“This is my dad,”

I introduce my step-dad to my boarding school Headmistress.

“And this is my Dick.”

I introduce my biological father. 

We all inwardly and outwardly cringe.

“I mean, this is Dick.  My father.  Dick Parise.”

Crawl in a hole. Die. I’m 15. Please, just let me go ahead and die.  

Here they both are- a rare moment- both of my fathers.

The one who created me and the one who raised me.

A chuckle. A laugh.  An inward mortification. We move on to pleasantries.  

But then came my wedding less than a decade a later. 

I’d always imagined both of them on each arm. 

But then he said, after their divorce, “You know that would be hard for me.”

I paused and reconsidered the definition of “dad”. 

And then, I walked down the aisle with my father.