This past weekend I had the pleasure of spending time with good friends and family. ?I always enjoy doing that. ?This time it was to celebrate my being yet another year older. ?Aren’t birthdays just an excuse to get together and have a party? ?I think so.
Amidst the invitees for this particular party I included one of my Uncles on my Dad’s side. ?My Dad comes from a family of 7 with Dad being the oldest and this particular Uncle being the youngest (being 16 years younger than my father). ?My uncle Shawn is more like a big brother to me. ?He is only 7 years older and treated me more like a sister than an niece. ?We were lucky enough to be invited to his son’s high school graduation a few weeks ago and I invited him to watch the boy play hockey and come over for the party. ?To be honest, I didn’t think he would make it. ?My aunts and uncles rarely come to anything I invite them to. ?Lo and behold he walked into the hockey rink Saturday morning.
It meant so much to me for him to be there. ?As you may recall my family is a bit on the different side. ?You see, since the writing of this post I have not seen nor really talked to my father. ?I talked to him the day before his birthday last year and then again on Thursday. ?For the past year I have been very upset with my dad. ?There are many reasons for that and the last one being that he just let my aunt slide at my uncle’s wedding when she was saying horrible things about me. ?In years past my dad would have been my greatest defender. ?In this case he said nothing. ?Could have something to do with the fact that he was well on his way to being three sheets to the wind.
I know that in this case I should be the bigger person, but frankly I’m tired of being the parent in the relationship. ?I can’t do it anymore. ?That really hit home with the news of my brother’s latest escapades and everyone telling me that I’m not the parent and that it’s not my fault.
So my dad actually called on Thursday to say that he would make it to my birthday party (Lil’ Bro was also supposed to be coming). ?I had words with my dad and brother. ?I tried to find out what happened with Lil’ Bro and neither of them wanted to talk about it. ?The conversation ended as such:
Me: Dad, I want to know what is going on
Dad: See you Saturday baby!
Me: Whatever dad.
I didn’t believe that he would actually show up, but secretly hoped he would. ?As we were walking out of the hockey rink I said something to Shawn about dad coming, and his words were, “I hate to tell you this, but don’t get your hopes up.” ?I didn’t. ?I knew he wouldn’t come. ?I was right. ?My own dad.
Hoping that my dad will man up and be my dad is like being a little kid holding onto a balloon string. ?You hold on so tight, but you know that at some point it is going to slip out of your grip. ?As you watch it float away you jump higher and higher trying to catch it, but it just keeps floating away. ?No matter how hard you try. ?I think my dad has gotten to the point that I really can’t reach the string anymore. ?I just have to sit and wait for the balloon to pop.
In the mean time, I have this one uncle. ?One uncle that cares about his family. ?One that is willing to let me know that I’m still a Kinney and that’s it’s ok to be the” black (or really white) sheep” of the family. ?Even if being the black sheep means it’s the one with her shit together.
This post really resonated with me. My dad and I have a strained relationship as well (for different reasons), and I’ve always felt the lack of a true father in my life. Actually, there are many people in my family who I’ve learned not to get my hopes up for. But there are others who I know would be there for me no matter what.
One thing that really stood out during and after our adoption is this: Family is not about blood. It’s about love and commitment.
I’m glad you have a great uncle who’s a part of your and your son’s lives. And if your father chooses not to be, it’s his loss.
I could have written so much of this post but insert mom where dad is. And slightly different situations. But in the end I am also tired of being the parent. I would like to have my mom and not be her mom. I keep my distance for my own health and sanity.
Same here with the parental units.. and I decided to just take My Mom at face value.. even if I am the one bending over backwards. At least I will not have regrets. I try to tell myself that on some level these are the parents I chose.. if you believe all that metaphysical stuff.
My Father passed away and I guess one day we will get to make amends.. that is if he made his way up to the good place
anyway.. I can relate & Happy Birthday
Parental strains are felt by many. Obviously shown by the response to this post. You have the strength and fortitude to see beyond all of his nonsense. Why? Because you are loved by so many others. Your party was delightful!