Monday, May 18, 2009

The Dad

I remember when Micah and I were first dating and he met my kids that he just wasn't dad material. I didn't see it in him. He took their sides and couldn't really consider the bigger picture sometimes, mostly because he didn't have the history or experience that I did with each of my daughters.

I also had this fantasy that he would instantly embrace my daughters as his own. As patient and as gentle as he was with them, he occasionally made comments that showed me, he didn't consider them HIS children. They were MINE and he was hanging out. Because he loved me, he loved them, but he didn't consider them to be HIS children. This stung for me because in my last relationship my now ex-husband actually married me because of my daughter. He loved her so much he put up with me. I didn't know how to react when presented with such a different view on a relationship and on step-children that honestly, I was a little disappointed. I knew he LOVED my kids, even when they sucked, but for some reason that he didn't want to claim them as his own really struck me as odd. Yes, I know, the whole idea that he WOULD is odd.

This weekend we were out to dinner at Fudruckers (because we're classy like that) and Lulu pretty much consumed most of Micah's Dreamsicle Milk Shake. So I went to get her her own kids version so she would leave his alone. When they came to deliver the shakes the waitress set it down in front of Lulu she said "You got one just like Dads" or something to that affect. Ky was pretty stunned by the idea but Lulu and Micah just went on like nothing was weird.

The best part of this story came that night though. She was in front of the house playing with the neighbor kids (Apparently the little boy learned some English) and they were going back and forth between the two front yards. Micah offered Lulu a chance for her and her friends to have some freezer pops (Popsicles) but they had to ask their mom first. Lulu walked out of the door and because the window was open I could hear this:

Lulu: My dad wants to know if you want a Popsicle. But you need to ask your mom first.

I wanted to cry. Not because I'm sad that she's referring to Micah as her dad (she doesn't actually call him Dad, that's still saved for Brian) but rather I'm crying because it feels more "complete" somehow. That Lulu is able to transcend names and titles and give Micah a title, at least to other kids, that is appropriate and works for her.

I promised Brian I would never let the kids call another man "daddy". She isn't. But she might. And I know that might really hurt. About as bad as it will hurt if/when they call his girlfriend "mommy". I guess that's the thing with divorce. Some things are just going to happen, whether we like it or not.

So Micah is dad for now. At least for all anyone else knows.


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