Sunday, June 17, 2012

Deserving the title "dad".

Papa Saigh and Linna.

This year, Father's Day is a little extra special, as I get to watch my husband celebrate HIS very first Father's Day! Linna is so lucky to have a very involved, loving, nurturing, and dedicated papa. The role of a dad is so important in the life of a child, but it's a title that's earned, and not simply handed to a person.

Me and my dad on my wedding day. 10.2.10.

Time to get a little personal (as if this is the first time I've done that)...

Many of you might not know this about me, but my biological father left my mom, younger brother and I when I was three years old. I know who he is, I've seen photos of him, but I have never had a relationship with him, as he chose to leave my mom to raise two kids all by herself. The only memories I have of my biological father are disappointing. I remember when I was five years old, I told my mom I wanted to talk to my "dad". Although hesitant, she let me call him. Over the phone, he promised that he was going to send me a bag full of stuffed animals and toys. I was so excited about getting this delivery that I waited every day for it to arrive. It never came. I was so disappointed. Thinking back on it now, I think my mom knew he was just going to disappoint me, so she was hesitant to let me call him. I'm thankful she made that choice, so I could understand the kind of a person he really was.

Papa Saigh and his dad, Marty.

My mom never received child support, and worked her butt off to give my brother and I the life she felt we deserved. My mom put both my brother and I through private school, was at all of our sporting events, dance recitals, pageants... EVERYTHING! She is an amazing woman and I could not have asked for a better mom.

Growing up without a dad when I was little was really tough. Barely any of the kids at my school lived in a single-parent household. I remember when I was about six years old, our Girl Scout troop had a father-daughter dance, and my Aunt Laura took me because I didn't have a dad (thank you Auntie Laura)! It was so "embarrassing" for me to be the only girl there without a dad, but my aunt did make the night very special for me.

The day my husband became a dad. 8.8.11.

When I was around 10 years old, my mom met a man named Dale. Our little family of three started spending a lot of time with him. At first, I was not very accepting of this guy trying to come into our family, but as time went on, I feel like I started to appreciate him. He and my mom were married when I was about 13 years old, and soon after, my mom had a talk with my brother and I about calling Dale "dad".

As a teenager, this transition was so incredibly awkward. I was supposed to start calling my mom's new husband "dad"?! How was I going to explain this to my friends? The last thing a teenage girl needs to feel is different from her friends. But the more time that passed, I started to see how big of a role Dale wanted to play in my life. He was at all my dance recitals, pageants, after-school events, would pick me and my brother up from school if we needed him too, and he always introduced my brother and I to other people as "his kids". He never referred to us as his "step-kids". He did everything that my friend's dads did (sometimes more), so why wouldn't I call him "dad"? After my sister Paige was born, both my brother and I decided to take my dad's last name, so it would finally be official that all three of us were "The Specken Kids".

Papa Saigh and his bug.

Although my brother and I aren't my dad's biological kids, he's the only man in our lives who has earned the tile of "dad". He's been there for our family through thick and thin, and my brother and I have always simply been "his kids". It takes a very special man to take on two kids that aren't biologically his, and I really feel like I am so blessed to have the dad that I do.

When our daughter Linna was born, I remember looking at her with tears in my eyes, and asking my husband how a man could ever look at their child, and chose to walk out on him or her. The thought just doesn't make sense to me. I could never imagine my husband ever leaving us the way my biological father did. Linna is the love of Papa Saigh's life. He lives and breathes for her, the way my dad lives and breathes for his kids.

No mother should ever have to raise her kids alone, but it's also important for moms to give their child/children a positive male role model. Just because a man plays a part in the creation of a child, that doesn't make him a dad. It takes a committed and loving man to EARN that title.

I guess you can say that I've "lost" a father, earned a dad, and have gotten to watch a man become a dad. My daughter and I are so lucky to have not one, not two, but THREE very special dads in our lives (my dad, my father-in-law, and my husband). All three of these men have EARNED the title "dad", and they are three of the most amazing guys I know.

Happy Father's Day to all the deserving dads out there, especially Dale Specken, Marty Saigh, and AJ Saigh!

3 comments:

  1. It is so true that Dad is a respected title that is earned. Great post. A very Happy Father's Day to all of you! :)

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  2. Nice post Miss. I truly forgot that Dale was not your bio dad! He is so amazing with Linna, and such a great dad to you that it seems that role was always his! Thanks for getting 'personal' and letting us in on the special guy(s) in your life. Hope father's day was fantastic for all!

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