I come from a long line of divorced people, my aunt, parents and grandparents. That being said, not all of them affected me in the same way. The divorce that had the most impact on me was my parents’, obviously. Like so many others, I came from a ‘broken home’. Which, let me just say this, is a stupid term. I don’t get how one parent leaving the home makes it ‘broken’. Surely, if the relationship deteriorated to that extent, the home was divided anyway, regardless of where the parents sleep. No amount of fake smiles and hugs could convince the world, let alone each other that they could stay together. I’ve witnessed a home dynamic change when a couple stays in the same house even though they cannot stand each other anymore, and trust me, that is far more toxic than my ‘broken home’.
But I digress. When faced with this sort of development, the children are either shocked to hear of the split or are shocked it took that long. I was the former, maybe because of my young age. I simply didn’t see the signs. And just like all of my friends, in the same situation, I took a side. It’s stupid and petty but I was young and I stupidly thought I was entitled to. My side was decidedly in support of my father. For reasons that seemed so grand and relevant then, but appear so childish and rumour driven now. But regardless, I worshiped my dad and held him to such high esteem; looking back, this was the greatest error in judge of character I have ever made. When I was about 17 I saw that my dad wasn’t the superman that I thought he was and our relationship fell from grace, much like the Titanic. I thought e would never get it back.
Since then, my father and I have had a tenuous relationship at best. Then we had a moment, one moment to change everything. It was born out of one of the most terrifying declarations I have ever had to make. I was 19 and pregnant, with my Indian boyfriend’s baby. Now, I know that his ethnicity shouldn’t matter, but being an Afrikaans and Pora girl, trust me, it matters. So there I was, terrified. Sitting on my bed opposite my dad about to tell him that his precious innocent little girl is really, anything but. And before I could out myself, he goes and says it. It was both a relief and utter torture. How could he possibly know? Was he warned, or was I that transparent? I was dying inside but when I looked up, the air got so much lighter. “I’m too young and sexy to be a grandfather” he said with a smile. I was shocked, I didn’t know what to say. Before this meeting, I was trying to prepare myself by running through what everyone else had told me, about how hard it was going to be, about the sacrifices I would have to make, about the hardships we would face as a couple, even about what should be done about this ordeal. But it wasn’t necessary. He spoke about how everyone else would say their piece and useless opinions, that they would try and tell me how hard it is going to be, but that I should ignore them. He told me that my little one is going to be the greatest adventure I would ever have, and she would give me joy like never before. He gave me his support and love.
Now obviously, this has all stuck with me. But there was one final thought that reduced me to tears. He said I would make a great mom and he couldn’t wait to meet the little one. While everyone else gave me anxiety, my dad was truly my Superman again. I love you dad