My Picasso was sick last two weeks ago. Only for a day. He thinks he ate some bad venison summer sausage. Nonetheless, he was sick and feeling quite feeble.
I had told the mobster what was going on with him; of course he wished him well and told me to let him know he hoped he felt better soon. Actually, what he said was something along the lines of, “Tell him his fake dad says he hopes he feels better soon.”
So, I pass along the message: Your fake dad said to tell you he’s sorry you’re feeling bad and he hopes you’re feeling better soon.
Picasso looks at me and asks, “Who is my fake dad?”
“Who do you think I’m referring to?” I laugh.
“I don’t know. Do you mean that asshole CF?” To be clear, he does not call him Cousinfucker. He does, however, refer to him by his first name.
I go on to explain, no, that’s not who I meant. At that point he pipes up, “Oh, do you mean the mobster?” He goes on to say, “I don’t think of him as a fake dad.”
I’m curious at this point. “How do you think of him?”
“I think of him as more like a real dad.”
Wow- I didn’t see that one coming. I thought he was going to say he didn’t see him as any sort of father- fake or otherwise.
The mobster was flattered at first. Then he became sad, and kind of angry. Not at Picasso.
He was sad because he feels like he has done so little. He hasn’t done anywhere near enough in his opinion for Picasso to think of him as his dad, and yet because of the father he has, he thinks the few simple things that the mobster has done are “dad worthy”.
When he puts it like that I tend to agree. Picasso has been around the mobster perhaps on five occasions. But he has taken an interest in him. They share a love of video games. Any time my son is around while we’re talking on the phone he says hello to him. They’ve run errands together. We went rafting together and have gone to festivals together. He buys him birthday gifts and Christmas gifts. He takes the time to talk to him. I know he has even sent him texts and has called him. He makes an effort to seek him out and interact with him.
His father hasn’t spoken a word to him since August of 2015. If he’s really lucky his dad might send him a card and write a sappy message in it which Picasso dismisses.
Even before our split CF was not what one would call an ideal father. Right before I found out my darling husband was screwing his cousin I had taken Picasso to a child psychologist because of difficulties he was having adjusting to the move- still- a year later. The psychologist asked him if he could click a magic remote and have life be the way he wanted it to be what would that look like. Picasso said he would make his dad get better. Remember, we thought we were dealing with serious mental health issues. He would make it so his dad didn’t hide in his room all the time. He would be able to play video games with him once more like they used to. He would actually stop into his room and ask him how his day had been instead of Picasso having to be the one who approached him in order to spend any time with him. This 13 year old boy’s wish, if he had a magic remote control, was to make his dad feel better. He wanted a live, involved father. It broke my heart.
The only time I ever cried in therapy was when I recounted the story of learning how Picasso had told his friends in Utah that he wished he had a dad like theirs. One that would shoot hoops with him, take him places, and do things with him. He wanted a dad who was present and active in his life. I put up with so much shit believing that an intact family was best and it was so important that my kids not be from a broken home with an absent father. My son still ached for a dad- a normal dad.
That is what makes the mobster angry. He realizes it shouldn’t be that way. He knows Picasso deserves more. As he told me, “There’s so much more to being a dad than what I’ve done for him. I haven’t done anywhere near enough to be considered a father.”
He has never been able to understand my ex. He sees a man who had everything- a good paying job, a beautiful home, two fantastic kids, an amazing wife- and he didn’t want to have anything to do with any of us.
Again, I agree. It is rage worthy. Especially considering the act he has put on for Harley and her kids. Daddy Of the Fucking Year.
I’ve never been one that felt it was a good idea to set up your newest significant other as another parent. I’ve never used mom or dad and stepmom or stepdad interchangeably. One is your parent; the other is not. I was never a person who felt it was okay to blur those lines. As much as CF sucks he is Picasso’s dad, and as great as the mobster is he is not Picasso’s dad.
I will say, however, that I am glad that the mobster is around. I’m glad he’s willing to take the time and interest to interact with my son. I love that he looks forward to being able to spend more time with him and be an influence in his life once he moves up here to where we are.
He may not be my son’s father but between him and CF he’s the only one that acts like it.