Yeah, the stereotypical line yelled by many characters at their not-fathers. Sometimes you see them as bratty, sometimes you understand why they’ve said it.
I really understand why they said it.
My parents divorced and both of them remarried. My Dad and his wife, Les, have been together for 10 years. Les and I have gone through many phases of step-parent-and-child together. I helped take care of her two biological sons, I helped at her gardening store, I stayed up late watching movies with her and my Dad…we’ve had good times together. But we’ve also fought over stupid stuff, yelled at each other, cried together, and been general bitches.
That’s how it goes. It’s rough, rocky, and she’s a parent to me. I came to love and respect Les as I would love and respect a biological parent, but she stays at a more friendly distance, not really trying to rule my life. Sure, she’ll tell me I can’t make plans cause I have to babysit, but if I make last-minute plans and she doesn’t need me, she won’t try to make me stick around.
All in all, my stepmom and I have an awesome relationship built upon a decade of fights and forgiveness and love.
Now…I present Bud.
He has never been a step-parent before. He has five kids of his own, and he doesn’t really know how this gig works. He really upset me by asking my Mom to marry him without asking for Rory or I’s permission first, our blessing, seeing as we are her only 24/7 family. Really? She’s only had one other boyfriend serious enough about proposing and he asked us first, which was really appreciated. He cared about our opinion, but not Bud.
Bud does what he wants and demands respect, thinking that because he married our mother, he is father. Slow down there, kiddo, that’s not how it works. You have yet to gain my trust, my respect, or my love. Sure, I respect him now because he takes care of my very sick mother and loves her in her worst moments. But I don’t trust him because when she and I have a fight, he blames me. He tells me that it’s all my fault and that I need to apologize. Excuse me? We BOTH yelled, it’s OUR fault, and we will apologize to each other in due course.
That’s the way it has been my entire life. Don’t expect to walk into this house, pay the electricity bill, and somehow become Dad. You are not my Dad. You will never be my Dad. You need to understand that and work towards a mutually respectful and loving relationship, like Les and I have.
You’re not my Dad.