I know that most of you have an image of me, angrily ranting about John C. Mayer while eating delicious encased meats, and while that’s partially spot-on, I’m not normally all that ranty. Unless it’s about the lazy bastards who leave their shopping carts in the parking lots rather than the corral. Because that’s a hot pile of bullshit.

But I’ve been violated by the TSA in more ways that I can count and still don’t care. Hell, I like to think of it as “action” rather than “violation of rights.”

But as I stood in line yesterday, ready to get some hot TSA action, I couldn’t help but overhearing a conversation going on behind me. They were talking about a child who’d stolen a car from his stepfather to see his “real dad.”

Rather than become outraged by the stupid kid (he was 7)(we all know kids under 9 shouldn’t drive), I was pissed by the “real dad” comment. Because if there’s a “real” dad, there must be a “fake” one.

In Casa de la Sausage, there lives a man. He’s the one who takes the child to the doctor – he’s even got the doctor’s programmed on speed dial – and the one who is up at night when we have fevers. He cleans up puke and sputum. He goes to parent/teacher conferences and field trips. He soothes hurt feelers and rocks babies to sleep. He got a couple of poems written in his honor for Father’s Day. He – like the rest of us who know what it’s like to barf in a bucket while holding your kid’s head over the toilet – should get a medal.

He happens to be the favored parent in the house.

That, Pranksters, is a father. There is no one fucking fake thing about it. It chaps my ass that a single person would doubt it.

No, he wasn’t there for the conception (was I?) or the birth. But shooting a load into a vagina does not a “real” father make.

I *know* who fathers my children. There’s nothing fake about it.

Comments = full of the awesome. Like gravy. I can haz an RSS RSS feed .

71 Responses to If There Is A Real, There Must Be A Fake.

  • Mrs Wonder says:

    Amen. Same as moms- there may be a ‘birth’ mother and the one that stayed and cared for it. No ‘real’ dad… I feel sorry for that kid though, he doesn’t sound happy.

  • Laura says:

    I only have three words to say about this:

    Best. Post. Ever.

    Amen, sister. Thanks for telling it like it is in a way that only you can.

    The next round’s on me. Is vodka OK? :)

  • Total agreement – a load of sperm does not a father make, nor loaning a womb for nine months make a mother. People should be wary of the language they use around children regarding these kind of things, because kids suck up attitudes and language like little sponges.

    Mind you, the “real” might have been language chosen by said gangsta-in-training. There was a period of time when I half-believed my “real” parents, the King and Queen, would come rescue me from these strange people with whom I was forced to live.

  • Rebecca says:

    Relationships can be difficult. Who knows what is going on in that family. My brother has two girls (adopted them when they were 5ish and 7ish), but one of the girls is now living with her biological father. (The father who had nothing to do with her) She now lives with HIM because he lets her party and do drugs. And their birth mother (his ex-wife) says that it’s okay she is living with the birth father because he’s her ‘real’ dad. However, my brother was the one who took care of them and has done everything for them since they were 4ish and 6ish…

  • Tara R. says:

    I felt that my ‘fake’ dad was important enough in my life to officiate at my wedding. My ‘real’ dad walked me down the aisle. There’s more to being a dad, than being a sperm donor.

  • Minnie says:

    Dude, as a custodial “step” mother all I can say is you’re spot on!

    This is me fist pumping from here.

  • Gerald says:

    On to the real issues, assholes with shopping carts. I went to the grocery store with my family one time, we were going to pull into this empty spot. The cart corral was on one side, a guy unloading his cart into his truck on the other side. Since the guy had the cart in the empty space a ways I waited until he was done to pull in. Hey, I didn’t want to scratch my 10 year old van up!

