on talking to Dad in the kitchen

This morning I was pottering around the house, cleaning this, tidying that and all the while the radio was playing in the background.  Mostly I was tuned out to the songs but suddenly one came through clearly. This song is about the Living Years and the lyrics are all about the regret you feel when the people you love are not there any more for you to talk to.  ‘I just wish I could have told them, in the living years’ a line that will resonate with me forever.

Suddenly, hands in the sink, the sun glinting across the kitchen window and the washing blowing in the breeze, I could hear myself chatting to my Dad.  What a conversation we had.  I told him all about the ups and downs of the politics of this country, we talked of fairness and of hope for the future.  I told him all about his great Granddaughter, and how she is the light of our lives, I talked about my sons, how much I had missed his wisdom while they were growing.  I explained about my daughter, soon off again on her travels and about how much the world had changed since he was last in it. I told him about my husband, and how he has the same calm and gentle manner that I loved in Dad. I told him about making my home in a town he had never visited and how I had found good and loving friends here.  I made him smile with tales of family gatherings and made myself sad that we have missed so much fun together.

We remembered the tough times of my growing years, when I would rebel and fight for freedom, and I thanked him for being constant, for the lessons he taught me, they have informed my life. Dad didn’t say much but I knew he was smiling and nodding, except for the bits about the politics, I think he frowned a lot then.  It was a two way chat, the like of which I don’t ever remember having before.  Eventually I stopped talking, the sink was still full of pots and the washing was still blowing in the wind.  Yet something had changed.  I felt a peaceful connection to the past and a real hope for the future.

So if you do actually have someone to talk to in these living years of ours please do so. You see my Dad and I did chat a lot, but so much has happened since last we sat side by side putting the world to rights there is so much more to talk about.  It was great this morning chatting in the kitchen to my funny, clever and wise Dad, who would do anything for his family, who shared his politics and talked more sense than anyone else I have ever met.

Use these living years wisely folks, grab life, love life and talk to all the important people as much as you can when and wherever you can.  There is nothing more precious than that.

on Dads

today as every Fathers Day my social media is full of loving messages for lots of Fathers.  Some are yet to be Dads, some are young parents, some are old and some not here any more.  No matter, the love is there to see all over the page.

As a woman and a Mother I have always wondered what it must feel like to be a Dad.  For my relationship with all four of my children started long before I met them in person.  From the early stirrings of butterfly kicks to the uncomfortable wriggling of twins, I knew my children were there.  I would talk to them, and loved lying in a warm bath and watching them wriggle.  I was blessed.  Dads just can’t do that.

When Dads meet their children for the first time it must be a massive leap for their emotions.  If they are lucky to be there for the first seconds of life the bond of love must leap from the first cry straight into their hearts.  The connection a Mother has is broken at birth, soon to be re established over the coming days, weeks and years.  I do wonder how if feels to be a Dad.

When my darling granddaughter was born, my son, beaming and smiling just minutes after meeting his daughter was in a dreamlike state.  Lack of sleep and emotions of love across his face.  I told him I loved him and he replied, ‘today I know just how much you do love me Mum’ the memory makes me cry even now.

So, to all the Dads out there, and all the men who love our children, to all the men that made us the women we are and to all the blokes who support and love their family every day, today is your day.

There used to be a saying that went ‘behind every great man is a woman’ I think there is some truth in that.  I also think that alongside many great women are the Dads, the husbands and the partners that believe in you, support you and love you.

Today I celebrate the marvellous men out there, just going about everyday, being annoying, getting things wrong and relying on us women.  The men who get up every morning and go to work to earn money to support a family.  The men who hold our hands and our hearts and the Dads who made us who we are today.