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June 15, 2003

The Paternal Instinct

Today is Father's Day. I have two dads; or so they tell me. One is the one who fathered me, then went away. The other is the one who was my mother's best friend for the last 15 years of her life.

Keith's dad was long gone before I met Keith, so Father's Day tends to be a one-sided gig over here. I contact the senior Gillespie and the man I call Papa Bear, and we hope that Keith's son is prompted to make contact with him.

Today, that was a "piece of cake," as Quinn loves to say. Quinn, Keith's four-and-a-half-year-old son, was here with us for a week. First time he's been permitted to come see us, and the kick-off to what we hope will be an annual event. I think Keith has the right to have Quinn here for a month each year, in the divorce agreement, but our goal here was to get that first trip under our proverbial belts and create a ritual that Quinn will look forward to and Keith will live for.

There is nothing as sad as hearing the voice of a man you love on the phone after having handed off his son, knowing he won't see him again for a year.

And also on this day...

My dear friends Nate and Ali have welcomed their precious son, 8lb. 7oz. 22" Michael Ryan into the world. What a blissful Father's Day gift! Congratulations, new family!

So, how did I do? Was I a good Fake Mom for the week? I was certainly a better Fake Mom than my Stepmonster was to me, when I would visit my Dad. I didn't disrobe and jump, drunk, into the local swimming pool, bragging about how well-hung my ancient new husband was. No... I simply followed the five-page instruction manual provided by Quinn's mom (yes... really) as well as I could and marveled at the fact that Keith is Quinn... simply a few years older. Suddenly, I'm more forgiving of Keith's childishness. It seems the Johnson boys are brilliant by the age of four... and then they're sort of done.

But, either way, I'm lucky to know both of those sweet boys.

Photos, if you're into that, are available here. Password: mighty. Enjoy!

Posted by bonnie at June 15, 2003 3:15 PM