I guess before I go on, I'd like to tell you a little bit about what was going on with my relationship with my dad during all this. After my parents' divorce was final my dad had visitation rights-2 weeks at Christmas and 2 weeks every summer. So, every Christmas, and every summer my mom would put me on a plane and I'd fly from Denver to Michigan. At Christmas time there was too much going on for dad and I to have any time alone. It seemed like there was too much going on in the summer as well, but dad did manage to squeeze a little time out for the 2 of us during those summer visits.
At some point during my 2 week stay dad would say, "Come on, Jude, let's go for a boat ride."
We'd climb into his row boat and he'd row around the lake for a little while. Then he'd stop rowing and look at me. "How are you?" he'd ask.
"Is there anything you need or want to talk to me about?"
He'd looked slightly relieved and we'd row home.
I know this sounds horribly sad compared to the relationship we had when I was very little, but really, now I just think it's funny. The poor man had 6 sons and had no clue what to do with me.
I honestly think he was doing his best to be a dad to me. He'd call me occasionally during the school year and we'd talk for a bit, but any long distance relationship is going to be strained, let alone one where there's been a divorce etc.
Even at the time of those boat rides, young as I was, I knew he was trying and that meant a lot to me.
You're probably thinking, this girl is living in deep denial. Wrong. I had years of hating my parents and my step-mother. Years of hurt, rejection, and years of bitterness. However-those boat rides were sweet to me and looking back I can see many fathers in my dad, clueless on what to do with a pre-adolescent daughter.