voice breaking and he was in tears when he said that it’s okay if John had to go and he promised John that he will take care of mommy and he doesn’t want John to worry about us. And he was sorry if he hurts John in any way in the early years… And John made that sobbing sound with tears streaming down his cheeks. My husband and my son in the saddest moment of our life… Couldn’t communicate with words but love was all around…
And John passed away in my arms a few hours later…
As a mother I can look back now and realised that’s the defining moment of my son’s life. It was life changing experience for 15-year-old boy, facing his stepdad’s final hours. It was a day filled with indescribable grief for me. I didn’t feel anything except sheer numb as I was slowly dying inside. And I remember watching my young boy accompanying John every step of the way to his final resting place.
And it has been more than three years and I am so proud and humbled to say that Adam has been keeping his words to John. He has been keeping an eye on me and caring for me like no other.
Granted John isn’t Adam biological father, but his love for Adam is endless and unquestionable… I don’t have to look farther (and pardon the pun), Duncan Cottage is John’s love and legacy for Adam, the only son he know, love and cared.
And the way Adam is so passionate about rebuilding the cottage, I know my baby cherishes the love very much. In his 17 years of life, he knows the love of two daddies (John and my brother) who love him unconditionally and he is one happy camper…
And as for the biological father, thank you for the wonderful son. You just don’t know what you have missed for the past 17 years. Don’t tell me that I didn’t tell you… A
For additional reading, I find this blog have a really interesting perspective on what constitute a dad and a father http://www.dadtography.com/definition-of-dad-vs-father-and-a-fathers-right-to-parent/