Fatherlove - Keeping Fathers Connected

2001 Father of the Year Essay Contest

NICOLE STUDEVANT
GRADE NINE
FIRST PLACE WINNER
School: Lakota Junior High
Teacher: Ms. Betsy LeDoux
City: Federal Way

When most kids think of their father, they think of good experiences of camping or playing ball together. They have happy memories and look up to their father of wisdom and advice. This picturesque life use to be mine when I was very small, but like me it grew old.

I donít really know how to explain my relationship with my father, I guess thereís not much to explain. We have a very shallow relationship, and only put up with the good parts. I donít really know how to describe him, so I guess Iíll just explain some of my more vivid memories.

When I was very small, I was Daddyís little girl. We use to go fishing, camping, and on other fun outings together. Sometimes I would wake up early to eat breakfast with him before he went to work. At this point in my life, Daddy was perfect and I love him.

I canít point when our relationship went awry, I think it was a series of steps that drifted us apart, and the first step was probably not long after my parents divorced. They got a divorce when I was about 8 years old. It didnít bug me then, and it doesnít bug me now. What did bug me were the visitations. My dad didnít seem like the same person without my mom to take care of him. My dad had us (my brother and me) on Tuesdays, Thursdays and on the weekends. When he first moved out he moved into a single bedroom that he rented out of some peoples basement. He was a complete slob. His tiny room was covered with dirty laundry and dishes. There wasnít anywhere to sit down. We didnít go on fun outings anymore, all we ever did was sit in his room and watch t.v. My dad didnít have a refrigerator or microwave, and all he ever bought for us to eat where Dunkin Donuts, which were usually stale or molding. To this day I hate donuts.

My Dad started moving around more and lived in a couple apartments and then moved into a small house over in West Way. Dad, and I started seeing each other less and less, but got extremely close with my brother Joel. I donít remember very much about my dad during this time.

My mom got remarried, and shortly after that, I lost all contact with my dad. Sometimes I would see him at the door to pick up Joel, but Joel eventually moved in with Dad, and seems like my dad just sort of fell off the face of the earth. Last year my dad called and told me he moved to Arizona. He acted like nothing ever happened, like weíve got along always. I talk to him, and visit him now, just like nothing ever happened.

Sometimes I wish I could see in our relationship what he loves to believe, nothing ever happened, I wish we still had our good old days, or I wish that when my parents go a divorce, he would have left my life too.