How to upset Dad

When I was little I liked to collect things: rocks, hot wheels race cars, arrow heads, etc. As I grew, without even trying, I began another collection: families.

Throughout my travels, I have had the job of being surrounded by wonderful individuals and wonderful families. Some of these people I even call Mom and Dad (or whatever the appropriate version of that is in the language). None, obviously besides my real parents, have stuck around longer than my Chilean family.

This can lead to some pretty funny looks from people who don’t know the whole story, for example, when I say something like, “I can’t wait for my mom to come to finally get to meet my dad!” Or in phone conversations like this:

Phone rings in house in states. I am in states, but not in house. Dad picks up:

Dad: Hello.

Dad: Hola. Is Clare there?

Dad: No she is not. Can I tell her who is calling?

Dad: Please tell Clare her father called.

Dad: Excuse me?

Dad: I am Clare’s father.

Dad: I am Clare’s father.

Well, you can see how it can get confusing. And, you can see how my Dad might not like it. And, as the real parents (I don’t like the sound of birth parents, it makes it sound like I was adopted) point out, although all the other parents have had the joy of having to take me to the hospital (I am accident prone), none of the others helped pay for college.

Side note: I love my real parents and am ever thankful that they put up with me collecting other parents. Also, it should be consoling that I have other parents. I mean, just think how many people there are who are willing and able to take me to the hospital next time I hurt myself!



  1. You can never be loved too much Clare. I have a step dad and he loves me as if he’s known me my entire life. You just can’t be loved enough.

  2. I am willing to surrender “real” Dad. I have no doubts about Pedro’s (and your other fathers) reality or that they are good Dads too (another sense of “being a real Dad.” So also wanting to avoid the “birth” Dad issue, in the lingo of some of my favoirte philosophers (Heidegger) and theologians (Rahner) I am holding out for Ur-Dad (i.e. “original Dad”). If I can still be the original all others are welcome. I am still waiting, by the way, for someone else to step up in the tuition…etc. department.

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