Tuesday, 7 December 2010

The Dad I never had. Or needed.

My father has always been a bit of an enigma. Even now, at 26, I don’t really know what went on between my parents, but for some reason, I was and always have been, the child of a single parent. The worst thing about it? I don’t even know why.

You see so many families torn apart for one reason or another. Maybe one parent was unfaithful, or passed away, or it just didn’t work. Many of my friends as I was growing up were children of single parents, but I don’t know one who had never even met their father. A lot of the time, their father was a waste of space, or had died, so their mum took full control. Some of the times, it was their father who was their sole parent, because something had happened to their mum. I’m not one of those cases. I have no memory of my father, apart from one picture of a man, who I believe to be my dad. The weird thing is my mum has never found looked for love since. She has always been my sole parent, and has always done an absolutely amazing job.

That may be one of the reasons I have never felt it necessary to try and find my dad. My mum has been so fantastic - there’s been little need for a second parent. She has been there for me through thick and thin and I know she always will be. She worked full time since I was 6 months old, to make sure we could live well and have a holiday each year. My grandparents were amazing when mum was off to work. They looked after me every day when my mum wasn’t able to be there. Grandad, in particular, is another reason why I have had no need to find my real father. He was my father role model, and my inspiration. I wish he could see me now. He’d be so proud of what I have become, and the great-granddaughter he would have.

I have had phases of wanting to find my father. I remember once finding a phone number for him in one of mums address books, so one day when she was at work (must have been the school holidays) I decided to ring it. Nobody answered. So a couple of hours later, I tried again. A lady answered. I panicked and hung up. I tried again, and the same thing happened. Why wasn’t a man answering the phone? I’m not sure what happened next, but for some reason, we put our number to ex-directory – something about a lady calling up to wonder who was phoning her from our number. I lied through my back teeth of course, I wasn’t going to say that I had been trying to contact dad. Anyway, that was it. I decided not to try and find him. It wasn’t fair to my family who had given me everything I could have dreamed of. I didn’t want to open any cans of worms, or bring up things that weren’t really required to bring up. I have delved into Genes Reunited, and a census. I know, from my birth certificate, his full name and where he was born. I know from general banter that he was older than my mum, and I know from an old address book that he used to live in Gloucestershire. I have found various men born around the time I think they would have been born, and their current contact details. It’s all written down on a piece of paper tucked away in my memories box. Have I done anything about it? No. Have I tried to contact them? No. Have I been tempted? Oh God, yes. Will I ever do anything about it? 

Probably not.

Yes, I’m curious. It’s normal to be curious about what should be such an important influence on my life. I don’t know what happened between them, and yes, I’d like to know. I don’t know if he has another family, and I want to know that too. I don’t even know if he’s still alive. What makes it worse is apparently I look just like him – something my mum’s best friend hoped I’d grow out of. The dark eyes, the dark hair, the height, the skin tone – it’s all him. Bit annoying when I don’t know him from Adam.

I have so many questions. I’m sure one day I will ask them. I just don’t know how. I wouldn’t know how to approach the subject. My mum’s not the sort of person who would withhold the information and not tell me, but i don’t want to hurt her. She has been and always will be my best friend, who I can talk to about anything. Except that. She has always been my rock, my support and my go-to guy. I don’t want to bring back the past. I don’t want her to feel like what she has done isn’t enough, because here I am questioning what happened. I don’t want to know because I want to know where it all went wrong. I don’t want to know because I miss him. I don’t miss him. I’ve never really needed to have him there, because of the amazing family I do have. It’s literally curiosity.

I never realised how important a father can be though. It was always normal to me to only have a mum, and to see no point in a father figure. It's never really affected me. Until I had my daughter. I can't imagine what it would be like for her to not have her father around. No matter what happens, I want her to have him in her life. Luckily, we are madly in love and planning our future together - but what if things go wrong? All I know is that my fiancĂ© is an amazing man and a superb Dad. No matter what happens, I want him to be a part of my daughter's life. I'm just glad that what has gone on in my childhood hasn't affected the way I view relationships. If anything, it's made me appreciate and respect the relationships more than I may have done. 

Especially this one.

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