I have two dads. In a perfect world, that might be a good thing. Considering that there are children out there that have none, it is a good thing. Or people that have fathers, and their fathers are not a part of their lives, or just choose not to be, yes, it’s a blessing.
In my case, it has become my curse. Sometimes I wonder what it would be like to have never met him.
I am 28, and my “step dad” has been in my life since I was sixth months old. I met my biological father when I was five years old. I remember it like it was yesterday. It was a sunny Sunday and I was playing in the front yard at my grandmother’s house, piggy-back riding my cousin, and he came through the gates. I asked, “who is that man?”
And she said, “That is your father.”
At that moment I remember being completely shocked, and I couldn’t believe what she was saying. My dad was at my house with my mother. And this person looks completely different compared to the person that I have been calling “dad” for the past five years.
I went home that day and told my mother what happened. She explained that my biological father (not in those words) had been away and is now back. Explained how I had three sets of grandparents, and how I had two daddies. I do not give her enough credit for having to explain that to a 5-year-old. I don’t remember the conversation, but I remember the event. She says that I was very receptive to the information, and that I just went about with my day.
In later years, I learned that he had been incarcerated, and that was why he was away. He was supposed to serve 30 years, but got out after five.
Since that day, every two weeks I would go to his house for the weekend. He was almost never there. My grandma was very good at handling all of my questions, which were a lot. He was never really a good father. He threatened to break up my Quinceañera. He paid for high school (I went to a private school in Dominican Republic), and when I did not choose him to walk with me, he made a big deal out of my high school graduation. He was very insistent on being the perfect grandfather for my child. And to this day, it’s still very iffy. I don’t consider that he deserves anything, but he is only human. I don’t think he really knows any better. I think he is trying to make up for all the things he didn’t do as a father.
My “step father,” which I consider to be my dad, because he is the one that has unconditionally been there for me, is the best. My mom and him aren’t together anymore, and nothing has changed.
He still yells at me for things I do wrong, and is ever so proud for my accomplishments. He does not see a difference between me and his blood-related daughters. He treats me the exact same way he would treat them. I try to stay very close to him, because he is the man that raised me and he is the one that taught me how to be a decent human being. He taught me responsibility, how to be dedicated in school and how to earn everything that I want.
He danced with me for my Quinceañera, he walked me down for graduation, and will walk me down the aisle on the most important day of my life.
I am proud to call myself his daughter, even though we don’t carry the same blood, we love each other very deeply.