    Except he didn’t. He left it there and got in his truck. Leaving me stranded there. So as he was backing up, I got out of the van and headed to the cart, bitching loudly about what kind of lazy fucker can’t walk a cart 20 feet to the corral. The dude got out of his cart all pissed off and said “No, I’ll get that.” Yanked the cart out of my hands and proceeded to put the cart away, all the while making it out like I asked him to be Atlas for a day. Complete douchebag. Almost as bad as those assholes that park their cars in the No Parking Zone at the front of the store to let their spouse or whomever out, and just wait their. I hate those assholes.

  • Andie
    Twitter: lilmscreant
    says:

    So very true Aunt Becky. Our family tends to use the term ‘Sperm Donor’ or Bio-Dad (which I don’t use too often because it sounds kind of like a superhero name and thus too awesome for the absentee dna-contributors in our family)

  • Miranda says:

    My “fake” dad gave me away on my wedding day while also under orders to play bouncer should my “real” dad show up uninvited after 22 years of zero direct contact.

    “Real” dad my ass. I mean, I’m thankful he was irresponsible and didn’t wrap it up or I wouldn’t be here, but he’s no dad of mine.

  • Pam says:

    Preach it Sista!

  • Audrey says:

    “shooting a load into a vagina does not a “real” father make. ”

    Man I love reading your blog.

  • Amen. My kids are fortunate to have two good, but very different men in their lives. I hope some day they realize how lucky they are.

  • Bill says:

    Well effing said.

  • txjennk says:

    As a “fake” mom/grandma, I thank you.

  • Amy says:

    To be fair, they weren’t talking about Dave. Maybe that kid’s step-dad is a douche. You never know. :)

  • SharleneT.
    Twitter: SolarChief
    says:

    Great post, today. I don’t understand these people that need to use the term ‘real’ father because they happened to get their rocks off. If they’re not around to raise the child, they’re not a father. I’m not even going to get into shopping cart abusers….

  • ChiMomWriter
    Twitter: chimomwriter
    says:

    This is applicable to a lot of areas of family. I’ve not been close to my blood relatives in a long time, but my “family” is the crew of friends that I’ve built over the years. That family is no less real because there are no bloodlines involved.

  • Monica says:

    I’m not a fan of the term “real” dad. I think there are lots of other more descriptive terms that can be used that don’t imply there is a “fake” dad on the scene. I have a bio-dad who is somewhat involved in my life (no big drama there, it’s just the way it worked out) and I had a step-dad until I was 22 (who I have absolutely no contact with now because he’s mean). I never had anyone I considered just a dad. I would have liked to have had just a dad but it wasn’t in the cards. Instead it made me very careful when choosing someone who would eventually be the dad to my kids and I’m happy to say that now my son has the dad I always hoped I could have. I feel bad for that kid though. Seems like there must be something going on in that house for him to take such a drastic step just to see his dad.

  • tracy says:

    well said, aunt becky.

  • Tershbango says:

    Amen. Anyone can blow a load, but it’s the next 20-30 years that matter.

  • SoberJulie says:

    BRAVO my friend.

  • Dustbag says:

    You just made me cry Becky. All three of my kids are adopted, and I get that same bullshit from people all the time. Including their Grandparents (who get a little huffy when I tell them to STFU with that shit). Thank you for being you. Now I am off to eat some hot wings since I just read your Tweet.

  • KYouell says:

    I love you.

    My mom is still married to my step-dad. I get furious when my husband taunts me with how that mean man raised me more than my dad did just because he was in the same house. He taught me how NOT to treat a spouse & family: only speak nicely when others might see/hear, any other time belittling and berating is the rule. Just because me mom chooses to stay with him because she doesn’t want to “fail at marriage a second time” doesn’t make that butt-head my dad. He might have cleaned up vomit, but I doubt it. Sure he want to Christmas pageants and took us on vacation, but not because he loved us, only because that’s just what you do.

    My dad may not have been in the house to clean up puke, but he hugged and said he loved us. THAT MEANT MORE.

    Sorry, got my own issues. Still love you & know you wrote your truth.

