I grew up believing I had three daddies. I thought it was normal to have more than one daddy. I had my “real” dad, my other dad, and a close family friend who I called dad. I thought a dad was a man who really loved you and you loved him. Of course, I was only three or four at the time.
Out of the blue one day, I asked my third dad, Mr. Moore,“You’re not my real daddy are you?” He said no, but he loved me just like I was his daughter. My biggest concern was what I was supposed to call him because I only knew him by the name daddy. I still remember that day. It was an awkward feeling. I was so sad and confused that he wasn’t my daddy.
When I was in junior high, I joined a school group for children of divorced parents. We would eat lunch together once or twice a month. I remember some people sharing their stories of how their dad’s weren’t in the picture now that they had gotten divorced. I remember a girl crying once about how much she missed her dad. What really stood out to me was how hurt she was that she felt like she didn’t have a father anymore.
I am so happy that my son has a great dad. I hope he is lucky to feel so much love from his uncles that he feels likes he has more than one dad. I think all children should have a father figure they can go to, trust and rely on. Even if that person is not their “real” dad.
It doesn’t take much to be a father figure to someone. I think the reason I thought Mr. Moore was my dad because he was always so happy to see me. He always took the time to give me a big hug and kiss. I remember him teaching me to use my knuckles to figure out which months had 30 or 31 days. One of my best memories with Mr. Moore was he had a Tootsie Roll bank. I was in love with that bank. Everyone once in awhile, he would tell me put your hands out and whatever you catch, you can keep. I still to this day can’t have a Tootsie Roll without thinking about my third dad, Mr. Moore.
This father’s day, if you see a child in need of a father figure, step up. It doesn’t take much but will make a world of difference in that child’s life.
I wish I could tell you that all three of my dads danced at my wedding. My “real” dad did. However, my other two dads died long ago. I think about both of them often especially on father’s day.
Don’t forget about the dads who aren’t your “real” dad this father’s day. Make sure you give them a call, invite them over for barbeque, or send them a card. Most importantly, let them know you appreciate them even if they are not your “real” dad.
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