Father’s Day yesterday reminded me how great it is to be a Dad. All through my twenties I was avowedly against having kids and then slowly, imperceptibly at first, that feeling started to change.
In truth I never gave what is quite possibly life’s most momentous decision the in-depth thought it deserved.
I’ll always remember when first born came home from hospital and for the first time I properly understood how momentous this change in my life was going to be.
I’d had absolutely no experience with babies until then and the responsibility felt truly awesome in the true sense of that much over-used word. At the same moment the realisation this was a very long-term commitment also hit me.
Just over 13 months later second born arrived to give me the two daughters that are now in their mid-twenties.
The early years of parenthood were hard work indeed – the hardest time of my life with a job to hold down, insecure finances, a mortgage to pay – as well as keeping two extraordinarily vulnerable little babies safe and well.
If there’s one thing I wished I’d done differently with my life it would be too have been more relaxed about all the various developmental stages. Looking back it feels like so much of their childhood years went by in a blur and it’s a time of my life I’ll never get back.
I’m glad that I’ve always been a relatively hands-on Dad, not missed out on much and tried to play a big part in their lives. As they’ve grown from children to adults there’s been some worrying times particularly around jobs and relationships, but I guess that’s inevitable.
Nowadays I miss aspects of living with them – the depth borne from spending longer times together – but the upside of seeing them the once a week I do that now is that the relationships have become much more grown-up.
We talk as adults not as parent and child and that’s a good thing. I’m very happy that both of them are maturing into thoughtful, bright and confident young women and I feel proud to think I played a part in that.
Yesterday’s Father’s Day was a bit different as we couldn’t do the usual meal out so instead they went on an hour-long round trip to pick up my favourite take-away.
I know they will have spent part of yesterday thinking about how good it is to HAVE a Dad. For my part I spent yesterday reminding myself how wonderful it is to BE a Dad.