Sunday, June 19, 2011

Father's Day

It's Father's Day, today.  And I can't help but feel a little bitter towards it.  It's not that I don't appreciate Mother's Day as a holiday to honor mothers, or that I don't appreciate kiddo's dad still being halfway around.  It just makes me a little bit irritated, knowing that there are tons of deadbeat dads out there getting a pat on the back and an "atta boy" today, just because they have efficient sperm.

It takes more than a Y chromosome to make a father.  It takes love, dedication, responsibility, stability, and maturity.  It takes selflessness.  And I feel like a lot of men just don't get that.

I've been very lucky.  You see, I was adopted when I was three years old, by my great aunt and uncle, when CPS took me away from my birth mother.  They took me into their home and treated me like I was one of their own - even though their youngest biological child, is fourteen years my senior. 

Now, they weren't young when they adopted me.  And often times, especially as a teenager, I resented them for being old-fashioned, and not as cool as my friends' parents.  But, in retrospect, I really appreciate them for that.  I learned manners and respect, how to take care of business first, before doing things I wanted to do.  They made me a better person, and I couldn't be more thankful for that.

I remember being five and six years old, and my dad, the stoic retired Marine and Viet Nam vet, holding me above my bed and then dropping me onto it until I squealed and giggled, tears running down my face from laughing so hard.  And even though, at twenty five, his seriousness is still somewhat intimidating, I'll never forget that.  Kids can make even tough guys soften up a bit.

And that, my friends, is what it means to be a father.

Happy Fathers Day!

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