Growing up I always looked to my Dad as my hero, the provider, the head of our Spiritual home, the protector, my supporter. I think that this is what most little girls do, they love them through the good and the bad. We put them on a pedestal and when we look at them we think “My Daddy”.
But as we grow older we see their flaws, we see their raw emotions and in my case we see them at their weakest. Slowly they move lower and lower off that pedestal.
We learn things about them, we fight with them, we get angry, we blame them, we go silent, but we still love them.
I, as a naïve teenager and young adult, distanced myself from him. I judged him for his failures as a Husband, I blamed the bad decisions that I had made in my life on him. I challenged him and disappointed him. And yet, he loved me through it all.
These are just a few examples of things that I have been through with my Father, its been easy and its been hard but I still love him as a much as I did when I was a little girl. To me he still remains My Daddy. My Hero, My Comforter, My Protector, a Great Father and an Amazing Grandfather.
I am blessed to still have him in my life, and my kids also. I know that I can pick up the phone when I need him, he will be there. When I’m having a rough day and send him a message, he will respond within minutes. When I need to see him, he will drop anything and everyone to be there. With his flaws and all, he has always been there.
During my pregnancy with Danny, I had distanced myself from my Family. From my Father, from my Brother, from my Step Father, all the strong men I needed in my life. I thought I could do it alone, I “knew” I could. But the reality was, I just couldn’t and more importantly I needed Danny to have strong male role models in his life. So I put my pride in my pocket and asked for help. Dannys Father wasn’t around / wasn’t a part of our lives which meant that I was both Mother and Father to him and it was HARD. Let me say that again, IT WAS HARD. But I wasn’t alone. I had my support circle. Danny had thee best there was to offer.
He had my Dad, who became his Protector, his Papa, who helped with burping him, and changing him, and sang to him, and read to him, and let me sit and relax while he fussed over his grandson. Who ordered my closest Aunt and most special Cousin to help me (which they did and would continue to do if I ever needed it), he knew it was hard, he knew being a Parent wasn’t always easy and he tried to make it just a little bit better.
He had my Step Dad, who took me into their home, gave us a roof over our head, became a Provider for us, became a Disciplinarian, set rules and boundaries for him. Who played in the garden with him, took him with for a drive when he needed to get bread and milk, woke up early on weekends and kept Danny entertained while I slept for 10 min longer, or jumped into the shower or did Dannys washing. Who loved him like he was his own blood.
He had my Brother, who became his Supporter. Who took the time to spend time with him, who took care of us, who would call to ask if we needed anything. Would buy nappies and luxuries when he knew things were running low. Who became Dannys Spiritual head, who encouraged me to go to connect group, to take Danny to church. To enjoy the life we were given. Who included us in every plan. Who took us on a roadtrip to PE for the world cup, who took Danny to walk with the Wolves, who bought him his first bike. Who loved Danny unconditionally through it all.
He had his Uncle Buncle (the baby brother), who would sit with Danny and watch TV while I prepared his meals, expressed milk, sterilized bottles, packed his school bag. He would lay on the couch while Danny laid on his chest rubbing his little button nose, while I helped with supper, or got Dannys bath ready. He would play with him, listen to his baby babbling, take him for a walk when he was frustrated or suffering from cabin fever.
These are the wonderful examples of a “Father” Danny had, before Carl and I started dating. These were the men, who played one of the most important roles in Dannys life. These were his Father figures.
Then Carl and I started dating and almost immediately Danny called him Daddy, it was actually awkward and took some time for his Parents to adjust. But was very funny for us.
So in walked Carl, in his twenties, still living “the life” that a normal twenty something was living and he gets a readymade family. Very daunting, very out of his element, still trying to find his feet and adjust to this new life. But he understood that I was a package deal. We wouldn’t be able to date traditionally as I needed my son involved in our lives from the word go if this was going to be a long term commitment. (side note: on our first date I had to climb to the back seat to breastfeed Danny). His car officially had a car seat and well he stepped up. He took control, adjusted his life and became Daddy.
Slowly Carl started taking over all the roles of a Father. He became the Provider, the Protector, the Comforter, and Dannys Hero. He loved Danny like his own, fell for me and him. It was such a natural union. Danny didn’t know anything else, he was still little, he was 2 years old. He became a hands on Dad, he helped with nappy changes, bath times, bottle feeds, bedtime routines, sterilizing bottles, making bottles.
And now, 4 years later, Carl is a proud Dad of 2 beautiful boys. No one ever has the Father thing down, they like us, learn daily. Every day he gets better at being their Father. He is actively involved in each of their lives, he loves them unconditionally and they both light up when he spends that extra bit of time with them at night. He is present, and they know it and can feel it. What you put into a relationship is what you get out, right? That is why the bond between them is so strong. I have had the honour of sitting on the side line watching him grow as the boys have grown. Its been a such an amazing journey thus far. Being able to support him and encourage him along the way has been great. I have watched this mans heart grow, grow in a way that I don’t even think he knew was possible.
Here’s to many more amazing Fathers Day with these wonderful guys and my Darling Husband.
I appreciate everything and every role you have each played in our lives.