Sunday, July 13, 2008

In need of father, any takers?

My father is a douche.

That being said, I should probably explain myself a little. Here goes:

I received an invitation to my dad and step-mom's garden party (that just sounds so pompous, doesn't it) and called to confirm that we were coming on Thursday. I happened to mention that we were leaving for vacation in about 2 weeks, but that next year, we would like to head to our family cabin in Montana instead of the coast. Do you know what he said to me? Not, "OK, what time of the summer would be good for you", not "Do you guys want the main cabin or the guest cabin". No, nothing like that. He said, and I quote:

"You know, I need to be honest here, and maybe this makes me the worst grandpa in the world, but that's my adult vacation, and I don't really want to spend it with 3 little kids."

Now, I feel the need to explain how wrong this sentence is, using bullet points (yes, there are that many).

  1. Um, I think never, ever calling your grand kids, barely remembering their birthdays DOES, in fact, qualify you for being a bad grandfather. Yes, he was there for all 3 of their births, but then pretty much checked out of their lives since then. When we lived in Portland, he would drive through often on the way to Eugene, where my uncle lives, to spend weekends hanging out. And NEVER FUCKING CALL. Not once to say "Hey, I'm driving through, you want to meet for a quick bite to eat". He couldn't give us one G.D. hour of his precious time.
  2. ADULT VACATION!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Excuse me, but isn't that what your trip to Hawaii was about this year, not counting the trip to your condo in Mexico? Wasn't that what living in Arizona 6 months out of the year at your house in Phoenix was about? Isn't every fucking day "ADULT" day since you have no children living at home and you are retired. Isn't playing golf almost every fucking day of your life considered "adult time"? I'm so confused by that statement. Honestly, I am.
  3. Those "3 kids" are your grand kids, you fucktard. The offspring of your only daughter. The only grand kids you have, unless you count my step-mom's grand kids, but they aren't HIS grand kids. They aren't from his kids. I had the most kick ass grandparents. Both of my grandmothers were retired by the time we came along, and they cooked and baked, played games with us, took us to parks, and just loved having us around. I spent weeks every summer with my grandparents up here in Seattle. I spent quite a bit of time in Yakima with his parents, too. They enjoyed us, they pampered and spoiled us with love and attention. So how the hell did he turn out so stupid? His sister has 3 (almost 4, my cousin is pregnant again) grand kids, and even though they live in Boston, she still sees them more in a year than my dad has seen my kids in their lives! That is depressing.
I also feel the need to explain that our family cabin is truly a "family" cabin. My great-grandfather founded a town in Montana and along with owning a fair share of properties in that town, he was granted a large chunk of land on Swan Lake. He then built 2 cabins and a dock for his whole family to use. My grandmother and her siblings spent every summer there. Then as they got older, they would take their spouses and children. My dad and his brother and sister spent their summers there, along with all their cousins. They have a screened in bunk room off the main cabin, that has around 6 bunk beds in it and that is where the grand kids would sleep. All the families came together and lived every summer. As the grand kids got older, things kind of changed and families had to reserve weeks at the cabin. Every year, my aunt would take her kids, and they still do. In fact, her and my uncle, and their 3 adult children, along with their spouses and children leave next week for the cabin. They would go for at least a week since they were born. My uncle took his 3 kids every summer of their lives, and even though they are adults, they still go with my uncle every summer.

Not us.

I have never been there. Ever. My brothers and I are the only family members that have not been there once in our whole lives. Ever. Did I say ever, because I mean it.

Now, my step-mom has been there ever summer since they got married in 1999. But my mom, who was married to my dad for 17 years had never gone either. Even my step-mom's friends have been there.

But not my dad's kids.

How absolutely fucked up is that? I am so pissed off at him. I am hurt and sad that my dad can't even put forth an effort for 1 damn week. I wasn't asking him to watch my kids while Jay and I go off and inject heroin into our veins, I'm asking him to let us go with them, they can have the guest cabin, we'll sleep in the main cabin. They can have privacy out there. I'm asking him to spend even a few hours making sandcastles with his grand kids while they are still little enough to not be embarrassed hanging out with him. Read one damn bedtime story with them. I can handle the rest.

My kids have tons of grandparents, and the only one that could care 2 shits for them is my mother. I have 2 dads, and they don't care. Jay's parents have met the kids less than a handful of times in their lives, and they used to live no more than 5 minutes away from us when we lived in Oregon. Since my mom and Bill broke up, they lost the only grandfather they knew.

So I am sad for them, too. They won't get the chance to make memories with their grandfathers like I did, and still do with my only living Poppa.

