Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Happy Father's Day

All drama is best punctuated with a pause for a cigarette.

Or at least that it was I learned from my countless hours of watching Days of Our Lives. When AC got up abruptly from the table, I thought that she was just going for the Oscar. I looked pensively at my cousin Pam. "What does that mean? Is my father not my dad? What do you know?" I gazed out on the patio and saw the red embers glow.

Pam just looked at me. "I don't know, but I think you better find out."

When confronted with questionable paternity, I imagine the appropriate response would be confusion, denial, anger? I was simply giddy with the possibility. Delighted. I had spent many hours trying to put the pieces together in such a way that would lead to my father not being my dad. After a rogue internet quiz to determine my unborn son's eye color, I was met with an error message. It was impossible that I would have green eyes with two blue eyed parents, so saith the free internet geneticists. Did my mom have an affair? That would mean that it would have been a lengthy affair--my sister and I are undeniably related. Two peas in a pod. Adopted? I had seen pictures of my mom glowing in pregnancy. I was stumped.

AC came back in from the patio. She looked worn. "So, what do you know?"

What do I know? What do I know? I had popped off with a "When are you going to tell me my dad is not my dad?" in response to the latest tally of family secrets that had been revealed in the past year. I didn't imagine that I would be face to face with my own great reveal. Where were the video cameras?

AC started the tale, haltingly. After trying for a while, my mother went to a fertility doctor. This I knew. I remember her telling me how she had taken her temperature, the disappointments. I knew I was I wanted to child. I just didn't know that it wasn't her with the 'issue.' It was my dad. They decided to use a donor. I had no idea how wanted I was.

It was always to be a secret. As my family rolls with the secrets, only a few people were even told and were sworn to secrecy. AC started crying. She felt like she was betraying her sister.

I realized that the big reveal was all that I would know. AC apparently was not privy to any details about my "donor dad." I guess at some point, I will have to bite the bullet and call my dad.

On her way out to light another cigarette, she asked if Dave would be okay with the news. I giggled (wasn't I the one who she should worry about?) and she retreated to the patio. I watched the red dot glow, my head spinning to make sense of it all. I wondered if I should have joined her.