This is always an odd holiday for me. I am not close to my "real" dad. He moved away when I was a very young adult and didn't bother to give me a forwarding address. He is close to my sister; if I wanted to know how he was, I could ask her. I have worked on not being bitter. I have worked on not feeling "less" or unworthy, because I know in my mind that this is not about me. In my heart, most days I know it too, but not always.
I am blessed to have a most excellent FIL, one who has been dad to me since before I married my wife. K and I were best friends all through high school so he has been in my life a loooooong time. I trust him. I admire him. He is "dad" for me.
My kids always notice the complexities of this situation and it is a talking point each year. Mostly because each year they are emotionally and intellectually able to process a little more. KC wanted to ask a lot of questions this year. He wanted to know why I wasn't close to my biological father. I told him, sugar coating the years of arguments, then saying he had moved and not told me where, so I figured that was his way of showing with his actions that he did not want me in his life. I added that sometimes people have a hard time saying things and we have to use clues from how they act and used an example of his own experience with a friend.
KC instantly responded that it was clear that my dad "didn't really want to be my dad and wasn't behaving like a dad." Then he added "is that why you are so nice? You remember what it was like when your dad wasn't?"
Give me props for maturity--I said that I just wanted to be the best parent I could be and that all of life is about learning how to be the best we can be in the world we live in. But the reality? Yes.