Father's Day Cometh

Sunday is Father's Day, and as we do every year, we're having my dad, stepmom, and younger sisters, along with my great aunt and uncle (who is also my Godfather), and Rich's father over for brunch. We do the same for the women in my family for Mother's Day. However, Father's Day is done on a smaller scale, with less fanfare, and frankly, less effort than I put into Mother's Day brunch.

It's not that I don't love my dad. I really do. But the relationship I've always had with him can best be described as distant. My parents divorced when I was two. My mom had sole custody, and when my sister and I were old enough, we began spending every other weekend with my dad. He always went out of his way to show us a good time. He took us to arcades and mini-golfing. He had a motorcycle that he took us for (slow and gentle) rides on. Later he taught me to drive. But it wasn't a textbook case of "divorced-parents-existing-in-harmony-for-the-sake-of-the-kids" sort of relationship between him and my mom. There were child support issues. There were remarriage issues on both sides. He didn't attend my college graduation, and I still to this day do not know why. And as I grew older, I saw less and less of him. Granted, he lives an hour away from me, but in the grand scheme of things, that's not that far. Now, as an adult, I don't think I see him more than five times a year. We never talk on the phone either. And while he sends me email jokes, there's no real correspondance mixed in.

I suppose I thought things might be different with the impending arrival of his first grandchild. After every doctor's appointment, I send out an email to my family and friends, including the "belly shots" I post here, and he and my stepmom both receive them. And I never hear anything back in response. No "how are you feeling?" No "how's the baby's room coming?" No "My G-O-D, you're getting fat!" Nothing. Nada. Zip. Zero. And it bothers me, although I'm not sure why, given that our relationship could never be described as close.

So this coming Father's Day, the only two men I'm really in the mood to celebrate and honor are my great uncle and father-to-be Rich. My grandfather was like a father to me, but he's been gone now for almost 11 years. So we'll honor him, as we do every year on Father's Day, with a trip to his grave in the cemetary. But I feel guilty that I don't really feel connected to my real father, especially now that Father's Day is so near, and because this year, the day has a new meaning for me, and I would hope, for him.

I suppose in the future, Father's Day will become more of an insulated event for me. A day for me and the Beastie, and perhaps someday, Beastie Version 2.0 to honor only Rich. But this idea makes me sad because my dad is a part of who I am and who I've become. I just don't think there's a way to create the relationship I want with him from one that's never really existed in the first place.

5 Responses to “Father's Day Cometh”

  1. # Blogger Marie

    Sounds like your Dad's loss, Kristi. You've had people in your life who've filled the father role for you. He'll never have anyone else to fill the "my daughter Kristi" role for him...

    Why do you feel guilty that you don't feel connected? You're the one making an effor -- sending e-mails about your pregnancy progress, and he's the one who's not responding. I'd be pissed.

    He must be loaded with guilt, don't you think? Knowing that his first grandchild is coming and that he doesn't even know his daughter(s)?
    It is sad.

    AND it's great that your baby will have a wonderful Dad in Rich (dare I say UberDad??) & lots of loving role models in his life...  

  2. # Blogger Marie

    his/her life.... Oops!

    Funny I did that, because I think you're having a girl. Not that that means anything!!!  

  3. # Blogger l

    I wonder if he isn't ashamed - you mentioned child support issues. Perhaps he feels unworthy. From everything I've heard, your mother is amazing and your grandmother, great aunt and great uncle. From the way Karrie talks, it sure sounds like you have a full family that just oozes love. Not having a close relationship with your father means that you appreciate its importance - and your Beastie will have that.

    Your father's loss for sure. Like Marie said, you've had father figures, but it's not likely that he's had a substitute daughter.  

  4. # Blogger Caryl

    Same thing happened in my family - divorce and then the distance growing between me and my father. I'm not sure why that happens. Maybe Marie is right, guilt is the answer. I know when my dad left; he was like a high school kid whose parents were away for the weekend - out partying while we were struggling to put food on the table. However, Steve and Sara have an awesome relationship. So you are not locked into the relationship patterns you had while growing up. I know that you and Rich will be able to handle the situation differently.  

  5. # Blogger Christine

    Oh good luck with your Dad, and I'm sorry you feel guilty over it...But so glad that you've had great people in your life otherwise.

    AND also thrilled at the prospect of Beastie #2, even when the first hasn't made his/her grand appearance yet.

    Personally I hope for a boy Beastie, just so I can arrange his marriage to my cousin's daughter due in early August. In utero arranged marriages are all the rage, I'll have you know.  

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