Tag Archives: real life relationships

Dads Who Aren’t Fathers

Please read and share if you agree…

February 14, 2012.

I rarely remember dates yet that one has been burned into my mind as it is the last time I saw my son.

That day I kept telling him I was sorry and I would rather stay jobless and close to him than have a job and be apart. He told me he knew it was best for me and that he just wanted me doing better. That is the kind of man he is becoming.

I moved only around 2 hours away but by the time I had the money and means to come and visit he had moved 6 more hours away to his grandmothers. And so it went.

We talk often and his biggest sentiment, and mine, is how much we miss each other and can’t wait to get together again. Finally having a better job and more money the strategy of getting to see him this summer started coming together. We first wanted to just go visit him but even just a few nights in a hotel along with food and gas and all that goes with a vacation would be near 1000 dollars. A tall order for us at this time.

So arrangements were agreed upon that I would pay for his bus ticket down. I have never been as excited as the day those plans were agreed upon and everything came together. I would have him for right at 8 days and found ways to squeeze as much time together as possible. And I was overjoyed at the idea of introducing him to the amazing new family I have.

But those plans are all but completely shot down now. His grandmother is not sure about sending him to see me. Not because she thinks I’m unfit but because he hasn’t been behaving to her liking. My argument is that keeping a son from his dad is no fit punishment for almost any behavior. This is exacerbated by the fact that he has aspergers, a form of autism, that he has struggled with.

Her comment was that I’m not his dad.

This is technically true. I am not the man who brought him into this world. I am not the man who ignored him most of his life. I am not the man who would occasionally call and make promises of grand Christmas gifts and birthday visits that never occurred.

I’m the man who met him when he was 3 and fell in love with his personality. I’m the man who taught him the basics of Lego building that became his talent and obsession. I’m the man who taught him how great Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, and Weird Al are. I’m the man who was there for those birthdays and Christmases with him crying into my shoulder asking why his Dad never came. I’m the man who stayed in his life, no matter what, after his mother and I split up when he was 9. I am the man he continues to call dad 5 years after that point. I may not be his ‘father’ but I AM his dad.

Of course, I have no legal rights to him or I would have him here. Not as a vacation, but to live. But I have no such rights.

Now I am scrambling to figure out how to come up with enough money to go see him. It will happen, but may be limited to a day or two. It will happen because I miss him. It will happen because I have faith God will make it happen. It will happen because I have the same feeling that any mother or father could tell you they feel when they are away from their kids for any length of significant time, let alone 2+ years.

But I want this shared to show support for those dads who aren’t ‘Fathers’. To show love for those who are there, not because they have to, but because they choose to. We have no rights if something goes wrong yet we throw our hearts into it 100% with no emotional safety net.

Share this if you are or know one of these dads.

Advertisements

The Geek Ponders The Answering Machine Scale

In relationships, as in all things, there are certain barometers of how¬†extroverted¬†or introverted you may be. Some can be hard to read. Take for instance, Facebook. How many friends do you have? How many friends do your friends have? I’ll bet more than half of you can quickly name someone you know that has a crazy large number of friends and someone who has a very small amount. (My money is on your dad for the small amount. I know mom has friends because they are ‘game friends’)

 

But that’s the point than, isn’t it? I mean, in your school, the popular kid has 400 friends on FB, more than anyone else at your school. But then your gramma betsy has 1367 friends because she spends her days plowing crops. (That’s Farmville, get your head back on FB.)

 

Or not, lets move on from FB. Because FB is a modern tool encompassing the online world, but what is a barometer for your REAL life relationships? Some scoring system that, if horrible you might hide it from the world, and if good enough, might reach out and tell the nearest stranger? This barometer is tried and true to cause social anxiety and extreme euphoria throughout your life. And best of all, its been around since your gramma was beating your dad at atari. (Yeah, she may act like she doesn’t understand atari, but set her in front of a game of missle command and you will not hear from her for days.)

 

I speak, of course, of the small graphical indicator light on your phone that says you have, (And often how many) text messages on your phone. It’s ancestor, the answering machine, and the answering machines son, the voicemail, have been measuring our success with REAL human beings for many years, but due to an increase in text messaging and a decrease in actual calling, it has fallen to the lonely text message indicator.

 

In the answering machine days we were out of the house, now we may be at work, unable to pull our phones out for fear of them being taken away or getting fired. They may be away at church. They may be on silent (That’s no vibrate) at the doctors office or on vibrate (That’s no sound) in a library. But then maybe you sneak it out, take a peek… The little light is blinking. You are loved. Life is good. You don’t mind seeing your co-workers catch you looking at your phone because you can play it up, “Oh, I just get these darn text messages ALL DAY! Its like just leave me alone” but really you love it.

 

And such the reverse is the opposite, you have no flashing light. You are not loved. You have failed life. You quickly replace the phone back in its drawer, pocket, or purse. You now check it again even quicker, again and again with less time between checking that you think, ‘OH GOOD, I’m loved, it’s blinking.’

 

I jest, you see, but I understand the joys and heartaches of the ‘Answering Maching Scale’ than most kids these days. Like many people my age, I lived for a long time with an answering machine.

 

Oh the joys of coming home and seeing the red light flashing. The lady tells me “You have …3… new messages … 1st message…” Oh, yes, those are good times. See you can’t hide the answering machine. If your whole group of friends walks in the room and hears you playing it, it’s all on you. 3? Not bad, someone likes you… 6? The crowd whoops and hollars at you, you playa. 0? Oh, sorry, ummm, we have to go, we just remembered someone more popular lives across town.

 

And so, too, is the text message indicator and indicator of love, much like its grand father. You’re just starting a relationship, to get to know, see if you want to date, 1 message? 2 maybe? Ok, that’s cool. They like you… 3 to 5? Ok, the good news is they like you, the bad news is, they may be stalking you. 10+? Ok, change your phone number and come stay at my place for awhile because this person is NUTSO!

 

And you will hear conversations like this, “He sent me 15 texts since lunch? That’s obsessive, right? Yeah, I’m gonna dump his creepy butt for being so creepy.

 

You see, we all want to be loved, in our own way. Whether it’s getting a few text messages, a sweet voicemail, or your grandmother plowed your fields, (ON FACEBOOK!) you love getting messages of some sort.

 

And if you don’t, well nuts to you.