The words dad and father have different meanings

Paul - San Antonio, Texas
Entered on December 5, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
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“This I Believe”

I believe that the words Dad and Father have different meanings. I can proudly say that I am a daddy of six kids and one step daughter. I keep all my kids in close contact with each other. Having four boys, two being a set of twins, there is always a competition between brothers. My two girls being only about a year apart and teenagers have of course the typical big sister, get away from me little brother attitude. I grew up without a daddy. I saw him maybe twice that I can remember. It was hard because father and son events at school were something that I did not participate in. When teachers or other parents would ask me where my dad was, I would boldly reply,” He is not my dad, he is my father.”

I remember when I was about twelve years old and saw my father for the first time. I was truly scared and nervous because I did not think I was good enough because he was barely trying to come in my life after all these years. I guess after all those nights my mother would cry and tell him to come and see me finally paid off. I would hear her beg him to take care of his responsibility. I would hear the word “why “come out of my mother’s mouth around every other sentence. I had met him face to face and all I think about was how I was going to word the questions I had. I was in the same car with him on the way to his house. I could not stand it I had to ask my questions, and in my mind I was afraid of the answers. My questions started with the word my mother would ask “Why”. Why did you leave me, why haven’t you been there for me, and why don’t I know anything about you?

As my father tried to answer the questions he would equivocate by using ummm, and I can’t answer that right now. I did not know what to say to this man that has no answer for me, so I asked to go back to my mother’s apartment where I know that someone loves me. I saw my father again for the second time when I was fourteen. I had no respect for this man. I thought of him as a friend not as a father. I would call him by his name because that is what I felt he deserved. The meeting between us did not go well at all, and did not last very long. I went back to my mother’s car and before we left my father ask “Why is my son like this to me?” My mother’s last words to him were that your son has grown up and now he understands how you are.

I was fifteen years old when my first daughter was born. I am twenty-nine years old now and have not seen or heard from my father. All my kids call me daddy because I deserve it. I will always be there for my kids through thickness and thin. I have made a promise to myself that I will never be like my father. I look at my kids and ask myself how a dad can be like that to his children that only want love and guidance in the right direction. Now you ask why I believe there is a difference between the words dad and father. A father is a male parent. A dad is someone who takes care of his responsibilities and is there when his children need him. Anyone can be a father but it takes a dad to raise a child. Now this is what I believe.