Quarterlife+


Ways to Disappoint your Parents #4–Not adhering to family nomenclature

Posted in Family,Life by Ashley Franklin on November 14, 2011
Tags: , , , , ,

As children, many of us yearn for our parents’ attention and approval. As adults, many of us keep with this mentality. Then comes the day when you realize that in one or more area, you’ve probably failed miserably. Nevertheless, you should take comfort in knowing that you are not alone. Over the years, I’m sure there have been many ways I have disappointed my parents. For now, here’s one you may relate to.

Ways to Disappoint your Parents: #4 Not Adhering to Family Nomenclature

I’m not gonna lie. I’ve seen Star Wars maybe a half a time. But, that does not keep me from knowing Darth Vader’s overused line: “Luke, I am your father.” (Aside from the baffling point that I never actually hard Darth Vader say that exact line, let’s use the willing suspension of disbelief. Let’s pretend like he said it for real.) Now, what if Luke’s response was, “Father? Well, I guess technically that works if you had something to do with conception; now if we’re talking nurturing and actually raising me, I think not.”

That’s not all that exciting, huh? Well, that’s because you don’t know MY folks. If you aren’t familiar with my family structure from some of my other posts, technically speaking, I have a step father and siblings from that union with my other (and he also had his own kids). I love all my siblings dearly, and this post isn’t about them. We’re an odd bunch, but we bring the funny. 

Anyway, how big of a deal is naming? Oh, it’s almost reason enough to break out a Bible and some holy oil! My mom gets super bent out of shape if I refer to my step dad as anything other than dad or father. If you squint, I think you can actually see her body temperature quickly rise, fire spark in her eyes, and smoke come from her ears. Is my biological father dead? No. I talk to him pretty regularly-now. So what name does that leave for him? None. This leaves him with no name, like he’s a figment of my imagination. Last time I checked, Mary wasn’t the prototype of more immaculate conceptions to come. So, my dad isn’t imaginary. 

For identification purposes, I will toss around dad, biological dad, father, real dad, step dad, etc. depending on if I’m talking to someone who knows my family history/ structure or not. This, to me, is no big deal. It isn’t an attempt to undermine who may have taken care of me or who didn’t.  It’s like a name tag. If I was making a family tree, I wouldn’t change it so that it looked more nuclear. Is it a case of wanting to be more like the Huxtables instead of the Bradys? I’m not sure which family I liked more, actually. At any rate, good luck with that. Why? Because trying to make your family something it isn’t undervalues what your family really is. 

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