Recently, I met the boys’ father for the first time. I’ve been in their lives for three years but he and I had never had an opportunity to be in the same room together. Right after C, the boys and I moved in together I wrote him an email introducing myself. I never heard back from him, which I was fine with. That is totally his prerogative.
When you are a faux dad, the specter of the non-faux dad is always there, looming in the background. I wanted to meet him, if only to get a look at the ghost, but until recently the opportunity had never presented itself.
A series of unnecessary events culminated with him having to fly across country and be in town for the day. During this time he, very reasonably, asked if he could stop in the house and see the boys.
Initially, T2 was worried. He had gotten the impression that, in the event we met, his real dad was going to try and beat his faux dad up. T2 always wants everyone to get along. The idea that the two father figures in his life might fight was really bothering him. I assured him that there was no danger of a dust-up, put his mind at ease to the fact that I wasn’t worried and made sure he understood that everything would be fine. He believes me when I tell him things and so after I talked he felt a lot better. He started looking forward to it. T1 was cautiously optimistic.
“At best it will be fine,” he said. “At worst, interesting.”
Their father arrived early in the morning, before the boys headed out to school. I greeted him at the door and welcomed him in. He brought Krispy Kreme donuts which, I have to admit, are probably my favorite food item in the universe. The only being on the planet who likes Krispy Kremes more than me is Starbuck, our dog. He had no way of knowing that, and he didn’t bring them for either one of us, but the presence of the sugary pastry immediately made me feel a lot better about the whole situation. Buck too.
We all chatted a bit. Everyone was very civil. I made him coffee. He very politely asked if it was okay if he walked T2 down to the bus stop by himself and of course it was.
He came back later in the afternoon, when the boys got home from school. I made him a sandwich. He and the boys played Call of Duty on the PS4. Again, everyone was very civil. He and C , like I suspect a lot of divorced couples with kids, are more or less Israel and Palestine, but no one launched in missiles or blew up any Toyotas in our family room. He hugged the boys, got into his rental car and headed to the airport.
“Huh,” said T2 afterward, “I’m glad everyone got along. That was almost boring.”
It was almost boring. But I think it was important. C and I are never going to be members of the boys’ fathers’ fan club. The opposite is also true. However, I thought it was really excellent that they got a chance to see everyone in the same room acting like adults. That’s how it should be.
I only know him through the boys’ and C’s perceptions of him, so I don’t really know him at all. I do feel like, at almost 40, I’ve received this wonderful gift. I really love my life and there are major factors in that life that he had a hand in creating. In a lot of ways, I am grateful to him.
I’m glad he and I finally got to meet.