It’s Father’s Day. Because of this,I feel compelled to acknowledge the men who helped me become the man I am today.
The first was the one who donated his sperm to my mother. I was the named after him with a little III at the end. He petered out before raising me, leaving that chore to my mother and grandmother early on. I visited him a few times as a kid and made several sincere attempts to reconcile with him when I became an adult, but was never able to. He died alone at Christmas a few years ago. Without tears.
Next up was the man who married my mother and had me change my last name when I was six. He eventually divorced my mother, but only after raising a mutual child they had together (along w/my sister and stepsister). It was the least he could do. Opting instead to keeping us all in a shroud of deceit about the idea of love, until we were mature enough to accept that love is an illusion. I stopped talking to him after he forgot about my first born daughter’s second birthday. That’s when I realized that to him – I was more like a tax deduction than a son.
This is why to me, Father’s Day is about me and my kids. I have no regrets. I’ve been on my own since I was about 16. I draw my own conclusions on things and apply both my own experiences and experiences of others to try and be the kind of father our daughters remember fondly.
The most profound thing that I learned from either of the men in my life came from my Step/adopted father who once said, “It’s easier to run in on a fly ball than run back on one.”
It’s true. Thanks, Dad.
Jim Mitchem is a father, husband, writer and entrepreneur. You can find him on Twitter @smashadv