Daddy's girl? Ha! I've never been that.
Father. Dad. Daddy. Padre rather. Nope never had one of those.
Oh its June 19th, Father's Day. How can I celebrate the day of something I don't have?
Year 1 dad’s in prison. Year 2 dad’s in prison, year 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 dad’s. In. prison.
When is he coming home mommy? Do I even have a dad? Oh a letter came.
miss you baby and daddy's coming home soon, I love you it says. Love?
How can a 9-year-old girl love a man she doesn't know. Year 8, year 9,10, and 11 daddy's in prison.
But look at this, May of 2011 daddy's home. He comes and hugs me. I hug but don't feel anything,
Just unfamiliarity. I feel confusion. Who is this man I'm hugging? This isn't my dad. I don't have one.
Well I guess I'll pretend, maybe he'll feel like dad soon.
Year 1, you look just like your dad. She looks just like you, they say. Should I say thank you?
Should I feel proud of being the daughter of a man who didn't love me enough to change his ways and instead went to prison.
So I smile. And pretend. Year 2, I don't like daddy very much. He's not very considerate.
In fact, he's very selfish and biased. I can't get you this, I can't afford that, we can't get that. What can’t we get?
So I pretend to be okay. Again. Year 3, daddy has a girlfriend. She's taking up all his time.
She just came into the picture and I don't even know my dad’s favorite meal, favorite song, not even his favorite color.
She can't eat, no, she says. Daddy doesn't object he just nods. I’m flabbergasted, and I finally feel something.
Not sadness, just anger. He didn't love me. Who was this man that labels himself daddy?
I don't have a daddy. Months go by. Mommy files for child support. He demands a DNA test.
Where did these thoughts come from? His girlfriend bought this along. I feel something, rage.
DNA test results come back. He's not my father. I'm silent. still silent. He leaves. And never looks back.
I realize I don't feel anything. Still haven't felt anything. Month 1, fatherless, month 2, fatherless.
Month 3, you want to meet your father?
I leave. I meet the man who's my father. I see his eyes and instantly feel something. Recognition.
I've seen those eyes before.
In a mirror every day.
Those are my eyes.