Tim is my second dad’s name. My mom brought him home for my brother and me to meet when I was in first grade. I think I was six. I didn’t like Tim at first because he was shorter than my mother, and I doubted he would stay. My mom and I left the first dad when she was eight months pregnant with my brother. Although I was only three years old, I remember the night. I was eating those silly orange peanut-shaped circus candies. To this day, I cannot tolerate the taste of them. My mom told him she was leaving. She was tired of him being gone on the road with his big rig and of the other woman calling late in the night claiming that he was the father of her daughter. She didn’t yell and she didn’t cry. She stood with her pregnant stomach pressed against his flat stomach and told him, "Nobody will ever love you the way I do." I don’t remember his reaction. I do know he didn’t apologize to my mother, and he didn’t mention my unborn brother or me in his conversation.
The trip from Wisconsin to my grand parents’ house in Ingomar, Montana was a long one. My mother’s stomach was big and bumped against the steering wheel when she got in and out of the car on the many stops we made at gas stations. Somewhere between the border of Montana and North Dakota, we ran out of potato chips and soda. I was hungry and wanted to eat. When I told my mom, she apologized and explained we were out of money. I looked in her purse. She had a piece of spearmint gum, a penny, and her checkbook. I put the gum in my mouth and asked her, "Why can’t you write a check?"
"Because there is no money in the bank," was her response. This didn’t make sense to me. If she had checks, she had money, and what did the bank ha...
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...h hopes of collecting the insurance money after the accident. Because he never paid child support, the money he was supposed to collect went to us. This irritated him, and he called my mother and finally agreed to exchange his signature on the adoption papers for the money. My mom got his signature, my brother and I got Tim’s last name, but he never got our money.
Tim is my Dad’s name, and I found him at the circus amidst the stickiness of cotton candy. I realized him among complicated mathematical equations. I recognized him the afternoon he picked me up from school in a cement truck. I accepted him when he held my hand as we left the court house on the day he adopted my brother and me. It no longer mattered to me that the first dad didn’t want me. This man loved me as his daughter, and I loved him as my father. On this day, I realized every girl needs her Dad.
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