An intense conversation was held
around a small table in my room.
Boys and girls, the same age, different backgrounds and ethnicities
The question came to me,
"Mrs B. Who is your father and who is your dad?
My eyes went to squint.
"Excuse me, the question does not make sense to me."
A roll of the eyes
"Who is your father and who is your dad?"
"They are the same person."
A sigh and a smack of the lips,
"A father is like...the sperm donor
The dad is the person who raise you."
Again- "They are the same person."
" Sure, I am the middle of five children.
My parents were married for over 50 years to each other.
They never had children besides the five of us.
My father is my biological father and he is the dad- a wonderful man."
Wow- some nodding-- but a bit of disbelief in the air.
They went around the table.
Three agreed that they had both fathers and dads- but the men were different people.
One said she had a dad but no mom- her father had remarried several times but each of these women were called by their name---and never mom. She had never met her mother.
One said he had several men who wanted to be his dad---but they were just passing through.
His mother had just had a baby
the man was long gone.
"Could I be the baby's dad?"
"In some ways that is traditional---when a father passed away the oldest son would step in to take his place. He is not really the dad---but is the role model for the younger children."
"I don't want my brother to grow up without a dad."