I don't even feel like I could call you Dad. Not anymore. I used to wait up for you because you would promise to pick me up. I used to think you were the greatest in the world. Then I grew up. Wisdom and bliss cannot exist in the same soul. It isn't that I hate you. I love you very much. The problem is...I gave up because I was tired.
I'm tired of you telling me I need to talk to my sister. I know that sounds bad, but it is what it is. I talk to her when I have time, but not how you want. You want me to talk to her about grades, boys, behavior, and blah blah blah....listen, if she doesn't ask me about these things, I'm not bringing them up. It should not be my job to raise my sister. I don't have time for a kid, so why would you make me treat her as if she's my daughter? She's my sister. I love her dearly, and I will go to the ends of the earth for her, but I am just her sister. I am here as her mentor, if anything. I'm here as her shoulder to lean on. It is not my job to make sure she's studying. I have studying of my own to do. It's not my job to talk to her about her habits. I have to work on myself. I am not her parent. You are, so please take on that role. Yes, it takes a village to raise a child, but I am still young myself, and child rearing is not on my list right now.
I'm tired of waiting for you. You told me you would come to a game sometime to see me perform. I sent you a schedule. I waited. You told me you'd be at one of the games. You said you'd send me a text when you left home. I waited. Nothing. Your reason? Because my mom wouldn't let you give me a car. You could have came and seen me anyway. I was so eager to show you how much I'd improved since my first college performance. I was excited to spend the day with you and make you proud.
Now we come to the straw that broke the camel's back. I made all As. You scolded me because you found out through Facebook. Are you serious? Here you are, the man that basically raised me via SMS, Facebook, and my other family members, and you expected me to do what? When things go on in my life, I honestly don't think to call you. You know why? I'm not used to even talking to you. Why would I call you? There are things about me that you don't know, that you could have known if you had been in my life. Your own sisters know me better than you. The fact that you thought that material things would be enough to make our father-daughter relationship work is sad. I never wanted things. I would trade all of the wonderful things you bought for me for your time. All I ever wanted was for my father to be around.
Through all of this, though, I do have to thank you. I thank you because you showed me how to not raise a child. I thank you because you tied me to a lot of amazing aunts and uncles and cousins who have spent more time with me than you have. I thank you because my little sister is an amazing young lady with a bright future. I thank you because every time you dipped out of my life, there were a heavenly host of "fathers" who stepped in to raise me, both male and female. I thank you because my aunts have helped me through some pretty rough times. I thank you because my cousins are some of the best friends I could ask for. I thank you because my uncles provide wisdom and a lot of laughs. I thank you because Grandma Rena is one of the best people in the world, and she's my grandma. I thank you because through you, I learned that it does take a village to raise a child, and that my village is as strong as it is large.
A Daughter of the Village