I'm a day late in the Dad post...

I have two dads. One biological father and one real dad, in my mind. My bio dad (as he calls himself) and my mom were married for 5 years and tried to have me with no luck. After my bio dad professed that he didn't love my mother like that anymore they decided to divorce. After being separated for a time they got back together for 3 days and Hello! Here's Kristie! I was at my parent's divorce hearing when I was 6 weeks old. I'm told that my bio dad was late to my birth.

Over the years my bio dad has tried to make an effort to be closer to me, I suppose. He used to say it with money. I remember once he gave me something like $400 to buy new clothes and stuff for school. He also gave me a handheld black and white TV that I thought was so cool. He took me (and my half sisters) shopping and let us buy whatever we wanted, no questions asked. It was strange because I felt like I had struck it rich. I could have whatever I wanted! Shiny new things! The world was my oyster because I could buy whatever I wanted.

The funny thing about that time, thought, was when I left Missouri and came back home to Texas I always felt empty. As a kid I remember thinking how lucky my half sisters were. They could have whatever they wanted with an almost unlimited budget. Lucky! Of course, you know what I'm going to say I'm sure, money isn't everything. I realized that my half sisters lived a strange life. When the money went away, as it always seems to, they didn't much left left but dull, old things and not a drop of what I had at my house.

In my house, with my mom and (step) dad us kids didn't have unlimited funds to buy whatever we wanted. I begged for a pair of the "it" jeans of the nineties and never got them. When we went shopping my budget was much less than $400 and I had to buy practical things. Things that would last for a whole school year. We didn't have jet skis and a yacht like my bio dad did. We had an embarrassingly bright yellow boat that sure didn't have bedrooms and a bathroom in the lower deck. It didn't even have a lower deck unless you consider being under the boat, in the water, the lower deck.

The difference, and this is a big one, was that my family was full of love. We didn't have the yacht or the maid or that Corvette's or any of that fancy stuff. We had so much more than that. We had each other and we depended on each other and we knew we'd be there for each other, even when things were tough and we couldn't stand to be in the same room with each other.

My dad is the reason for this. When I was a mere toddler my mom and I married my dad. He has always accepted me as his own daughter, no questions asked. When I got married, he walked me down the isle. When I divorced he paid for my attorney. He helps me fix my car and we laugh when we say inappropriate things with cuss words. He's got this funny, breathy laugh that makes his whole face light up. He's never still, always doing something around the house. He makes sure I have money to live and puts up with my antics. He complains about going on vacations and then can't stop talking about where he went when he comes back. He's tall and skinny and can eat whatever he wants and not gain an ounce (the total opposite of my mom and I). He would do absolutely anything for his family and he does everyday. He works hard, harder than anyone I know, to help take care of us.

I love my bio dad, he's getting better theses days. He calls me on the phone now, which he never used to do when I was younger. He never did recover and get his yacht back. He drives an old beat up truck and lives in a modest home that doesn't have a maid. He still sends me money sometimes, old habits and all. But I think maybe he's getting it. He getting that money is so much less important than just being a family and loving with all you have. That's what my REAL dad taught me.

I am one lucky girl. My dad is the coolest out there. My mom and I sure did strike it rich.


Le said...

Your post got me teary eyed. It was a great day when "we" married Paul. You were 3 1/2 and on that day, all on your own, you called him Daddy for the first time. I don't remember you ever asking about it, you just figured it out on your own. Then when he used to carry you around people would comment on how you looked like him! He would just smile and say "Thanks."

We are both so fortunate to have Paul/Dad in our lives. Thanks for writing about it so eloquently.

Legallyblondemel said...

I get this. My real dad was/is my late grandfather, and not a day goes by when I'm not completely, wholly thankful for him.

Thank you for this post.

Lara said...

That is beautiful, Kristie! I love the way you look at the world.

TUWABVB said...

What a beautiful post! And I'm sure if you asked your dad, he would say that he was pretty damn lucky too. I feel like I know him thanks to your wonderful words. Happy Father's Day to him!

Abbie said...

What an awesome post. They are both so lucky to have a daughter like you!

Sarah said...

I love this post, it's so beautiful, heartfelt and very well written. Happy Father's Day to your Dad!