    • Your Aunt Becky
      Twitter: mommywantsvodka
      says:

      Not every stepdad is perfect. I’m sorry yours was not. Dave’s not perfect either, but he does love his kids – all three of them – and that’s what I was trying to say. Vomit-cleaning isn’t a benchmark of good parenting.

      And I did write my truth. Which I so very rarely get to do.

  • pattypunker says:

    chaps my ass is my new favorite expletive.

    also best belated father’s day post ever!

  • Kristin
    Twitter: dragondream
    says:

    Preach on sister!

  • Sam says:

    My husband met his first wife when she was early-pregnant with some other guy’s kid. He raised her as his own for, oh, ten years and then after the divorce, the ex-wife took the girl out to din-din and said “try the bacon-cheeseburger and by the way, he isn’t really your dad. Can you hand me a straw?” Something like that. The girl tried to sort things out and was middle Hot Mess Territory by the time I arrived on El Scene. When she was 17 or so, she Got Religion, and then Met a Boy who also had Received the Lord, and now she refers to my husband only by his first name. She sees her “real” dad occasionally, the one who, oddly, never took her to the ER when she was very ill, nor showed up at any of the show choir concerts we sat through. The same one who had drunkenly called my husband to cry and tell him how much he “couldn’t have a kid right now.” Biology doesn’t make a parent. I see his pain, and only wish she could.

  • So true. Luckily my husband happens to be the birth father as well as the “real” father. It’s certainly not always the case.

  • Charlie says:

    The whole “real dad” thing is, as you say, absurd. A throwback to a medieval attachment to bloodlines. Which leads to such silly questions as “Who has sired this child?!” Sired? What, we’re racehorses now?

    To “sire” is certainly not to parent.

  • Anne says:

    A-fucking-men! My husband has fathered our son since he came into our lives over 10 years ago. He has been there for concerts, illnesses, class trips, and everything else. His sperm donor owes thousands in back child support and hasn’t seen him in years. Who’s the real fucking father here?

    BTW, our baby is here, the encephalocele is gone, and he’s doing awesome. =)

  • aubrey says:

    I was told after my divorce that my oldest son would have to live with his “real” parents. I was devastated. I raised this boy since he was 2. I went to the conferences, drs appointments, school plays. He made me the crooked presents for holidays and chose on his own to call me Mom all when they couldn’t be bothered. 4 years later..I have guardianship. He chooses me. His Bio Mom sometimes still uses the “real” word but I just ignore her now. I know who I am and he calls me and asks to come home. That is what makes a “real” parent.
    I think I may punch the next person that asks me where his “real” parents are though.

  • Love this. As the wife of a step-father who is in fact the “real” father, too. And, as the lucky owner of two amazing dads myself. There is nothing fake about a man who loves his children, unconditionally, without favor, regardless of his location at the time of conception.

  • princesabin says:

    1) Maybe they were referring to how the kid described the man he was going to see?
    2) It’s not between real and fake but real and imaginary. In real life, my dad rules. In imaginary land, my dad is Batman. He brings me cookies and milk lovingly made by Alfred and then goes and beats up the dads of the kids who bully me at school. Then plants drugs on them.

  • love this post – so very true!

  • I was adopted, and all my life when people ask about my “real” parents, I say “My parents are real, you must mean my ‘biological parents’.” The other thing that gets me is the people who say “natural” parents, like mine were UNnatural? No. They were real and they were mine and I loved them as much as they loved me. I DO know my biological mother and a sister who was born after me (same parents) – we all have a great relationship…..but I never wanted “replacements”, just to know my history.

  • Amelia says:

    To get completley off the subject of this awesome blog, I must contribute this; I was shopping with my brother in law and he put the cart hooked the tree island thing after we unloaded it. I asked him why he didn’t just wheel it over to where there was a special place for it? It wasn’t that far. He said when he was a bagger at a grocery store the best part of his day was rounding up the stray carts. He got a nice little walk, he didn’t have to talk to anyone, everyone just left him alone. I still put my carts away, but it made me realize there’s more then just my perspective.

