To my kids on Father's Day
This dad realises that Father's Day is more about his kids than it is about him.
Dear James, Hannah and Jonah,

Sunday is Father’s Day. I’m guessing that at school you’re being asked to make cards that have pictures of you and me on them- I’ll be the crayon circle with no hair AGAIN- and maybe you’ve even asked your mom to buy a treat for me. That’s more than I could ever hope for, but, the more I think about it, Father’s Day is not about me, it’s about you.

Sure, I was responsible for inventing you, but it’s the things you’ve taught me which have made me a dad. When you were born, James, and the maternity ward nurse took me into the room to weigh you, and asked where the nappies were (I mean, who forgets nappies!), I knew I had a lot to learn.

All three of you have been fine teachers, though. If I look back over the past 12 years, you’ve taught me patience, compassion and understanding. You’ve shown me that it’s ok for a grown man to laugh like a child and cry like a baby.

We’ve made things out of cardboard and wire, but you guys breathed life into those creations with your limitless imaginations. We’ve explored the ordinary, and you have helped to make it extraordinary with your awe at discovering new things about the world you inhabit.

You’ve broken my heart with your fevers and sicknesses and hospital visits, and then fixed it again with your unconditional love.

You’ve been generous with your emotions, sharing your tears and laughter, fortunately more of the latter than the former, and given me hope for my own future as well as yours. See, I can’t wait to see how you’ll all turn out, and I believe in each of you- that you’ll change your worlds. Perhaps not THE world, but your own space, definitely.

In a way, you are like the opposite of Russian nesting dolls- those wooden skittle-shaped dolls whose bellies contain smaller and smaller replicas- you guys have grown-ups inside.

I get the occasional glimpse of this, when your innocent wisdom makes far more sense than my complicated fretting. I see you learning how to treat people well, stand up for yourselves and others, slowly revealing the adults within each of you.

What an absolute privilege.

That’s why, when you come to me to wish me “Happy Father’s Day” this week, I’m going to thank each of you for making it possible to enjoy such a wonderful experience.


To all Parent24 dads, I hope you have an awesome Father’s Day, and, to all of you supermoms who fulfill the role of father to your kids, we celebrate you, too.

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