Para. Los. Padres.

I was four years old when my parents split up. I don’t remember crying about it or being terribly sad, but I do remember that life changed a little bit and I would only see my dad every once in a while. Over the course of the next few years, I had a recurring dream that someone was knocking at my grandparent’s front door and it was my dad. He wanted us all to be a family again. I know that sounds heartbreaking, but it wasn’t. I have no memory of waking up and feeling bummed out. 

I was a happy little girl and I had dads everywhere. My grandpa, my step-dad, and my uncles were the best dudes a girl could ask for. 

I won’t lie, though. Something was missing. I never felt like I clicked with the rest of my family. I was just wired differently and everyone knew it. Whenever I’d go to my dad’s house, I would witness the connection that he had with his new family and it made me angry. I hated being there and watching the way that he had a built a new life without me. When I was in high school, I told him that I didn’t want to spend the night at his house anymore. I suggested that we just spend some time together grabbing a bite to eat or going out for activities. He didn’t get angry with me. He didn’t fight me on it. He just said okay and took me home. 

Our relationship was so strained. We would hardly ever see each other. But he’d still call me. He’d still tell me he loved me every single time we talked on the phone. I couldn’t say it back. I didn’t know how. It’s not that I didn’t feel it, but I just couldn’t put the words together. It was complicated. 

I got super drunk at my grandma’s 80th birthday party. I went from dancing to sobbing in my dad’s arms. I told him that I was angry at him for not being there when I was a kid. My grandpa was dying at the time and I felt like I really needed a dad. My dad listened. He heard me. He apologized (What?! Adults do this?!). I spent the night at his house and I woke up in the morning and he had menudo for my hangover. 

It is impossible not to love my dad. He’s funny. He’s cool. He’s kind. He’s generous. He’s nice to everyone. He likes to dance. He never says no to a good time. He’s forgiving. He’s not afraid to get sentimental. He’s not argumentative. He’s just a really awesome guy and being around him makes me feel like I’m not an oddball out after all. There is someone in the world who gets me. And it’s my dad. 

Feliz dia de los padres, Papi. Te quiero mucho. 

And of course – special father’s day wishes to all of the dads who stepped in and loved me with all of their hearts when I really needed it. 

My step-dad, Brian, taught me how to throw a football, ride a bike, and vote. 

My uncle Xavi taught me some cool dance moves and 90s slang. 

My Tio Claudio always encouraged me to follow my dreams.

My suegro Ralph Sr. is just the best father-in-law I could’ve asked for.

My husband Ralph, who is a great dad to our pups and an awesome tio to his nieces and nephews. We aren’t planning on having kids, but I know he’d be an amazing dad.

And last, but certainly not least, my Papuchi. My hero. The greatest man I’ve ever known.

One thought on “Para. Los. Padres.

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  1. Aww!!! Thank you for writing this. And thank you for sharing this adorable photo of you as a baby!! 😍😍😍

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