Freedom 55…

Today is my dad’s 55th birthday. Unfortunately, because I’m away, I wasn’t able to go join his party.

Age. It’s so funny because when I think of 55, it still sounds so young to me! I have family friends that the parents are 71. That’s 16/17 years older than my parents are!!! Whoa! Technically, they could be the parents of my parents!!! Whoa.

<side note: Mamma…I’m talking about the V’s…wow! I never thought of that before!)

Anyway, because it’s my dad’s birthday, I’ve been thinking about my dad. And while thinking about what I want to blog about tonight, I thought…well! It’s his birthday.

And here we are…

My dad is not biological father. When I was 5, he and my mom dated and when I was 7, they got married. If I think about it, that’s actually pretty quick. 2 years later. Technically they met on New Years 1985 (1984 to 1985). I actually have a vague memory of him sliding me around in my polyester pajamas on the kitchen floor.

To his credit, he not only married a woman he loved, he married her kid too. When I was 23 years old, I don’t think I’d have been open to dating someone with a 5 year old kid. Heck…I don’t even know if I’d be open to it now!

He adopted me officially and in my mind, he is my dad. Even though it’s not genetic. When I was 9, my parents had my sisters (twins) and that’s when my world shifted.

Essentially my dad and I have had a roller coaster relationship. Of all of the people in my life, I spent the most time with him growing up. My mom worked night shifts and when they divorced, I lived with him. I always felt like it was because I wasn’t genetically related to him that he…it felt like…held me at arms length. Like he loved my sisters unconditionally, but I was a burden.

Now, as an adult, I can reflect back and see that it was challenging for my parents to be so young and have a kid. I always say that I grew up with them, in a way.

It wasn’t until I was 24 and we came to a point of maybe not being in each other’s lives (I tried so hard most of my life to be accepted by him and he said, I don’t see why we are in each other’s lives, we have nothing in common.) And I flipped. I finally felt like I let go of the “wanting to be accepted” and said F-U then.

And he came around. We built our relationship from there. But it has been a challenge and hard at times.

He told me once that he loves me and my sisters “equally”, but that we have different relationships with him and the way we connect. So none of us are better or worse. It’s a different connection. I like that. It helped me to put things in perspective. I always felt (and occasionally still feel) like I don’t matter in our relationship. Like my one sister is the princess, my other sister is the support and I’m…me.

I’m starting part 3 of the course I took in January and February and it’s about relationships and basically learning to understand each other as men and women. I find it has helped me to better understand where my dad was coming from and how he is who he is.

Now, I am so grateful for my dad. In fact, besides my grandparents and my mom, my dad is one of my best friends.

Sounds kind of funny to say it as most people I know have best friends that are closer in age to themselves, but it’s true. Those are the people that I love the most. Through thick and thin. And let me tell you, there has been some “thin”.

So HAPPY HAPPY 55th Pops! May this be the halfway mark in the long journey of your life! xo

*M

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