My Two Dads

I am a child of divorce. My parents separated sometime after my second birthday and the divorce was finalized a couple of years later. Immediately after the initial separation, my dad took my sister and me and left town. For awhile, it was just the three of us. To be honest, I was too young to miss my mom. In fact, I have no early memories of my mother and no recollection whatsoever of missing her. My earliest memories are those of me, my dad, and my sister. That’s the life I remember. And it was quite enjoyable as far as I was concerned. Meanwhile, my mom was going nuts without her children. Eventually, she took her case to the courts, ultimately winning custody of me and my sister. When she finally got us, she’d met someone, a man who would eventually become my stepfather. This man eventually became a father to me and he loved me unconditionally. The problem with our relationship was that I had a dad who’d I spent practically all of my first three years of existence with. And who was still alive, still loved me. The courts had to intervene to get him to give me up. You know what happens to a kid in a situation like that. When he has a stepfather who loves him and raises him, and he has a living breathing day who loves him and provides financial support, yet days, months, and years go by without meaningful visits. You know what happens. The kid, me ends up not being real close to either. I kept my stepfather at arms length because of my natural dad, and my natural dad by virtue of not living in the same town was also kept at arms length. As a kid, it’s challenging negotiating such a situation and I regret not knowing sooner how to do it. My stepfather has been dead nearly eleven years now. Although I told him I loved him before, I never told him how much he meant to me. Currently that’s the only regret I have in life. My dad is still alive and I tell him I love him every chance I get. We’re not as close as we possibly could have been had he raised me. But we’re getting there. Every time I see him, I think about how the courts had to intervene to separate us. I don’t know what went wrong with my dad and mother. And right now I don’t even care. I ended up with two dads and I loved them both dearly. I have two sons and I love my wife dearly, so hopefully they won’t ever have the experience of dealing with two dads. But if they do, I hope they’re fortunate enough to get someone like my stepfather.

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