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The “D” Word

According to Merriam-Webster Dictionary the word Daddy is simply defined as “One’s father”

My brain, would like to tell you about 25 different stories about how I feel about the D Word, but I’ll try to choose just one.

A few months ago among the white noise on my television I heard the phrase “Every woman was Daddy’s Little Girl.” My immediate thought was “Not ME.” That thought resounded in my head “I’m not a Daddy’s Girl…I never have been…I don’t have that relationship with my father.” I shared that moment with my mother & it gave me an opportunity to reflect back on things I don’t remember.

My father has always been Buddha to me. I have no memory of ever referring to Buddha as Daddy. Even in the many letters & birthday cards he hand-crafted specially for me from the solace of his prison cell or the discord of a half-way house, he referred to himself as Buddha or “Your Dad.” My mother confirmed that I had never called my biological father Daddy and that he had always been Buddha. She even recounted that timeless tale of how when I was three years old he tried to convince me to leave the mall with him while I was sneaker shopping with my stepfather. He put on a whole scene and said “come to Daddy” I laughed and grabbed my stepfather’s hand. Although I don’t remember that moment, I’ve never questioned the validity of that tale. I was definitely closer to my mother’s boyfriend (my stepfather) than I was to Buddha. But I don’t ever recall calling him Daddy either. When I asked my mother, she said when I was younger and his kids were around more frequently, I called him Daddy because they called him Daddy. Once his kids moved to Ohio, I began addressing him as El just like everybody else. By the time I turned 10, my mother and stepfather had parted ways and she had her second child with some one new. He and I didn’t get along very well, but for the sake of  my sister I put my own feelings aside. Yes, I had  already learned to compartmentalize my emotions before becoming a teen. If you’ve been keeping up, that comes to a total of three, THREE father figures yet no Daddy.

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