I hope this is the right spot for this post. I'd like to hear experiences or first impressions about lost fathers who make an appearance later in a child's life. This happened to my mother and my uncle. Their father showed up in our small town after they were grown and wanted to visit. Both refused to see him. They were bitter to say the least. In their defense I have to say that genealogical research reveals that my mother's father had deserted two other families in his lifetime. Fortunately my mom's stepfather was a great father and grandfather.

I have always been close to my father, my grandfather--step grandfather I guess, my uncles. My husband and our three daughters were very close. This Father's Day is a little sad because my husband and my father are now gone, but also because my 13 year old grand daughter is across the world. She is an only child. Her mother lived with me during her pregnancy. I was there for her birth. I never met her father, knew very little about him. My daughter did well as a single mom. She is a high school teacher, managed to buy a house and raise an intelligent, well mannered child. I filled in, taking her for weeks in the summer and every weekend while my daughter went to grad school. No sign of a father, grandmother, not even a birthday card, even though they lived only three hours away. I know my grand daughter missed having a father. Mothers' Day was always a big deal but Father's Day was always a little sad.

When Maz was 9 her paternal grandmother and then her father showed up in her life. Her father was living overseas and wanted her to meet his wife to be. The grandmother caught up the child support so her dad could enter the country. There was a wedding and Mazzy attended it. Over the last 4 years he and his mother have checked in regularly. There are annual family vacations and holidays with all the cousins and even Grandpa Marvin--a step dad of her father's who rides a Harley at 70 but is the only grandfather Maz has ever known. She seems to like him.

Maz is a well adjusted kid. She was slow to make a connection with her father and that is reasonable. Her impression of her first all alone visit with her dad was that he "let" her eat an entire steak with a baked potato and a side of French fries. No salad. Maz doesn't like green stuff unless it is Jell-O.

A day after her 13th birthday Maz flew to Hong Kong--by herself. Well, she was in the care of a stewardess but a trip from Wichita Kansas to Hong Kong would be momentous for an adult. I was worried about it because her father is not the most responsible person. In fact he has had only 2 weeks work experience--at Applebees when he was in college. He lives on an island near Hong Kong and there is only one ferry to get there. I was worried sick that he would not show up and asked Maz if she was sure her dad would be at the airport to meet her. She said, "Don't worry Grammy, the Douche will be there." I was shocked at her language. She had to laugh "you have been calling him the Douche since I can remember." I tried to say that I said "irresponsible" instead. When she was picked up on time and was at his house she called to tell her mom to tell Grammy that The Douche was there on time.

Now she is spending her first Father's Day with her dad. She bonded with her step mom almost immediately. She is Swedish and her English is good but not great. She teaches photography and Maz takes great photos. Her step mom texts every time she hears there is a tornado in Kansas to check on Mazzy. Anyway, Maz and her dad are together today. They have been kayaking and scuba diving. He has been to chef school so he cooks for her. It all seems to be working out. I don't want her to be as bitter as my mom and uncle but I don't want her to be hurt, either. This is my Long Lost Father story--no happy/sad ending yet.

I'd like to hear more stories about parents turning up late in life. --s6