  • AMEN you know I 100% agree. And the same goes with mothers. Because you know my situation with the boys. But as for fathers my husband is my daughters real father no 2 ways about it. He is the one there for every little thing they do. And as my youngest daughter likes to refer to him and I myself think it’s touching as hell she calls her sperm donor her blood daddy cause they share blood and my husband her heart daddy because she loves him and he’s her daddy daddy as she puts it. Now that kid has it all in perspective.

  • Jonah Gibson says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you. As a step dad who not only did all the shit you mention, but got up every morning and made the kids breakfast and got them off to school and came home every night and cooked them dinner, I don’t hear this shit often enough. My reward, such as it is, is hearing my kids (yeah that’s right MY kids – I earned ‘em) telling their kids the same shit I told them. Now that’s a payback.

    I don’t mind folks leaving shopping carts all over the parking lot so long as they don’t park them two abreast in the aisles while I’m stuck behind them making ‘old man’ noises. That shit chaps me off.

  • Jules says:

    That kind of comment, “real dad” , goes along the same line as half sibling. My kids have different dads. They all live with me. They are brothers and sisters. They are not half anything. When people say that I want to cut them in half and say now you’re a half sibling.

  • Jules says:

    That kind of comment, “real dad” , goes along the same line as half sibling. My kids have different dads. They all live with me. They are brothers and sisters. They are not half anything. When people say that I want to cut them in half and say now you’re a half sibling.

  • Melissa says:

    I could have written this! Yes, the Daver is the Dad. And my Dad is my Dad. My “real Dad” died when I was 4. And he was my real Dad for a time. Trouble is I dont remember him (obv not his fault).

    The thing that I find troubling is my sisters who do not feel the same way about my Mom. And they intimidate the shit out of her. My younger sister (she is 42 too) lives in thier home and since I had to stay there for a couple weeks she totally takes advantage. She always messages my Dad asking whats for dinner (even though he doesnt cook it) and he has to ask my Mom. When dinner is over she throws her plate into the sink, not the dishwasher. She has been living there for FOUR fucking years. In my mothers home, the one she has no respect for. She totally needs a mushroom print.

  • Alexis
    Twitter: theangelalexistwitter.com
    says:

    I’m lucky enough to have my “real” dad be the actual sperm donor as well. It doesn’t make him in any way superior to the “real” dads who are not the biological fathers of all their offspring; it merely keeps matters less complicated.

    My best friend has a biological father who has always done a weekend or so each month and Student of the Month assemblies. He doesn’t pay child support because he can barely support himself. She has a step-father who installed floodlights in the backyard and lugs his catchers mitt out whenever she wants to practice pitching, who buys tickets to the concetsw she wants to attend and accompanies her there, sometimmes with her mother, because he doesn’t think it’s safe for a teenaged girl to attend the concerts by herself,who ascertains that her mother has enough money to buy stylish clothing for the girl, and who takes the time to intervene when her older brother kicks or hits her while the actual father sits idly and watches. Each father is ‘real” to the best of his ability. she and i disagree on which one is more “real,” but I suppose only her opinion matters, because they’re her fathers.

    Once after a “Student of the Month” assembly, my friend proudly took her father to meet the principal, introducing him as her “real” dad. The principal shook his hand and greeted the man politely, but told the girl she was lucky because Bret, the stepfather, is also her “Real” dad.
    the biological fahter turned red and cleanched and unclenched his fists. Later he called the principal to tell him how enraged he was by the principal’s assertion that bret, too, was a “real” dad to my firned. my friend was in the car when this happened and heard every word. when my friend’s non-biological dad heard about it, he called the principal, thanked him for his support, apologized for any abuse he had taken from the “real” dad, then went back outside and continued to work on the basketball court he was setting up for the kids in the backyard.

