Lessons from an invisible Father

2/26/18

March is almost here people. You know what that means right? SPRING TIME is approaching.

This year I’m excited to spend time outdoors with parker, and continue watching her grow up! This blog is almost like a compliment sandwich (good news, followed by bad news, topped with more good news). But, we’ll get to that a little bit later. I just wanted to make sure you didn’t get surprised when this took a turn away from being positive. For now, let’s focus on the good.

Parker is now driving! Technically, she’s just holding her foot on the pedal, and we’re steering while she plays with the radio, but driving at power wheel nonetheless. What kind of power wheel you ask? A freaking JEEP WRANGLER. For those how know me, know that my DREAM CAR is a Jeep Wrangler. I don’t know if this is a saying or not, but you know how the saying goes “your kids get everything you ever wanted”. Pretty sure that’s not a saying, but it should be listed somewhere in biblical history. Could EASILY fit as like a 9 ½ Commandment! So, yea, she’s out here gallivanting up and down the cul de sac in a version of the vehicle that daddy can’t have. I go to work, pay bills, make sacrifices, and keep her little cute butt in the oshkoshiest of b’gosh (yes that’s Oshkosh b’gosh) but I’m riding around in a Ford Escape with remote start and leather seats. Life just isn’t fair sometimes! During this outdoor adventure, I watched her mom, my wife, recording some pretty precious moments (get ready, it’s about to turn slightly negative). Moment Parker will look back at and hopefully say, “my dad taught me this”, or “daddy, remember when we played outside ALL DAY?” Granted that “all day” was probably an hour, but time doesn’t exist when you’re spending it laughing right?

I never had those moments. My sisters had those moments, but I didn’t. My brother didn’t. Those moments were robbed from us. NOW, LET ME BE CLEAR…..The man who stepped up, and raised us, will NEVER get enough credit, but that’s because he had damaged goods to try and make new. Dennis Tucker is the man I call father, and the man who raised me to be pretty decent I think! Unfortunately, he was not the one who helped create me. He was not the one who decided to leave me, and he is not the one to take any blame for the emotional scars I’ll forever carry. He is responsible for EVERYTHING I’ve learned when it comes to sacrifices. One of the most important things he taught me, he’ll never know, because it just now dawned on me. He taught me the importance of a daughters look. The way my sisters look at my dad is a look that will make you melt. Even as 24 and 28-year-old women, they’re still daddy’s girls. Right, wrong, or indifferent they grew up knowing daddy would do anything for them!

That was a bit of a tangent

Let me get back to my point. So, my biological father was nowhere to be found. Well, that is until I turned 25 and he was located. But the damage was already done. Now, here’s what I learned after 25 years of being absent. You ready? It’s going to be a doozy.

IT WAS HIS LOSS.....

Parker is not even two, and I couldn’t imagine missing out on her little “milestones”. Her laugh changes weekly, her words become clearer as each day passes, her attitude and sass are becoming her identity. She is truly becoming my daughter. By him being absent, I learned how important all those moments are. I learned that being around, and being present are two completely different things; and he was neither. I learned that these truly are blessings that everyone may not get to experience, and he made the choice to miss out on mine. He taught me to probably go harder as an active father because I knew what NOT having an active father felt like. I remember feeling like I wasn’t worthy of a lot because someone didn’t want to be there for me. Parker will NEVER feel like that (My mom, Minnie and dad, Dennis are great, and always showered us with love btw). She may get super annoyed with me always wanting to be a part of her life, but guess what…. she’ll get over it. It will be the norm. Daddy is always around, and always wants to help…. yea…I do! Parker has made me dig deep into my emotional bag, and help me understand how/why I react differently to certain situations. Part of it is because my life is new to me in a lot of aspects. The other part is because I now understand what fatherhood is all about.

They talk about being there for your kids, but they’re never direct in what “there” is. There isn’t a dollar amount in the world that will make up for Dale not being present when I needed him most. If he would’ve just popped up and said hi, or a phone call was made, I’d like to think a lot in my life would be different. However, I’m glad he took the path he did. He cleared the way for a man to step up and raise me as his own, and when my sisters were born, I saw what a daddy’s girl was.

Those were the lessons I learned from an invisible father.

Did I complete the compliment sandwich? Did we end on a high note? I’m not sure….it all went blank for a second!

If I didn’t, here’s the top of the sandwich. Parker has brought out the best in me. I’m a father who loves talking about his daughter to strangers, and it’ll be that way for quite some time!