Today I am paying homage to our Dads: to my Noah’s and to mine. Don’t worry, I’m not going to get too mushy: I’m not the mushy kind. I want to write about what our Dads are really like, what makes them great among fathers without any Father’s Day/greeting card stereotypes. Well, maybe just a few…
My husband is a bit blog shy. When I started this blog, he informed me that under no circumstances was I to put a picture of him up. But, secretly, he loves the little mentions he gets so I have now been permitted to add a photo:
What type of father is he?
My husband always has time for Noah. He listens to him carefully when he is talking, giving him his full attention. He asks him about his day. Sometimes, I go to tell my husband something that has happened, and Noah has already told him. When he is on his way out of the door, Noah sometimes corners him: “Daddy, will you play with me? Just for five minutes?” My husband cannot resist and out come the diggers or the blocks.
My husband likes to be involved and has strong ideas (some might say obsessions but I am being nice today what with it being Father’s Day and all) about Noah’s development. He wants Noah to eat the right things, to love the fresh air, to be courteous and polite. He is the type of father who is consciously shaping his son into a good boy who will become a good man, the best of men. There is no lazy parenting with him, no putting the television on to get half an hour’s break. Playing with Noah is never a chore: it is always a delight. Unlike some people (me) who would rather stick their head in the oven than play Hide and Seek one more time. Or Pop Up Pirate.
My husband would do anything for Noah. That’s an over-used phrase, a cliché, but what does it actually mean? I don’t mean he would go half way around the world to get Noah a certain snack he wanted, or that he piles toy upon toy in his lap, or that he would take him to Euro Disney every weekend just so he could see Mickey Mouse. No, to my husband, these are small, insignificant things that children can do without. When I say my husband would do anything for Noah, I mean proper He-Man, superhero stuff. If Noah needed him to, he’d walk over hot coals without flinching. He’d take on Noah’s fiercest enemy and win. He’d slay dragons. He’d climb Mount Everest in his underwear and a pair of flip-flops and make it back down alive.
My husband likes living in Vienna because his office is only ten minutes from our apartment. He has time to sit down with Noah in the mornings and give him his breakfast. There is time for them to play together. He is home in time for us to eat dinner together and to give Noah a bath. When we move back to England, there will be none of this during the working week. There will be two and a half hours commuting to and from London every day. If he is lucky, he will see Noah for fifteen minutes every evening. I am not exaggerating when I say, this will break my husband’s heart. Will he moan about it? Yes, probably. But will it stop him? No. Because my husband is a provider. He is a worker. He is someone who continually strives to better himself. He is the worthiest of role-models for my son.
What type of father does Noah have? A superstrong one.
My Dad/Noah’s Papa
Unlike my husband, my Dad is not at all blog shy. He sometimes asks why I don’t put this or that on my blog. He “pretends” offence if I mention my Mum more than I mention him. Here is a picture which shows one of the most significant moments in a father’s life, giving his daughter away:
What type of father is my dad?
When I think back to my childhood, I remember playing libraries with his books. My Dad’s books are precious. There is never a crease in the spine. Never in his life has he turned down the corner of a page instead of using a bookmark. But, there I was at Noah’s age, pulling his books off the shelf, putting them in piles, pretending to read them, and he didn’t bat an eyelid. The thing I remember most about my childhood was my Dad’s stories. There was Stickatu, a stick that lived at the bottom of the garden. There was The Green Hand (said in a dramatic horror movie type voice). There was Great Uncle Samantha. The stories were riveting and my dad was tireless in the telling of them. My dad gave me words and stories and books and what am I if not a reader, a writer, an English teacher? I cannot imagine who I would be without them.
My Dad is a man of firm, unwavering and upstanding morals. When he was eleven years old, he decided he would be a social worker. He achieved his dream and made it to Director of Social Services, not a job for the faint hearted. He has set up numerous organisations and charities. He is a crusader. He wants to make the world a better place. He believes in good, he believes in honesty, he believes in justice.
My dad would do anything for me and my sister. Earlier I wrote about what that meant for my husband. My dad, however, would walk half way around the world to get me something I wanted. When I was fourteen I loved Boyzone (I’m not ashamed to admit it). Tickets for their concert came out one Saturday morning and I wanted to be one of the die-hard fans queuing up at the ticket office. Unfortunately, my school had half days on Saturdays. No way was I allowed to miss school to go and stand in the cold and get Boyzone tickets when a simple phone call could do. My Dad dropped me off at school and drove on to the Docklands Arena. He joined the back of the queue and made friends with the fans there. He asked them to save his place and bowled up to the front where he started chatting to the fans who had camped out all night to get front row tickets. They were so touched that he had gone all the way there to get me a good ticket that they let him in at the front of the queue and, abracadabra, I had front row tickets to Boyzone. I’ll never forget it. Not because I am still star struck by being a metre away from Ronan (he married someone else, anyway, the fool), but because right then and there, on that day when I was fourteen years old, a front row ticket was my dream and my dad made my dream come true.
What kind of father do I have? An inspirational one.
Then there is my dad as Noah’s Papa. Instead of writing about them, these pictures speak louder than words:
Happy Father’s Day to two upstanding gentlemen, my Husband and my Dad, love from my Noah and me xx
P.S. Husband, pick yourself up off the floor – it doesn’t become your stoic nature to faint. Dad, stop sobbing and dry your eyes.