Celebrating Two Dads on Father’s Day

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Growing up, I never really paid much attention to Father’s Day. I can hardly remember how my family celebrated the holiday before I was 10-years-old.

However, now at the age of 20, I carefully plan how I will spend my Father’s Day, because unlike some college students out there, I have two dads.

My parents divorced and both remarried by the time I was 12, and I learned very quickly how to share holidays between both sets of parents. It may sound stressful or unfair to some, but to be honest, I am happy to be able to have two father figures in my life.

I live with my mother and my stepfather, Dennis. Dennis has been a large part of my everyday life throughout the years and I am more than happy to spend time with him on this day. But Dennis sees things slightly differently as a stepparent.

“I’d rather see you spend the day with your father,” Dennis told me. “I see you every day.”

Despite what Dennis says, I always feel that over the years, he has become a second father to me and deserves to be celebrated just as much as my father.

“I’m glad to be that father figure,” Dennis said. “I’m glad to know you think of me as a part of your life like your father.”

Now, some may wonder how my biological father feels about sharing Father’s Day with Dennis.  My dad, Paul, has always been in my life, yet I do not see him every day. Despite the small distance, my dad appreciates Dennis as being another provider and caretaker.

“I don’t like sharing you with another person who you call a father figure,” Paul said. “But I do like the idea of another person taking care of you, especially if something happens to me.”

I can see how hard it is for my dad to share this holiday with another man, but he also sees the positives to this type of a situation.

“It shows the importance of family,” Paul said. “It’s so common for people to divorce nowadays. People should get married and stay together so kids don’t have to deal with this.”

I have to agree that it can be stressful on the kids, yet I also have to say that despite problems I might have with my relationships with both my stepdad and my father, I am lucky to have both in my life. Some people go through life without having a father figure in their lives — I have two.

As Dennis said to me, “You’re not going to have a father forever. You’re fortunate enough to have two.”

So, Happy Father’s Day to all those dads out there who may be sharing the holiday with another man. And to all those college students who may be going through the same situation as me — remember the bright side to all this. You have two dads: enjoy it while you can.

Junior > Journalism > The College of New Jersey

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