Being a father is not without its challenges

Dutch man who walked down the stairs to find his daughter sleeping next to a naked boy. Here’s his personal account:

One morning I came down the stairs, seeing this exact scene: my 17 yr old daughter with a young man, asleep after what must have been a night of ‘hard labor’.

I very quietly made breakfast, went back upstairs and told my wife, son and other (youngest) daughter to be very quiet because people were still asleep. Our dinner table is on the other side of the room, about 20 feet from the couch but right in front of it. We all sat down and I yelled, “YOUNG MAN”.

Never ever have I seen someone wake up and move from horizontal to vertical that fast. “Breakfast is ready!” I said with a tone as if I gladly would suck his soul out of his body. I pulled out the chair beside me and said into his left ear, “Sit!” My family sat silent, staring at their plates, not even twitching.

It must have been the hardest 20 feet for a butt naked youngster to cross, trying to hide his, I must say, rather impressive morning wood, my youngest daughter looking in awe at said piece of wood (as did my wife). After he put on his clothes, which lay beside the dinner table, he sat down. My son (6.4′) patted him on the shoulder looked him in the eyes, sighed and shook his head. By now he was really, really nervous. You could almost smell it. In my best Russian accent, I said: “My friend, i’m going ask you a question. The answer you give is very important….for you…” At this point he was sweating. “Do you like cats?”

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He was a very likeable and friendly guy. Clearly uneducated, but not dumb. There was something odd about him. My daughter assured me he was a very nice and attentive guy. She knew him for about a month by then. He came by every day since that morning, never stayed over at night though.

Every morning he came to pick her up for school on his bicycle, brought her home after, made sure she did her homework, looked after her when she was sick and we were at work. He took care, invested time and effort. He had the patience of an angel when she had one of her terrible moods.

He said he had no family, no education, no steady job. She adores him. He adores her. Who am I to prevent her from learning from her own mistakes?

After this had been going on for about 8 months, my son came to me. He had been asking around about him. turns out the guy was homeless. His abusive father killed himself. His mother, a crack whore, took off 3 weeks after that. They lived in a rented trailer (yes, white trailer trash). He was 15 then and survived for 3 years on the streets, sleeping in parks, at the salvation army, with “friends”, cheap ass hotels. He started working construction jobs now and then when my daughter met him on her ride to school, shoveling shit. He’s a good looking guy and, well, you know… 17 year old female… Raging hormones…

Now, there I was. I knew a young man 18 or 19 years old who was polite, who comes in smiling, who leaves smiling, who cares, who helps, no need to ask, who makes my child happy. A kid who had never had a chance to be a kid. A mainly absent manic depressive suicidal as a dad, a crack whore as a mum, sometimes fed by neighbors, mostly going hungry.

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Sometimes when he does not come over because he has a job, we miss him. They are not buddies but my son gets along with him very well. My youngest daughter trusts him unconditionally and my wife’s motherly instinct seems to have expanded. And me? I sometimes worry for him. I want him to be happy.

I told my wife and youngest what I learned about him. They cried. I had a hard time telling them. I was disappointed in my oldest daughter. She knew. She should have told us. She loves him and lets him leave every night to go where!?

The next day, I gave him a key of our house. I told him I expected him home every night. Home.

In the next weeks we fixed our spare room and took him shopping for furniture. He was quite good in making things. He wanted to be his own boss – he liked building things. We saw to it that he got an education which, enabled him to do just that.

That was in 2000. Now 15 years later, my new found son and my daughter have a thriving business. They gave us 3 beautiful grandchildren last year. Twins! 1 girl, 1 boy.