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My Dad wasn't always a Dad

by A. Keson about a month ago in humanity
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The life before we have children

My Dad and I when I was a teen

My Dad was wild as an adolescent. Growing up, I heard many stories of my Dad in his younger days. I seemed to forget that my parents actually lived and had their own lives before me and my siblings were born, the mind of a child I guess.

Growing up, my Dad would tell stories of his younger days. True stories my Dad outrunning the local police on his dirtbike down the airstrip of our small town airport (there's now a fence around the property), or the time he was on his three wheeler and went down a dirtbike trail with the Sheriff following close behind. So close that when my Dad went over a jump, the Sheriff crashed bumper first into the small hill and came to a stop. The three wheeler, unluckily stalled on its climb and rolled down onto the hood of the police car. The young teenage version of my Dad frantically stomped on the three wheeler to kick start it. As the Sheriff fumbled with his seat belt, the three wheeler roared to life and my Dad escaped over the hill to freedom.

Was my Dad the hero or villian of these stories? I guess that depends on what age you are. As a child growing up, when I heard these tales I thought my Dad was the coolest! Now that I'm nearing thirty and thinking of having children of my own- I hope those genes aren't hereditary. I'm not sure what I would do if a dirt covered police cruiser pulled up to my house with my sons tire marks on the hood.

There are dozens of other stories that I could write about that I've heard while growing up. But my Dad's adolescent years were cut short- at least by my standards.

While teenagers, My Dad still lived with his parents and would come home late. He would carry my Mom up the stairs, pass my Grandparent's bedroom and to his room so that my Grandparents wouldn't hear two sets of footsteps. A few months later my brother was born, my sister a couple years after and a few years later, I was born. My parents were teen parents. I knew this as a fact growing up but it didn't truly hit me until I was well out of my teens what that really meant. My parents didn't have the same experiences that I did in my early twenties. Parties were no longer a priority for them and my Dad was absolutley not out racing the cops. The wild days were over. My Dad once told me that when my brother was born, my Dad took a long shower and let the water run down his face. "I remember crouching down and thinking 'What am I going to do?'" Reality had hit him hard- he was now responsible for another life. The decisions that he made, good or bad, would effect his family.

He could have ran away from parenthood or he could of continued on with his shenanigans but he didn't. He grew up. He faced parenthood and became an adult. He and my Mom raised us to the best of their abilities. I never knew my sister, she lived and passed from SIDS before I was born. We had a great childhood. My Dad shared his love of atvs and we would ride our dirtbikes, three wheelers and quads during the summer. We even had a boat that we would take out on the lake. My Dad would pull me and my brother on a tube and try to get us to fly off. Looking back, it was probably more fun for him to watch us crash into the water and then beg for another ride but to go faster this time. During the cold winter months of Michigan we would take our snowmobiles out and ride all day. It was a great childhood. But tragedy struck my family again struck in 2008.

It seems so long ago now. A lifetime ago even. My older brother was seventeen- the same age that my Mom was when she became pregnant for him. He was my Dad's only son and a junior, named after him. I guess wild genes may be hereditary, as my brother snuck out of the house that night. School had just started, so it was fall in Michigan. I won't go into detail but my Dad found my brother outside the next morning. He had died from hypothermia. It was a terrible time in our lives. I'm not entirely certain how either of my parents made it through. I know a piece of them died that day too.

My brother JJ with my Dad

My parents divorced a couple of years later. I was never close with my Mom so I decided to live with my Dad. Things were never the same but my Dad was still there for me. Through the High School competitions, Band Concerts, break ups and heartbreaks. He was there through my High School graduation and eventually my College graduation. He told me how proud he was as I am the first person in our family to graduation college- grandparents, parents, aunts and cousins. He never forgot to tell me how proud he was of me throughout the years.

Still to this day my Dad is who I call when I need advice and the first person I want to talk to when I fail. When my fiance and I had a miscarriage, all I could think was 'I want to talk to my Dad'. And I did. We found out we miscarried and I drove straight to his house from the hospital to cry in his arms. I hadn't cried like that since 2008.

Parenting isn't just until the age of eighteen. It's a life long commitment. My Dad was still a kid himself when he became a parent and I don't believe that I could have done a better job if I was in his shoes. Would I have stepped up to the plate? Could I have given good advice when asked? Would I have been able to withstand the temper tantrums and hormonal outbursts without having time myself to grow up? I'm not sure that I could have.

But I am so thankful that my Dad did.

My Dad and I, 2021

humanity

About the author

A. Keson

Thank you for visiting my page! My goal is to write articles and short stories that are interesting and hopefully educational. I work full time but writing has always been a hobby that I am passionate about. I hope everyone enjoys my work!

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