Seedling, sapling, these were the opening words of blog that appears earlier here. Since I wrote that as an appreciation of my daughter, I’ve re-discovered an another seedling. A wild one that I planted inadvertently and which grew with no nurturing from me. Years after the seed was planted I discovered I was wrong to believe he was not my sapling. Too late to aid his growth. Now I must face that. Now I must come to terms with what I did or didn’t do. It has caused me to think about what fatherhood means. It is so much more than casting seeds.
The emotional connection I have with my daughter is complex and filled with memories, mistakes, pain, and joy. It is what we understand when we speak of parenthood. But what of the genetic connection? What is that?
He sought me out and made a connection. I have replied and now we wait. We reach out over the net with careful words and then wait for meaning, understanding, and perhaps misunderstanding. It is all I think about now. How to do this with kindness and care for my daughter and my family and this new person in my life. He may yet reject this new person who is of him but not him. Who has genetic connections but no shared memory or emotional bond? It is exciting and fearful too.
I write this in acknowledgment of him.
He is Chris and he may read this and I hope he does. I hope the words in this blog may begin to make that genetic connection more. It may ease us into knowing more than the deep mysterious connection of the DNA.
My wild sapling may yet know a little of the nurture my Ria had.