Pictured here: my awesome dad, Bob, carrying my little son in an ad for Nike. (No not really--not the Nike part, I mean.)
I have known my dad, Bob, since I was three weeks old, and he has always been amazing to both my brothers and me. He is so excellent that I long ago dubbed him SuperBob, in celebration of his Super Dadly powers.
SuperBob has helped me out of sticky situations so many times, I can't remember them all. Some of them I wish I could forget, because I'm embarrassed to have gotten into them in the first place, but SuperBob was always there to show me how to pick up the pieces and go home. (Like the winter I decided to move to Flagstaff, Arizona to live with my boyfriend, and I packed up all my stuff in the back of a big old white pickup truck and the boyfriend and I drove all the way from northern California to northern Arizona. Correction: my boyfriend drove us all the way because, having been in a bad car accident less than a year before while attempting to drive home from Alaska, I was too scared to drive the humongous truck that was not only full of stuff, it had the stiffest clutch I've ever tried to engage. You can probably see this coming, but on we go: I had only been in Flagstaff a few days before I knew it wasn't going to work for me to stay there. Not a healthy relationship. I knew I had to get back home to California, but I was trapped--I couldn't drive that truck back across the desert by myself, no way, no how. So who came to my rescue? SuperBob, of course. He got on a flight to Flagstaff, picked me up, and drove me the 850 miles back to California in the big, white pickup truck, never once berating me or making me feel like a total loser for not looking before I leapt, or anything. He just treated me to dinner at the Sizzler in Barstow [that's about as good as it gets in Barstow, by the way], and hugged me while I cried about my broken relationship with the boyfriend.) SuperBob is a really good guy.
Fast forward a couple of decades to last summer, yes, less than a year ago, when I first met my birthfather, Francis. I contacted Francis via the good old US Postal Service in 2007. When he got he letter, he was shocked--he said he had no idea I existed, but in his hands, he held a long treatise from me, telling him about myself and my family, and a big 8-12" x 11" inkjet-printed color picture of me with my little son , smiling out at him from the abyss. He called me on the phone as soon as he got the letter, and said "I thought I had four children, but now I have five!!" He couldn't have been more welcoming, despite his claim of not knowing I roamed the Earth.(Someone's memory isn't serving him/her: my birthmother claims he knew...but anyway.)
A few weeks later, he sent pictures of himself and his family, and wouldn't you know it, in his high school graduation picture, he looks very, very much like SuperBob. What do you make of that?
So now I have two dads, one who has dealt with me and all my neediness and warts for 42 years, and one who I am just beginning to know.
And both of them are very kind men.
I feel lucky.
Happy Father's Day, Dad and Francis!