Early in the morning, my mom went to work. That’s the way things were now- she had to work. I didn’t mind that she had to work because we spent all her free time together (and even some of her work time). Anyway, I’ve never been one to put a ton of energy or emphasis into a birthday. I got up early that morning and put on my new favorite dress, an early birthday present from my mom. Then, I waited for my father (who I probably still referred to as “dad”) to come pick me up.
When my father texted me that he was outside, I ran out to his car alongside my brother. Since it was my birthday, I said that I wanted to go get my nails done and have lunch at ‘that place that overlooks the lake’. That was alright with him. Oh, and that he should drop me off at Nana’s house because we were having a birthday celebration with the family (everyone except him). “WHAT?!? You don’t want to spend the whole day with me?”, he roared. I tried to explain that I simply wanted to be able to spend the day with all my family, not that I didn’t want to spend the whole day with him. This angered him more. I didn’t know what to do. He was yelling at me and finally stated that if I didn’t want to spend the whole day with him, I should get out of the car. I started crying and he said, ”no really, get out of the car”.
Sobbing, I ran back into the house. My brother followed along shortly after me and I want to say that he gave my father a piece of his mind, but honestly, I have no idea. Maxx, my brother, gave me a hug and told me that we didn’t need him anyway. He called my grandmother, asked her to pick up water balloons, and then pick us up. When we got to her house, we had a really fun time having water balloon fights and food making contests. It was just the true family. Just the ones who really loved me.
That day (and unfortunately many others that ended with me in tears as well) crucially shaped how I viewed my father, but it took awhile for me to hold him accountable for his reckless and rude actions. I learned to never take moments or people for granted and to never surround myself with people who are underservant of my life. My 11th birthday was the last one he was present for, but my 10th birthday was the last one where he gave me a present or even a hug.
As I’m about to be 17, I remember this experience- but I do not let it define me. I simply remember it and learn from it.