It is Father’s Day and I am missing my Dad. I have had a few tears but only a few. As time passes I focus on how lucky I was to have him in my life and to smile at very happy memories.
What makes a good Dad? What made my Dad a great Dad? Could I advise my sons in time on how to be a good Dad?
1. Dad brought us his own sons and then together with Mum adopted me when he was well into his forties. Without that generous spirit, I might have stayed in a children’s home.
2. I don’t remember Dad ever brushing me away. He always had time for me. Right up until his death, he would put down whatever he was doing to focus on what I had to say. There was never a limit on that time either. From spending a full Christmas Day making a doll work to listening to me bang on to him when he was in his last year till his eyes drooped, he always made me feel that I was an interesting person.
3. He gave me one-one-one quality time so as a child we would go on walks together or converse with the telly switched off whilst Mum was gadding about.
4, He shared his world with me. He would take me with him to work whenever that was possible and take my opinions seriously. He stimulated an interest in the legal system which led to me going to Cambridge University to study Law.
5. He took me all over the UK and abroad believing I could learn something from each place.
6. He never put me down as a girl/woman and got me involved in traditionally boys stuff as well as girls stuff. I remember painting the shed with him in particular.
7. He kept me safe as a child and picked up both myself and friends in the early hours off the morning as we staggered out of night clubs.
8. When I turned my back on a legal career, he never once said it was a disappointment to him. When I got involved with dodgy bloke, he let it run its course. He let me follow my own path even if he could see I may well live to regret it. Sometimes, I have felt he was wrong in that but on reflection, I think it is actually a sign of respect for me and he was always there to pick up the pieces.
9. Let’s do a general cover-all that Dad got me out of many a financial crisis.
10.. When I became a parent, Dad looked after my son so I could return to work. He was in his Seventies by then. He took my son all over the place in his car so that my son’s first word was Rover. In the 2 years of his life, he lived with us providing my children with love, advice, discipline, lemonade and custard creams.
What did Dad provide me with that makes him an hard act to follow?
Not forgetting the laughter and lots of it.