I, for one have no answer, because in my life, I have seen more surrogates trying to fit the mold and only a few successful at it. I have seen amazing father's who were born to it, who accepted the challenge when their first child was born and never abandoned those children on some selfish quest of self discovery.
I have lived inside a Daddy Dream since as long as I can remember, wishing and praying for one of my own! Requesting only one thing from the man who claimed that title: Time.
Time, it costs so little, time is free. Time was a gift rarely granted from my father to me!
There was a time when that was all I wanted, for a little bit of time from him. A small reminder that I was wanted and loved, from the man whose blood I shared.
There aren't many pictures, as years went by, just me as a tiny baby held lovingly in his arms. The smile is proof that he cherished me once, the look of a father did dwell in his eyes. What was it that changed? Does the fault lie with me? Did he see a future that held no place for him?
Time can make you bitter, can hurt you deep down in your soul. It makes you push away from others trying to fit the mold.
A knight in shining armor, a gentlemen teacher filled with wisdom, the brothers who held me up above themselves and countless men who were "dads" in their hearts! No, they weren't what I wanted, at least at the time. No, I just wanted this one man, to look at me with love in his eyes. To give me the time I desired, the Daddy's little girl, I wanted to be. I envied all the others who got to be what I needed to be.
I look back at all that I wanted, just the smallest little bit of attention that was. I longed for my father, no other, to be there in my life from the start! To give freely the gift that is, Time!
However, time was never granted from this master of men, not to me. Not to my little sister. We tried to compensate, we tried to accept the men who weren't really ours to keep into our heart, to fill that role. We lost one in our youth, a man who was a hero among men, who could have been all of those things, willing to grant us with the Time only a father can give.
The dream slowly died away as we grew, as we matured into teenagers, with teenage thoughts and bitterness in our hearts. We had teachers and friends and neighbors who all fit the mold, but they weren't him. And now, well, we were too old to care, to old for it to make a difference in our vastly different lives and dreams.
The "father" figure of this time period was to be the last of a string of trial and errors. He tried, he really did, the constant teacher, the lecturer. Probably what a couple of teenage girls needed in their lives. Looking back now, I see the difference he made to our lives. We, however, we're over the whole father thing. We didn't need one, didn't want one. We made it this far without one, don't try to complete us now.
The years went by and he continued to be a presence, not always constant, but just enough to make an impression on two young girls in need of positive male attention. We had enough of the negative, we have seen our lives dribbled with strife and fear and pain. So having a bit of the positive stepping in even occasionally was needed, a good teacher to show us the possibilities that lay ahead.
I won't tell my sister's love stories or lack there of. I will start with mine; it's my story anyhow. Reaching for the dream of someone who would show me that good father's existed. I grabbed I reached, I took the first light of love willing to give me their heart and a child.
He started out well, but we were both children. I thought he had potential to grow and learn how to parent right along side me in this classroom of life. While I took the studying and lessons seriously, he believed a father was just there, go to work, come home, go to bed, do it all over again. I guess in his world that was true, his own father provided, his mother did the rest. Then he stopped even providing. There was no partnership, there was no teamwork, very little love. Oh I am sure he loved his boys, but he had a poor way of showing it. In the end, he walked away, just like my father walked away, same fashion minus the cocaine. Just another selfish man, following his own selfish dreams.
It's not always easy talking about my past, I try not to think about it. I spent a long time blaming myself for the decisions of two men. Obviously, the fault had to lay with me right. For my father, drugs and sex were more important that his children, then his wife and the family they had built together. However, a big part of me for years believed it had to be me. So when my first husband left, not just me but two children as well, it was like history was repeating itself. Life is a reflection isn't it? Must be! This time I failed as a wife, because as a mother I couldn't see why anyone would leave these boys. So, yup, the fault certainly was with me.
I spent the first half of that year after he left blaming myself and attempting to shape a safe life for our sons. I had stepped into my mother's shoes and I have no idea how she did it with 5 of us, I was barely hanging on with just the two. I worked, I mothered, I did all I did before with a "father" present, on my own and then some.
As a child I longed for a father, as an adult, I realized I didn't need one in my boy's life, because I filled that role, just like my mother had for me and my siblings our whole lives. Surrogates not included, she was both mother and father and she didn't even try to play both roles, she just was.
The year passed. I grew up, I was settling into the pace of the single mother. I gave up on the dreams of the little girl long ago and hoped my boys wouldn't feel the same way. That they wouldn't long for their father, because I didn't want them living with the same bitter disappointment. I did my best then. I worked hard at providing for them, keeping them safe and loved. It was all I had to give at that point. They grew and loved and lived, nothing hurting them, nothing showing in their eyes whether or not they were missing a part of their lives.
Until the day I decided to take a chance and go on a date.
I already wrote my second chance love story, this isn't about the love of a man and a woman, no, this is being shown a father.
Sometimes, men are just born to be fathers. It comes so easy to them that it is like breathing. To watch it happen right before your eyes, it is something almost unbelievable. This man who I was told never wanted to have children of his own or wouldn't date me because I had children, took to my boys as if it was his purpose in life. Something happened in that first month we dated, I saw a binding of three souls! I saw fireworks and what it must look like when people fall in love. It was the look that father's gave for their children and this man was looking at my son's with that look. My children were looking at him with that hunger I had felt my whole life.
I admit it, I was afraid. I too had looked at a man with that want when I was little. I lost him to death, but I also knew how easy it was for these men to just up and leave one day, because I had seen that too. Did I dare fall in love too? Did I allow this to happen? This happy heartbeat to enter our world?
I do not know what made me so certain he would prove me wrong. I have no clue who whispered in my ear to give him the chance I was afraid to give anyone. To not only love me but to allow him to love my boys as well. I did it though, I let him in and in he stayed. Proving to me every day that that little girl dream was real. That time is a gift given with love and gladness. That you do not need blood to tie you to a child, just a heart big enough to love. And love he has given, love he has shared. Love is the lesson he teaches them showing them how to be men someday. Then as if I needed future proof that this man was the holder of the Father card, we had a son of our own together. He continued to show me what that word truly could mean. He got up at night for feedings and changes, fixed hurts and battled monsters in dreams. He held hands and helped with potty training, played catch in the backyard and built snowmen. He pushed strollers and gave baths, all while working unbelievably long hours at a job that wasn't a typical 9 to 5.
Oh he provided for his family, not just money, but time!
Time can be rewritten. Time changes opinions and bitter memories. I may never have been a daddy's little girl, but I got a glimpse at what a father truly is. Everyday he proves that to me. Everyday I get to experience it through my children's eyes, through the eyes of that little girl who wanted nothing more than to be loved by a father. I am able to see a picture of what might have been. No it isn't the same, but at least I know history does not need to repeat itself. There will not be four faces pressed against window panes, wishing for a dream to walk up to the door. Not with a father willing to gift them all with the time that this man gives to his family.
In the future, these boys of ours will remember a man who devoted his time to their happiness and by extension my questions were answered the day he picked me up for our first date and have been answered everyday since.
A Father is love, the title is not empty but should not be given away lightly. A Father is time.