Father's Day is that special time of the year when we honor the most important men in our lives. The men who have raised us, inspired us, and taught us so much. As someone who did not grow up with their biological father in the home, this day has meant something a little different to me than it does to others. I spent this Father's Day reflecting on what being a father really means to me.
As a child, I would see my dad periodically through the year. Since I was so young, I did not really have a full understanding of the situation. All I knew was my dad was a funny guy who usually brought me gifts and I loved spending time with him. But eventually, the day would end and he would go home and I would just have to look forward to the next time I would see him.
The older I got, the more I learned about what happened between my parents. They had differences like a lot of people and decided the best thing for both of them would be to get a divorce. When they got divorced, I wasn't born yet so I obviously didn't know anything about it. I didn't know the circumstances or even what it really meant. I spent a long period of time thinking that I was the reason my parents got divorced. I thought my father didn't want me, I wasn't good enough, and that was why he felt like he had to leave.
That feeling eventually went away the older I got. Unfortunately, it was replaced by anger. I was angry at my dad. I was angry he wasn't around. I was angry he didn't want to spend time with me. I was angry at myself for being angry. It just seemed so easy and logical to be angry. He wasn't around, I didn't know how to deal with that, so anger was the only way out. I shouldn't have let this affect me the way it did.
As a college student, I have matured and come to terms with my situation. My dad isn't around all the time, but that's OK I know I am still loved and I know he wants the best for me. To me, that's what it means to be a father. To love and support your children no matter what the circumstance. No amount of distance should keep you from loving your child. Are things perfect? Of course they aren't. But I don't expect them to be perfect. No family is perfect, no matter how non-nuclear that family is.
I have a mother. She is the best mom I could ask for and I wouldn't trade her in for anyone else. I also have a stepfather. A great man who has taught me so much and helped me grow as a person. Lastly, I have a dad. No, he doesn't live with me and no I don't see him everyday. But he's still my dad. A man who has supported me and been there for me when it counts. Someone I could never repay for all he's done for me.
Happy Father's Day, Dad. I love you.