A little girl swung at the park and every time she soared in the air she stretched her little legs as far as she could to the sky. She would yell to her father who smiled while he pushed her, “higher daddy, higher!”

You could tell her father was determined to make her happy as his forearm muscles increased in size as he pushed her as hard as he could into the air. She flew up and giggled with excitement but then realized it was too high. She screamed for her father to stop the swing. “Too high daddy, please stop it!”. He quickly grabbed the swings chains and slowed it down to a halt and scooped her up. Tears strolled down her face as he laid her over his shoulder and rubbed her back to comfort her. It only took a moment of his comforting to calm her down before she jumped out of his arms and started running for the slide. “Come on daddy, I’m going to race you!”

This is a moment where I found myself jealous of a 5 year old. Pathetic right?

Here I was sitting on the bench with my own 3 children running and playing, a husband, a house, cars, a career. But I lacked that security from my father growing up as a child. My father was and is a hard working man but he closed his eyes and would look the other way the moment he knew his baby girl was hurting. Now I’m not talking about scrapped knees and bumped heads, he always had kisses for days for those boo boos. I’m talking about the wounds that are impossible to fix with an ouchie kiss or a comforting hug.

I know my father very well. The drunk side that is. The sober side of him though is like that stranger you see across the room. You don’t know them but a aurora they give off makes you want to get to know them. My dad turns everyone away who tries to get to know that side of him. Without alcohol he becomes a bland, miserable, short tempered person who is quick to the point and leaves no room for conversation.

The moment it hits his lips though, he could win a father of the year award with the way he allows the drug to talk for him. You wouldn’t believe he was the same person. Most people say “take what you can get”, but honestly I don’t know what side of him is the truth. Do I believe his sober feelings and accept that he doesn’t desire any relationship with me or do I fall for the drunk Dad who verbally and emotionally shows how proud he is of me?

It’s kind of fucked up really. You have parents who are not involved in their kids lives but they know where they stand; it’s cut and dry. There is no confusion. With my dad it is not that simple and I think that’s the hardest part!