  • Allison says:

    My daughter has a “real” mom according to lots of people. I am not her. I’m just the slub that adopted her from foster care when she was 7. Sat in a court room and listened to the years of neglect and abuse. Took her to therapy every week for 2 years. Deals with her post traumatic stress syndrome every day. Make sure she’s fed and clothed. Raise her, comfort her, put up with her eye rollin’ foot stomping bullshit day in and day out. And when people ask what happened to her ‘real’ mom I tell them “I’m as real as a mother fucking heart attack and I can’t imagine why that sentence came out of your mouth”….to be fair, I’m a bitch but at least I’m a REAL bitch.

  • Laura says:

    My real dad is not the man on my birth certificate, nor the subsequent two men my mother diddled, while ignoring the abuse they inflicted upon me…My REAL dad is the one who took me in when my mom kicked me out at 16. He is the man who went to my highschool plays and award ceremonies. He’s the one that my daughter calls Papa. He’s the one who loves us unconditionally and would be the one to walk me down the aisle if I ever decided to get married.

    Unfortunately, in some cases there are “fake” dads…but whether or not the dad and the kid have the same DNA is no indicator of which dad is real and which dad is fake. The “real” dad is the one who stays up late wondering how to pay for college, who sits by bedsides, and reads bedtime stories…who goes without so his children can have what they need. A real dad is present and active in his children’s lives. Some kids are lucky enough to have a couple of “real dads” while other kids, sadly, have a handful of “fake” dads, no sign of a real dad anywhere.

  • CarieLynn says:

    Thank you for posting this. The Dad in my house is A Real Dad, too, even though he wasn’t the sperm donor. The sperm donor has given up all but 4 days a month with my boys & doesn’t even really know them for the amazing little people they are. He’s a deadbeat in every way possible, & these boys deserve better, which they get in droves from Their Real Dad. Thank God for The Real Dads out there… the one in this house stands as a shining example of what a Real Man is to all of these boys.

  • Liz says:

    My sisters refer to their “real” (hah!) dad ad bio-donor. Guess who walks all of them down the aisle for weddings, and who they run to when they need a daddy? I know I am truly blessed in who I have for step-parents. Here’s to parents who get it RIGHT the second time around. So glad my parents are divorced. They are much better people for their ‘real’ spouses. My kids have three sets of grandparents, so extra love to go around.

  • KaraB says:

    I hate it when people ask me about my “real” parents. My mom that adopted me and was there with me every day, she’s my real mom. My biologicals are the people that made me, but not who raised me.

  • Melissa says:

    Love this post. Rock on, Aunt Becky!
    Signed,
    Fake Auntie who never misses a birthday, holiday or any event for my ‘fake’ niece.

    • Jenn says:

      Yay! I have one of those… well… not me personally… my little Bunny… although the fake aunty (who is my best friend) is overseas currently so she does miss stuff, but the love is there!

  • Elise says:

    I totally agree with you on this! Sperm and egg do not a father and mother make. But on a practical level, what do you call them to distinguish? Bio Dad vs. Step-Dad? Because I think those are both kind of ridiculous terms, too. And the full “biological father” term or even “birth father” seem too clinical for kids. Or do you even distinguish? I just know that kids like words and concrete answers and I’d be at a loss to handle this without the “real” dad issue cropping up…

    • The Daver says:

      When he was younger, Ben would call me “Daver”, which was like his code-word for Dad. He could have called me “Farty-pants” for all I cared, as long as it meant to him what “Daver” did.

  • brianne says:

    “But shooting a load into a vagina does not a “real” father make.

    I *know* who fathers my children. There’s nothing fake about it.”

    The best sentences of the week. Possibly year. So incredibly true. My first husband turned sperm donor is forever known as “biological dad”. Hearing a two year old call some douche bag their biological dad kind of makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside. They know their “real” father is and who in fact isn’t.

