I am one of those affectionate, fairly sensitive sort of guys.  I will quite happily give or accept a hug, and pretty easily cry at something if I have been involved enough for it to have an emotional impact on me.

Rosie had been browsing Facebook and shared a picture that she liked the look of, and that seems to perfectly sum up parental thoughts (to me at least) – the context is below it.

House Picture

Some days I think I’ll never catch up. I’ll never catch up on laundry, dishes, errands, cleaning….That used to get to me, until I was okay with not being super mom.

Today I felt joy…. I felt joy as I rocked our son to sleep, and again as I read to Neva as she fell asleep snuggled up next to me..and again when my husband kissed me goodnight.

I spent a while organising the living room tonight.  Once I was finally done I sat on the clean floor and cried.  I cried because I’m going to miss this.

I’m going to miss the asparagus, rice and carrots that fell from Joey’s high chair and mixed into the toys on the floor.
I’m going to miss constantly making sure Neva didn’t leave any little toys around that Joey could choke on.
I’m going to miss the yogurt finger prints all over the couch, and the Cheerios under every piece of furniture.
I’m going to miss my babies needing me next to them so they can fall asleep.

It may look like a mess, but to me, it is the 15 books Neva asked me to read to them today, the arts and crafts we made together, their imaginations going wild, and enjoying every second of it.  Tomorrow we will start again..

One day, before we know it, we will only have a small toy box for our grandkids that I will lug out every now and again….and I’ll tell my kids when they try to help clean it up before they leave – that it’s ok, I can do it.  I’ll do it and I will cry just like I did tonight, because it will seem like only yesterday that I was picking up their toys ….

Picture + Text credit in by way of link to blog

It resonates quite a lot.  I was certainly not born to be a father, Rosie most definitely was born to have a family at some point in her life.  For me, I am looking forward to not having various stains on the carpet that need blasting with some powerful cleaner, to not having toys scraped on the wall leaving marks, being able to sit and eat some lunch all the way through without having to leap to my feet to stop one of them pulling something off of a shelf.  All very much menial and self-indulgent things I know and I do have those moments where I will shoot myself forward by years and think that things will actually be incredibly different, and would I regret feeling like this ?

The one thing that I love being able to do nowadays is sweeping either of them off the floor in a massive cuddle, tickling them by kissing their necks and swinging them around by their legs.  I certainly won’t be able to do that with my late-teen sons.

There is just no way to tell though what the emotional requirement will be from my 23 year old Josh or my 19 year old Isaac.  They will need support at some point during this child-adult transitional stage; but how will they look for it from me ?

Anyway Rosie remembered a video on YouTube that she’d seen some time ago which, having just seen it, was incredibly emotive.  Have a watch.

I cried – or ‘welled up’ I think I’ll go with.

She cried.

I cried some more when we had chatted about both boys always needing me to hug them.  I said that I wouldn’t ever stop being that affectionate through choice, just assumed that both might not want it and the situation may be forced on me.  Rosie went on to ask how much I would give to have a hug from my own Dad which set me right off.

Dad was not a man that would readily hug me.  A handshake was the preferred way of greeting or for me receiving his praise.  I don’t really recall it ever being much of a ‘thing’ to me personally, I admired that man; that male presence more than anyone else in this world and still try to emulate him but now, where I no longer have a choice in the matter, I would give absolutely anything to feel the protection from him, like I would have felt as a much younger child.

A very speculative post.  I chat to parents with children at different ages and wonder what I would be doing in the same situation but in all honesty, it is far too easy to get hung up on that.  7 years ago I would be shitting it at having to change a nappy…I have had every single type of poo, with the worst smells imaginable land in one of those things and tackled them all.  I have helped teach 1 child to talk (so far), taught both to walk, and caught both when they have almost fallen off the sofa.

I’ll always be there, and it seems that whatever the problem they face or situation they need help with, I will approach in the same way I have done thus far.

Absolutely wing it.


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