Alright, so let me start this post by saying I'm not bragging and in no way, shape or form am I proud of the situation. I would change it if I could. But I've wished for change, prayed for change, held out for change and I think at this point it's just one of those things I'm going to have to accept in life. I'm talking about my relationship with my Dad.
There are times when I wonder how I turned out normal, okay well normal is relative and to some maybe I'm not "normal" per se, but I think I could at least get most people to agree I'm well adjusted. But I am grateful that I'm able to write about this as a parent to two fantastic children and not behind prison bars or stuck in an asylum and pointing my fingers at my Dad and blaming him for my circumstances. Of course on the flip side of that I'm not sure he should get much credit for where I am now either.
Maybe I'm being too harsh, maybe some of the unpleasant memories of have of my childhood and the embittered, confrontational relationship with my Dad has helped me get to where I am, even if only motivating me to be a different person than him.
I'm writing this tonight as I was shopping online for a small gift for my husband from the kids for Father's Day. His card is already done. This will be the second year in a row he's getting a custom made photo card with pictures of him and the children. You see I love cards and I'm really funny about choosing the right card for the person. And so I've always had a really tough time choosing the right Father's Day card for my Dad.
Most of the cards talk about the great relationships between father and daughter, or the fun trips you've shared, or the lessons you learned from him, maybe how he can fix anything that's broken, or is a good listener, likes to fish, hunt, etc., you know what I'm talking about. Problem is, none of that applies to my Dad. Maybe someone should have created the "These are all the things I wish you were to me, but I love you anyway" card. I'm serious and yes I know that's sad but it's true.
Sometimes more than anything I just wanted a "normal" Dad. I often told myself that he'd change, if I just accomplished more he'd be more proud and love me more. I'd use his criticism and negativity to motivate me to study harder, work longer hours and persevere. But regardless of my actions or accomplishments they were never good enough and he never changed.
I'm sad to say that while I tried to convince myself it didn't matter, it does matter. And now that he's a grandfather, well I hoped he'd be different. I hoped my kids would have a relationship with him and feel loved. Instead, he never tells people he's a grandfather. He doesn't call and ask to talk to the kids, e-mail and ask for recent photos or come to visit unless it can benefit him in some way.
My husband is a good father to our children. He holds them, changes them, plays with them, takes them to the park and tells them he loves them. I'm grateful that they will both know their father's love. So while I dread Father's Day because I can't find the right card for Dad and wonder should I even send one, now I'll try to focus more on making sure my children's Dad has a wonderful day.