Fathers Day in our house will be spent with two excitable little boys proudly gifting their Daddy the cards and presents they have made for him this week at nursery and treating him to a day of relaxation from the 6 day working week he routinely puts in for us. It’s always a lovely day, and I feel proud watching the man I have known since he was 19 years old spend time with his children and receive the love and recognition he so very much deserves. But, it also leaves a strange feeling with me – a feeling of wonder and sometimes a feeling of envy that I’ve never been that child…I’ve celebrated many a Fathers Day – with Spiderdad, with my Grandad and with my Stepdad – but never my biological Dad.
I’ve never met my biological father – I’ve never even seen him, I’ve never spoken to him and I’m probably never likely to. My Mum fell pregnant at 19 and it wasn’t a situation which was going to lead to 2:4 children, or even a ‘Dad’s house on the weekend’ scenario – he was gone before I was born. They were young, and I hold no judgment or grudge for the choices either one of them made over quarter of a century ago – its very much their story and I was far too preoccupied doing somersaults in the womb to care.
I’ve been very lucky that I have an amazing extended family in the shape of beautiful Grandparents, Aunties and close cousins that as a child not knowing him ever crossed my mind. My mum married when I was 5 and my Stepdad became the main male role model in my life alongside my Grandad – who I am immensely proud of – and no questions were ever asked, or even thought about asking. We were a mostly happy family – until the divorce! – so I never felt like anything was missing.
Then I had my own children – overnight it opened a can of worms. When pregnant, my midwife asked about genetic conditions – I could only give half an answer. When my babies arrived everyone would discuss who they looked like – I would wonder who I looked like. When it came to filling in the Family Tree in my Spawn’s baby books, the maternal Grandfather side was left empty. Ofcourse, I could have put my Stepdad in there, but at the time we were not in contact and had grown apart and Tipex is not something I never wish to use in the books that document my beautiful boy’s lives, but – and it may sound brutal – we have to be honest don’t we – I don’t know the answer to the line in the book, so I can’t write it for them. It will never make him of less importance but I refuse to pretend, brush it over, or keep them in the dark. I do not know their biological Grandfather.
That’s not to say I don’t believe there is a place and alot of love to be had from being part of a step family – there is – and I am a massive believer in nature VS nurture – I love expensive shiney things (Not that I can afford many – Hello, stay at home Mum!) and I know for sure that comes from many years spent with my Stepdad and his tastes, and on a less matericalist note we are quite similar emotionally. Many step families work amazingly well for people and only good is to be gained. I have gained good from mine – now I am an adult I have a great friend in my Stepdad – I talk to him daily, I know if I needed anything I could ask him, and my children have met him and enjoy their time with him.
But what about the man that made me, the man that could walk past me in the street and I would never know – he’ll cross my mind this weekend – I’ll log on to Facebook and be met with status’ from friends tagging their Dad’s to wish them a brilliant day, and when I post my cards to my Grandad and Stepdad and help the boys write theirs for Spiderdad, I will wonder what I would write in mine to him, if I ever had the chance. I don’t, so this will have to do.
You don’t know me and I don’t know you, but you are half of me and I am half of you – and I’m a poet! And you could possibly be one too – I haven’t a clue…
We’ve never met before, but I am still thankful to you – that probably sounds bizarre – I bet you are wondering why there is no anger and resentment – well that’s because it’s hard to feel negativity to someone you don’t even know. I’ve learnt alot from living without a biological father and what I have gone without has led me to find a man who will never give up on me and our babies.
I hold honesty dear from craving my own truth, I value my family fiercely from you not valuing me, and I love my children as hard as I can from never having yours. Please, Mr Spidermum’s biological Dad, the above is not a dig – it truly is all positive and and a nod to you that although you are absent, your action’s have still shaped me into who I am, which has led to me living the life I have always dreamt of.
I feel sad for you in a way – my children are beautiful, full of fun, character and love and you’ll never know. You’ve missed some eventful times – my childhood, my teenage binge drinking sessions (infact, I would never blame you for that one…), the opportunity to beat the boys that broke my heart, my engagement, the births of the spawns and one day our wedding. If I missed a second of my boys lives, I would feel cheated. I hope you don’t.
I don’t know why you left before we met, I don’t know why you have never been in touch, but I do know that you are still a part of me – a part that causes wonder and sometimes frustration when I look in the mirror and wonder who could be staring back at me, but it’s part that drives me to be the best parent I can be.
So, when my children ask me who their Grandad is one day, I will say I do not know – but whoever he is has made me love you stronger and harder than if things hadn’t have been this way.
Thanks, Stranger. X
Finally, I would like to wish everyone a very Happy Fathers Day – the Dad’s, the Stepdad’s, the Mum’s doing a Dad’s job and to any expectant Fathers. Being a parent really is the most amazing thing. Enjoy your special day. X