I was told to write a blog about you and was promised free lunch to feed the monster inside my stomach, if it was a good one. Usually that’s a winning incentive, but running half marathons are easier than penning this.
My writing has improved. Nowadays, I mostly remember to notice the difference between your and you’re, so that when I’m reading through my work I don’t find it necessary to tell myself “your an idiot”, but there exists an inability to reduce my experiences of you into writing.
I fear that I will only begin to gage the depths of it once you’ve departed. Your absence, the certainty of it, wakes me many a night drenched in sweat, tears or both.
I could blabber on for a few hundred words, grasping at words in an attempt to capture the essence of you and of my childhood, but in the end, all I can convey is that you were and are a brilliant father. An entirely accurate, but oversimplified message.
To write about, to even contemplate writing about fatherhood is to trivialise it.
Plus, who wants to hear about my brilliant dad and of the perfect four member family that we sometimes are? I have too much respect for those who haven’t had my experience, or of readers whose fathers are no longer around to recount memories that are best preserved and shared privately.
I feel shy, in the same way that a child feels shy at eating the gourmet-like lunch that his mother packed him for school in front of his friends. You probably feel shy reading this blog, although to anyone watching you read it on your old Nokia phone, they would have to look very closely to see the difference between your usual laid back unobtrusive stance and your now slightly frowning, shy face.
I remember when you had to speak at your own parent’s 50th wedding anniversary and how you struggled to hold back tears. Now sitting in my little cubicle, I’m glad that people are too busy Facebooking or working to notice my own attempts to suppress emotion.
Despite your good example, I am reluctant to follow suit and bring my own brats into the world. I tell people it’s because the world has enough children. That it would be selfish of me to add to that expanding tally simply because I want to leave something behind. I make the excuse that I would prefer to live a carefree life. Not tied down or having to compromise on work or play in order to look after little uns as you often did.
But perhaps it’s equally true that I don’t wish to father children, because you’ve set an incredibly high standard.
Even so, one day I’ll probably father children, although not necessarily create them. I may not delay as many afternoon snoozes to go and play cricket with the little snotdrippers as you did and I definitely won’t be able to fix the ignition of my child’s first car with a screwdriver and some insulation tape. But, due to your example I’ll still be a good dad.
Thanks for that.