Posted on September 04 2016
Happy Father's Day to all the dads out there!
I am so lucky to have my dad.
Sometimes I look at him and I am shocked. Shocked that his hair is white. Shocked that he needs glasses to see. Shocked that even though I am nearly 38 years old, I need him as much as I did when I was a tiny little girl.
He has always had a larger than life presence. Big, strong, dependable. Funny, grumpy, sarcastic, but there. For every milestone, occasion and special moment.
When I was a little girl I would tell people he was a wrestler. To me at the time that was the epitome of strength. He is a big guy, a tower of power. I would brag about his muscles as though he were a superhero.
I still brag about my dad. About his strength - but not because of his muscles. Now I like to share things that as an adult, I realise are so important.
He is kind. He is supportive. He is comforting. He is calming. Although I suspect I inherited my rage-like tendencies from him, he doesn't direct his anger at us.
He is an amazing Poppy to our grandkids. He demonstrates a patience that is amazing. Especially when the kids do stuff that we did as kids and got in trouble for - he has mellowed into a stereotypical grandpa. Teaching, guiding. Building them amazing things in his shed. Cooking pikelets on a sleepy Sunday afternoon.
I know I have shared with you his battle with cancer. The one he won. The battle that made us 4 kids love and appreciate him just that little bit more, but I just have to share my gratitude. That he is here, that he is alive. Someone to be celebrated and adored.
The older we get, the more people we lose. Of course it happens. It's life. But it's terrifying. The thought of losing my parents fills me with dread. When I hear of my beautiful friends and family losing their treasured parents, I cry. So much. Because I put myself in their position and imagine.
On Mother's Day this year I wrote about mums and the importance of our roles. How we don't always know what is right or wrong. Sometimes we stuff things up, sometimes we rock it. Being a dad is no different.
I know there are plenty of crap dads out there. But there are gazillions of brilliant ones. Stepdads, single dads, hard working dads. Dads that don't really know what the hell they are doing but are there anyway. Foster dads, adoptive dads. Stay at home dads. MumDads - those kickass women that are there fulfilling both roles for whatever reason.
Today can be painful for many people. For those who have lost their beloved dad. For those who had a dad that wasn't around. You may never have known your dad and have a million unanswered questions. For dads that have lost children. Or cannot see their children but desperately want to. Today can highlight pain, loss and sadness.
Being a parent, either mum or dad, is hard work. Rewarding? Yes! Satisfying? Sometimes! It can be really hard. I'll never forget when we had our first baby, I mumbled something to my husband about him being able to go to work for a break. He looked at me incredulously and said 'have you got any idea how hard it is to tear myself away? She's my baby too! I don't want to be at work, I want to be at home so I don't miss out'. I'd never thought of it like that. I was just jealous that he could have an escape and I couldn't. I know now in hindsight that there was a bit of PND in my reasoning.
Some men are capable of feeling that real bond with their kids. I was lucky enough to grow up with one of them, and I am lucky enough to be married to one of them.
So today I celebrate them.
Happy Father's Day