Its Pick your precious time again, Pick Your Precious is about celebrating the little things you love: those souvenirs, bits and pieces, things from your past you can't bear to throw out. You know, the special little something you have tucked away in a drawer or up on a shelf? Or the thing you love most in a room? Or the object you would save if you knew you had to leave the country? Your favourite things. It was started by Sian over at http://fromhighinthesky.blogspot.co.uk/
Well this is a very sentimental Pick your precious this week. It's a bit of a long story so bear with me.
When I was a baby my Mum and biological Dad split up. She made the common mistake of marrying her first boyfriend too young, even though he drank and god knows what else. She thought she could change him and when got pregnant with me thought being a Dad would change him too. Obviously it didn't so she decided she would be better off as a single Mum. She thought it was important he remained in my life however and agreed he could see me every Sunday. I don't know if it started out regular and then stopped or what but I do remember spending many Sundays sitting at the window in our upstairs hallway; from there I could see round the corner and see him coming to pick me up. Many days he was late or didn't show at all. At the time obviously I didn't understand how hard this was for my Mother but since becoming one myself I can't even imagine how heartbreaking that must have been for her. To her immense credit she constantly pushed for visitations to continue and even gave him money to take me places. Most days we would just go to a local play park and I would run around while he sat and watched. When I was 5 it went downhill really rapidly though. I used to have a sylvanian families hotel. I loved that hotel more than anything and treasured it and all the little pieces. My Gran even got me a rare Fox family for one Christmas. I don't remember why but one weekend I decided I wanted to take it to his house to play with. I remember there were no carpets or anything so I'm guessing there were no toys either. The next weekend it was gone, he'd sold it. I was heartbroken. I still get a lump in my throat when I think of it as I would have loved to have passed it on to Caitlin. Anyway as well as that him showing up was happening less and less and his health must have been getting worse. He was never well presented as his money went elsewhere so he was often scruffy and dirty when he collected me. I remember on one visit he pulled a soft doll out of a bush and gave it to me as a gift. As a little girl who never got anything from it I adored it and again my Mum and Gran came to the rescue, cleaning the poor thing up as much as possible and sewing it back together again.
Finally my Mum reached the end of her patience with him and told him next time he was late/didn't show he wouldn't be seeing me again. The next week he was 3 hours late. I remember standing under the stairs watching my Mum open the door and telling him he'd have enough chances and not to come back again. He just walked away. In an obvious attempt to take my mind off it we went to see Beauty and the beast and the cinema AND for a mcdonalds afterwards. It seems like nothing now but back then we really didn't have much so believe me that was a huge deal.
That night I was up crying, my Mum heard me, came upstairs and pulled me into a cuddle.
Mum - Do you miss your Dad?
Me - No, you said you were going to go half with him to get me a super nintendo for christmas, and you can't afford one on your own!
My Mum just laughed and told me she would fix it don't worry. True to her word, a couple of weeks later (not even at Christmas!) I found one of these in my room.
I still have it and it still works great, :) its boxed up in the loft and we bring it down in the holidays for the kids to play on and take a trip down memory lane. lol.
I know it sounds heartless than I wanted a computer more than my 'dad' but I think part of me knew that he wasn't good to keep around. I don't remember ever crying about it and growing up I never missed him. I had my Mum, and when I was 13 she met my stepdad Brian who is the best Dad I could ever wish for. I'm really lucky. While I believe wholeheartedly that dads have every right to see their kids sometimes there are situations where Dads (and Mums) are not good to be around, its sad, but it happens. It just makes me even more grateful for the relationship Mark and the kids have, particually him and Caitlin. While I honestly don't feel like I missed out not having a dad about growing up I love that she is a Daddys girl. When I see him trying to do her hair or 'eating' the 50th playdough cake shes brought him I'm so glad she has what I didn't. I also hope I can be as good a Mum as I had growing up, fighting like hell for my kids to get what they deserve and protecting them from people who hurt them.
Like I said, I'm lucky.