Sitting in the therapist’s office, listening to him explain the decision he had made some fourteen years ago – to put his family first – I felt a little bit sad. As he shared his determination to be home for bath time every night, before reading ‘Kipper’ for the umpteenth time, I could see what he was trying to do – convince a complete stranger (and himself) that he is a good dad.
Our current situation has left both of us feeling inadequate at times. Questioning our ability to parent and wondering if perhaps our decisions have been impaired over the years. The truth? Of course they have. As human beings, we are not perfect. But you know what? My husband, the father of my children, is a good dad and I’m not sure that right now, he is aware of that fact. With today being Father’s Day, I would like to do my best to convince him…
- I could tell you about his prowess in the kitchen – his amazing Yorkshire puddings and the cauliflower cheese that silences even the fussiest of eaters.
- I could regale tales of his signature move – ‘the dog poo dance’ – or his never-ending supply of tuneless songs reeled out whenever the mood needs lightening.
- I could talk about my high expectations and his attempt to try to meet them; his humility in accepting that he could do better, that often gets overlooked.
- I could tell you about the countless times he has returned home from work to go straight out into the garden; responding with tireless energy to his son’s request to practice penalties.
- I could share of his instinct to ‘get stuff done’; a habit that drives us all crackers at times but one that demonstrates his willingness to help.
- I could talk about his most recent role of ‘chief mathematician’; one that he took on when the homework went beyond my capabilities and requires the utmost patience.
- I could tell you about a time, just a few weeks ago, when he graciously accepted help from a family therapist; something that my own wounded pride and aching mother’s heart was finding almost impossible to do.
But the moment that will stick in my memory forever, is one that took place eight long weeks ago, in an unfamiliar hospital room, not so far from home.
When he pleaded with his daughter to let him take care of her, instead of a team of qualified strangers…I knew. When he offered to give up work for three months in order to do just that…I knew. When he accepted her decision to leave the familiarity of home and the help of total strangers…I knew.
A good dad would do anything for his children.
HAPPY FATHER’S DAY