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Fathers: Nice But Not Needed This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

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It was a cool fall day, I was playing at recess when a peer questioned, “Wait, you don’t have a dad? That’s not possible. You have to have a dad.” I was shocked to hear those words. Now that I look back on that incident, I think in my head that yes, I technically have a father, but I don’t think that at eight or nine years old, a kid would think of a dad as a genetic contributor as opposed to a caregiver. Some people think that there can only be one kind of family. In America, a “traditional” family consists of a mother, father, and two kids. My family is an un-traditional family. I was adopted, and I don’t have a dad. I have no siblings either, just my mom and me, and the adults who love and surround us.


When people comment or ridicule my family, they don’t hurt me. They really annoy me. I’ve had some experiences where people really can be insensitive about something that might seem different to them. I don’t understand why. I think that sometimes the reason people make rude comments is so they feel better about themselves, or maybe they think that because someone is different from what they know, they are better than that person and want to try to show the world. But in fact, that may not be true. My family could be just as happy and as good of a family as any other.


For me, my family are those who I am close to, not my blood relations. Being adopted, I think of my mom, as the one who adopted me, the one who has cared for me and loved me since I was 6 months old. Not the one who gave birth to me. The same thing goes for having a dad. So there isn’t any reason to feel bad because I don’t have a father, or a sister or a brother. People are different and so are families.


My mom is a Harvard Professor, so she doesn’t really have time to do stuff like go to the mall, or walk around or go on bike rides. She also has bad knees so she can’t walk around and do those things that some parents can do. But she is also always there for me for the things I need and there is someone else in my life that does those activities and fills in the spots of what my mom can’t do. A child needs some balance in his or her life. I am grateful that I am able to have a person who provides that in my life. Between my mom and the one who does the things my mom may not be able to, I think I have the perfect balance of adults in my life. With a great woman and mom, who needs a dad?



I think that what a child needs when they are growing up is the support from adults, but that support doesn’t necessarily need to come from a dad. Other people can and have filled in what a dad might bring to my life. So, yes, I technically had a dad, to bring me into the world, but my mom is all the parent I need.





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Susurrous This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jan. 5, 2010 at 11:17 pm
I too was adopted by a single mother :) Yes, people tend to express great interest when there is no father around - something I think is changing as families stray from the typical "nuclear" prototype. Lesbian mothers, single fathers, etcetera - it's great! I like your line, "I think I have the perfect balance of adults in my life."
 
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