They are lucky enough to have my grandparents, or Nanna Great and Poppa Great as they call them. And man, I don't know who loves the other more. My grandparents have about 50 grand kids, great-grand kids, and step-grand kids, and they spend time with every single one of us. They love having us together as a group or individually. They can still be counted on to show up for every birthday, dance recital, music concert, preschool graduation, high school graduation, baseball game, soccer game, etc., etc. that we all have.

So in that they are lucky.

But that doesn't get my dad off the hook. I have put up with his shit for a long time, and I just can't do it anymore. I blew off the garden party, didn't call, and I am just washing my hands of the whole fucking disaster of a relationship.

It's not like the kids will know the difference. And to be honest, I doubt he will notice.

15 comments:

Princess in Galoshes said...

I'm sorry, what a mess. It's a shame your dad won't be involved in your kids lives. It's as much his loss as theirs. But it's a good thing that you're there to keep their best interests at heart.

Mighty Dyckerson said...

Grandpa's right. Send the little brats to summer camp while you and what's-his-face go off to the cabin. They don't need to be around you while you're doing heroin and crack.

TheBirdman33 said...

I so wanted to make a "I'll be your daddy" comment, but it's so not appropriate.

That really does suck, I'm sorry, you shouldn't have to put up with such craptastic treatment.

Brooke said...

Man alive! I have to agree with you, that scores REALLY high on the douche bag scale.

We have relatives that have never really put forth the effort to see Tess either and much as it bothers me I try to focus on the people that are there for her all the time...I can see how having your dad reject your family like that would be the ultimate punch in the face...

Also, and this is a major pain but I had to do it. I am spreading the word...I got an EXTREMELY weird comment about my daughter and it freaked me out to no end. I changed my blog address, you can now find me at http://myladders.blogspot.com/

The comment came from someone called Andrew B, I don't know if he is just a random weirdo or what...

Judy said...

I feel really bad honey. I know how much you want the kids to know their "grandfather". And I know you have put forth every effort to make that happen. But you can't change him. It took me 18 years to face that fact. You were never a priorty to him and he has not changed. Now it's my grandkids that are not the priority. Move on honey. They still have me and Nanna and Poppa Great. I love you sweetie.

Christine said...

Hi. I have questions. Who actually owns the cabins now? You mentioned your aunt is going up next week, who uses it the rest of the time? Are there assigned weeks or something? Can you and your family use it another week that Dad isn't? I hate to be sexist but it always seems to me when a male has no or little relationship with his family, I blame the new wife. She could encourage it and make it happen but she obviously chooses not to.

Sorry to bombard you on my first visit. :-)

Jay said...

At least we'll have one last person to share our children's fortune with...

Christie said...

Christine: Welcome! To answer your question, my dad owns a percent of the property and all assets. Once my great-grandparents died, their children shared ownership. When they died, it was passed onto their children. So basically, it is owned by like 30 people right now. They all contribute money to pay the taxes and upkeep, kind of like HOA dues. My dad would need to be the one to sign me up for time at the cabin. Which sucks, because since I'm not talking to him, I can't exactly get time there. Boo.

Crankyputz said...

This is sad.

I contrast your dads behaviour with my parents, who are just dying to be grand parents, and Im being the slacker.

The only positive thing out of all of this is that your kids have wonderful parents.

Which sometimes rare

Judy said...

I know. . .I know. Wouldn't it be a hoot for you to ask him to sign you up for a week next year . . .and I GO WITH YOU!!!! IN YOUR FACE DAD!!

captain corky said...

I'm sorry he's such an asshole. People are really fucking stupid and they should really stop and think before they speak.

kelly said...

I would call your aunt/uncle and schedule my time there with them. I'm sure they wouldn't mind having time with you and your kiddos. And your kids will have someone to play with. If you don't want to go with them, I am sure they can help you out by telling you when there is an open spot for you guys to go.

Just cut your dad out of the equation. I cut mine a long time ago, and I have to say... I'm better off for it. I don't let have the opportunity to hurt my feelings anymore.

I'm sorry to hear you are having a hard time with him being a jerk. It is never easy. Just think of it this way though--do you really want your kids getting to know him to the point of possibly wanting to be like him? ugh! ;-) Save them from his influence. :-)

Stay strong, you aren't alone. I know it hurts, and it is more than just time at the cabin. HUGS

random moments said...

Aw Christie, that's awful. How completely selfish of him. Unfortunately, people don't change much either when they're older. Well, at least from my experience they don't seem to.

Good thing they have such an awesome Mommy. ;)

Toryssa said...

Yeah. That sucks. And as much as a person can say logically that he is missing out, yada yada yada, it doesn't actually make you feel better.

Luckily, your kids have a better Dad than you do. That is something to be glad about.

Guilty Secret said...

Ouch. That must really hurt. What a git. And those poor kids.

(Why am I using so many full stops?)

Did you tell him what you really thought?