  • Alan J says:

    There’s an old saying…”any man can be a father, but it takes someone special to be a Daddy.”

    I’ve been around long enough to be able to tell fathers from sperm donors, and mothers from incubators. Better yet, my daughter can tell the difference too. It’s a lesson a large percentage of the population could stand to learn.

    ‘Nuff said.

  • katrina says:

    So right! useless terms…like ‘step’anything. the only thing that matters is who loves you. that is reality.

  • Kate says:

    Ah shit. Do you know how many dads I have? THREE. Three Goddamn “dads” and I won’t even go into that story, but I call one Dad, one Earl, and one screwyouabsentee.

    (Guess which one I’m biologically tied to.)

  • Jenn says:

    GOOD FOR YOU!!!!
    I feel the same way about step-mothers. Because I am one. And I know how f-ing hard I’ve worked at homework, baker-baker days, school project research, sewing buttons, cooking favourite meals, etc. And the REAL BEEATCH did sweet F-All and still tries to make out that I’m the shite.
    But all the people that count know the truth.

  • Heather says:

    Amen, sister. I completely agree.

  • John says:

    A twitter-acquaintance of mine sent me a DM prior to father’s day 2010, telling me how happy he was for me . . . that I had a “real kid of my own” now.

    I was irate. Seriously. There really is no way to say just how insulting that is.

    Having the two kids so close together, I get lots of questions in the grocery store when they’re with me. One of these days, I’m not going to be able to bite my tongue when someone asks about my son’s “real parents.” I know these are people who are causing my blood to boil via ignorance, but it stings no less.

  • Marta
    Twitter: marta28
    says:

    In complete agreement. A parent is the person whose there for you and cares for you (and cleans up your crap literally and figuratively) not necessarily the people who got drunk and got randy in the back of the chevy.

  • Joker_SATX says:

    As a step dad…I thank you for the recognition.

  • I’ve been on both ends of the step-thingy. Stepparenting is probably the hardest and MOST thankless job ever. Good for you for giving a big ole blog FU anyone who disparages what it takes to raise someone else’s children.

  • Wendy says:

    LOL – I love that statement! As a mum of 4 children whose father is a complete load of horse manure this post was absolutely awesome! Thanks Aunt Becky – LOVE your way with words! XO

  • Awesome post!! Family is who is there for you, especially in those moments when it is easier to not show up. And sometimes blood has nothing to do with that.

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  • Jennifer June
    Twitter: theladyslounge
    says:

    A-Freaking-Men Sister!!!

  • shelly says:

    oh lord becky you tottally pulled at my heart strings with this one. I have two kids with two different dads. And both of them have issue with them calling my husband “POP”

    My youngest child is autistic and is starting to develop alot of stress and issues mostly due to the things his dad keeps saying to him. He isnt allowed to bring his blanket to his house anylonger because he calls it “dada” and he WONT be replaced. And even though weve already covered this in court he cornered him again and demanded that my son stop calling his step dad “pop” and says that im undermining his relationship with my son and that I must stop trying to replace him.

    It drives me wild his “REAL” dad isnt there when hes sick, doesnt go to the 3 times a week therapy appointments, doesnt help him with his homework, doesnt do ANY of that stuff.

  • Heather says:

    Thank you for this!! Zack’s “sperm donor” relapsed again this month and as a consequence he has not seen or talked to him in 27 days. Everyone is always saying things to me about how he will miss the relationship with his “real” dad. What about the man who showers him every morning and puts him to bed every night? (I’m the 2nd best parent and only allowed to do these things by default when daddy is not home. If daddy is home, he wins, I lose. After 2 years of doing it alone, I don’t argue too much when he tells me he wants daddy.) That man is the REAL daddy. He is the one who is helping to mold our son into the man he will become and like you, it chaps my ass to hear other people discount the role he is playing simply because he was not there for the conception.

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