Wow talk about opening a can of worms! I don't know where to start with this one. My parents...well it's quite complicated you see, do I mention the young couple who during a balmy spring evening in 1971 went to a party, got drunk and conceived me? Do I mention my grandparents who were my first reference of parents and raised me for the first 8 years of my life? Do I mention my step parents who are now married to my biological parents and who have played a role in my life? My ex husband's parents who were closer to me than any blood related family for the duration of my marriage?
So you see my dilemma? OK so first off my mom....She was a wild teenager who fell pregnant and had me but was still not quite ready for the responsibility of being a parent. My maternal grandparents or Ma and Oupa as I called them were my first reference to what a parent is. I have many fond memories of growing up with my uncles and aunts as siblings. Fighting with my younger cousins for the right to lick the bowl after Ma had baked and walks up the mountain with my Oupa. My morals and manners stem from these two wonderful people. My Oupa got Alzheimer's towards the end and passed away in 2010. My Ma is still well with all her faculties intact and celebrated her 80th birthday in May this year.
|my mom and I|
My mom was always on the look out for that ever elusive Mr right and when she finally nabbed him I moved in with her and my new step dad and for the first time in my 8 years I called me her mom. Prior to that she had not wanted me to let any possible suitors know that she had a daughter for fear of chasing them away. So I called her by her first name. We had a glorious 5 years together as a family unit, during that time my brother was born and so we were like a proper family. That was until I became a horrible spoiled rotten teenager. I gave my mom a hard time and we fought right up until I fell pregnant and got married at 16. Of course I never really appreciated my mom until I was the one fighting with my own teenage daughter and hearing my moms words coming out of my mouth. Then I realised that all those years ago when I hated her and thought she was just trying to spoil my fun, she was just being a parent. I do have some fond memories of that time in between when my mom had long hair and I used to brush her hair at night, and my step dad who cared so much for me that he wanted to adopt me legally but Karen the bratty preteen didn't want to change her surname. My mom and I have a better relationship now, we don't see all that much of each other but we chat on the phone regularly. I have huge respect for my step dad, my mom was as wild as they come and he tamed her, she is a different person today. This soft spoken English man who's skin was sensitive to our harsh African sun and was as timid as they come managed to tame the wild beast that was my mom.
Then there is my biological dad...I don't have much to say about him except that he was always there in the back of my mind. I knew who he was, his name, his family but I was never part of it and nor was he ever part of mine. We had an encounter once when I was 10 years old but it didn't go well and so it came to be that my idea of a dad was just some random guy who's name I knew. He was the one who helped my mom to have me, I knew that without him I would not exist but I didn't know him as my father. I rekindled our relationship in 2010 by contacting him. He explained to me then that he was always unsure if he was in fact my dad after all my mom had many 'boyfriends' back then and he just wasn't sure. Did I mention my mom was wild? Anyway we did a DNA test in July 2010 and the results came back 99.9% positive. Ha science you gotta wonder about that 1% right! Apparently nothing is 100% (or so I was told) So now he is in my life again. We will never be close like a father and daughter should be, too much time has passed for that and we have all got our own lives to live. I see him occasionally and his wife is lovely.
So that is the story of my complicated parental unit which is more like a group of separate units really. (well the short version anyway)