Today is my father’s forty-seventh birthday. He is another year closer to fifty.
It is said that most men do not really grow up and/or mature until after their forties, after their mid-life crisis. I keep hoping my dad will change, that he will be the dad he was forced to be while I was in school. The days that he was forced to be around and I was forced to go. When my parents first divorced I used to dread the days I had to have dinner with him and see him on the weekends. Now I miss them. I had two years of getting used to him being gone, then he came back with divorce papers, and then I had five years of having to have Thursday dinners and every other weekend was his until I was a senior in high school.
By senior year, I was used to going, even happy to go at times but then he started getting”sick” more, cancelled on me, and sometimes he wouldn’t tell me he was not coming. I would be ready, packed, and sitting on the couch at exactly six, waiting for my dad to pull up and I would sit there for hours. Calling him, texting him, trying to get ahold of him. I would go to my last resort and call my grandfather, and he would hand the phone to my grandma and tell me my father could not come get me, if I wanted they would get me. I would tell her no. Other times, my father would just send my grandparents to get me, and he would remain in his room all weekend. I slowly stopped going, I gave up, and started focusing on the fact that I was graduating soon.
My father and I got into a huge fight the four days before Graduation. He was so angry that he told me he was not going to come. I hung up, sobbing because hearing my own father tell me that broke my heart. He tried calling me the days between then and graduation. He called that Friday morning during Graduation practice and said he was going. He got there, late, I had to have Anna track him down and give him his ticket to be seated on the track. I checked every few minutes to make sure he did not leave, he stood the entire time. Once we threw our hats, I went to him first, after hugging the friends that were close by. He congratulated me, hugged me. I hugged my grandparents and spoke to me grandma for a second. I turned around and he was gone. He did not even tell me bye.
The next day I was at my sister’s, he called and asked if I wanted to go to Janet’s daughter’s graduation. I did not. I was still upset. After that, we did not talk until my birthday. He called out of the blue, spoke to me, promised he would visit. He did not. I did not see him until the next year in the summer time when my grandmother told me to come over to get some stuff. A few hours of speaking and he was gone again. I did not see him again until sometime in October. I spent Christmas with him last year, which was the last time I saw him. Spoke to him briefly three times after Christmas. A few texts here and there.
It is weird to think that my little cousin is ten, the age my father left us. She is so happy all the time, I do not remember being that age and being happy. I am glad she is still so childish. I know I am easily bothered by her and her immaturity, but I realized it is okay for her to be that way. She needs to take time growing and not be thrown into the world that can destroy a little girl’s heart. I hope she keeps the mindset that nothing will ever go wrong that I used to have before my parents separated. I am glad my Uncle is the father to her that my father should have been to me.
So happy birthday to the man who gave my mother me, but who couldn’t stick around long enough to see who I am and who I am going to be. I hope one day he can clean up his act, but I am not going to stick around and keep waiting for that. I do not need to wait for something that will never happen. When I was little I used to think my dad was Superman, the best man in my life. Things change, little girls grow up. Fairytales are not true, super heroes are make-believe, and happiness is only accomplished when throwing all the bad stuff out the window.