Growing Up Is Never Easy Pt. 2

This is my 100th post, who knew I had so much to babble about...well besides Mr. B. 

In honor of my 100th post I decided to change things up a bit and talk about my Dad. This is probably WAY too serious for a Monday but that is how the cookie is crumbling today.

This will be part two in my Growing Up Is Hard series I started a few weeks ago.

Today my Dad is turning 50 and not being able to surprise him with a visit is annoying me, stupid work always getting in the way.

If I am completely honest, I probably didn't feel so strongly about visiting two years ago but a lot can change in two years.

If someone could pass out a handbook on how to develop adult relationships with your parents, say around the age of 21 it would of probably prevented a lot of angst on both our ends. But life doesn't come wrapped up nicely with a little bow on top, generally its a bit more like a Tasmanian Devil rolling through disrupting everything.

When I was 17 my Dad moved out as my parents were finally getting a divorce (I say finally because I was not one of those disillusioned teens that thought my parents should stay married). But my senior year of high school was not the senior year you see in movie and televisions shows, instead my mom needed me to step up and help her with my brother and sister while she tried to support us for the first time ever. Thus resentment was born.

Dad and I in 2000 (9th grade) gotta love the bleach blonde streaks.
Within a year of the divorce being official my parents both had remarried. My mom to a man she had introduced to us plenty of times and was around for most of my senior year. My dad to a woman who I had met once and had three kids of her own. My dad took on a new family, my mom brought a man into our family. More resentment. 

Through most of college I avoided any long period of time with my family. Looking back I am not proud of the choices I made but it was how I 'dealt' with an uncomfortable situation. My avoidance of the issues caused me to never really feel comfortable around my dad's wife or kids. I would visit for a few hours but I always went back to my mom's to stay the night. I even rang the doorbell to my own dad's house. More resentment.

We both look pretty miserable in this picture, Christmas 2005.
A few years ago my dad and my sister had a falling out that I put myself in the middle of, a poor choice on my part. I wrote him an email that was less than loving really giving him a piece of my mind, I had had enough resentment brewing already you can only imagine how it sounded. We both responded the way we had handled our relationship for so long, we didn't speak for months. More resentment.

One day we just started talking again. We never addressed the issues but we started to rebuild our relationship. It wouldn't be the same, but at that point we were both adults and needed a different type of relationship.

Brother's High School Graduation  2006 (sister, dad, brother and myself).
A year and half ago my dad had a health scare, one that his wife didn't bother letting me know about for nearly four days. I was beyond pissed. Through my alcohol haze that night I realized an important point, my dad's wife had never spoken to me on the phone in the nine years that they had been together. I decided that no matter how I felt about the past I needed to let go of all the resentment and just accept that this was the life my dad wanted.

It's generally at those moments when life sort of dumps everything upside down and gives it a good shake. 

Fast forward six months later my dad had brunch with my brother and myself and told us him and his wife were separating. Over last summer his wife moved her and her kids out and left him to sell the house and deal with the heartache. I have even less kind thoughts about her now, if there was any doubt in your mind. No child ever wants to see their parent go through that heart ache or worry about them being alone in life.

But don't worry this story has a positive ending (and yes its ending soon) through the changes in my dad's life I have had the opportunity to really start connecting with him. Over Christmas I spent a few days with him and stayed up late having night caps and just talking about anything and everything. Our relationship has never been in a better place and I am proud to say that I can truly call my dad my friend now. I had the opportunity to see my dad at my brother's birthday a few weeks ago and we had a few margarita's and acted so silly together, something I would have doubted could ever have happened a few years ago.

While I know that I can never change the past there is a part of me that wishes that I had known what type of relationship was possible with my Dad years ago or perhaps we needed to go through all of these challenges to be able to have the relationship we are building. 

All I can say is that I am so lucky to be able to have an incredible man as a father and blessed to have this opportunity to foster an amazing relationship with him.

This was probably the most personal post I have ever shared, and much longer than I ever imagined but this blog is a reflection of my life and as I sit sipping on my after dinner drink I can't help but reflect on how far we have come.

- The Babbling Box!

1 comment

  1. So glad you were able to rebuild your relationship with your Dad. Mine lives in Texas and I live in Virginia so it is difficult to remain close. But I call every Sunday and cherish our time together. Dads are awesome! ;-)