Today both kids have been on one. It’s like they both received a WhatsApp message just before getting out of bed that said ‘today is not going to be about you’. In fact, today was about showing love and appreciation for their Dad. The one that bends (eventually) to their whims, the one that rolls his eyes but gives in at the end, the one that they both go to for sensible answers to burning questions, and who they go to get things fixed. The one that gives big bear Daddy cuddles.
No, today they were going to be shits. Between me and my husband, we’ve both whispered FFS more times than can be healthy and I’m sure that at least a couple of times today my husband has regretted pouring that third gin and tonic 8 odd years ago. We both love our kids, but boy did they push all the buttons today.
Having said all of that it’s been lovely seeing everyone’s posts on social with messages of love for their Dad’s or how much they miss them now that they’re gone. Family relationships are often complex. To me, there seemed to be lots of questions around what it is ‘to Dad’. I’m lucky that I have a good relationship with mine. It’s not been without its ups and downs over the years, but overall he’s one of the good guys. But that’s not necessarily the average. There are people I know who have no relationships with their fathers. It just never happened. Some chose to just get on with that, and others have been more wounded by it. There are those whose relationships have always been fractured and tense, they never bonded for whatever reason. There are friends who are so angered by actions taken by their father, that they choose not to forgive them.
Then there are those who have never become biological fathers, but who have established themselves as incredible father figures to others. There are those who have become fathers and are so overwhelmed with the task that they just leave to search for a simpler life.
Private lives are just that. People struggle and strive to make themselves happy, and others along the way. It doesn’t always end up looking like a scene from The Waltons (goodnight Jim Bob). So, to answer my question of what it means ‘to Dad?’ I think that, at the heart of it, it’s to feel love beyond what you thought you were capable of, to show patience far beyond what you felt you could ever muster before and to demonstrate your love sometimes by just fixing something, or maybe building a cardboard rocketship at 6:45am on a school day just because you were asked to by your 4-year-old son.
Happy Father’s Day x