Yesterday I woke at 5 for some inexplicable reason, and went for a run.
Oh, I know why I woke early! I was excited.
The plan was to visit the children at 8.00am but I got there a bit earlier, with croissants for my children and ex-wife. They were awake and I did breakfast duties so my ex-wife could sleep for longer.
I don’t have much of an idea about Father’s Day. For me, any time I spend with my children is special. As a child I grew up without a father, so my mum was both things to me, I guess. I just saw her as my mum, and a parent, and the father side of it wasn’t important as, he just wasn’t around. What was a dad? A father? That’s what other people had.
Perhaps I owe her a father’s day card. Or 40.
The children gave me with my present and card, we had breakfast and went to the playground. I was back in the SAHD-dle, so to speak and loving it. T was happy. He said that the house had him ‘in it, K****, and mummy and daddy’. He said he was glad I was back and said ‘Hooray’ and ‘Yay’ and asked me to stay. I told him I couldn’t stay as I lived somewhere else now.
The first Fathers Day that had any relevance to me was in 2008. Sunday June 15th to be exact. My wife suspected she was pregnant and did the test that morning. It came up positive within seconds. So that was that. She’d book a doctor’s appointment. The thing came up positive and, oh my god, oh my fucking god, we’re going to have our first baby together and be a family. Hopefully. ‘Happy Father’s Day’ she said to me.
We lunched and played ‘pretend sleeping’ on the living room rug. T said I could share his blanket and his pillow, a cushion. My big head alongside his small one. Then T would stand up and shout ‘WAKEY WAKEY RISE AND SHININGS!’ so, reader, there was no possibility of a nap that day. Not that I wanted one.
We left the house and got in the car. T was happy. He said that the car had him in it, K****, and mummy and daddy. He said he was glad I was sitting nicely in my car seat, and that I was a good boy.
Fuck. T still sees us a unit. A foursome. He’s happy when he exclaims this. Does he want this to be the way? It’s not any more. But does he feel happiest when it’s the four of us? Fuck. Does he?
We went to the local Open Farm Sunday as we’ve done for the previous two years. This year though the dynamic’s changed and it was two parents with their two children, not one family unit per se. To the rest of the world it probably looked like we were a family. My ex-wife and I didn’t talk to each other so, yes. A normal family.
That was a joke by the way.
The drive back from the farm was a tough as the day was coming to an end. I had a feeling of something leaving me. K was asleep in the back of the car and T was reading his little magazine. It had cartoons and stickers. I watched him, carefully looking at the pictures and taking it all in. I wondered ‘what must he be seeing? What must he be thinking? What must be going through his head?’ Fun things? Fun cartoons and pictures. It reminded me a bit of doing similar. But I did this to block out stuff. I know I did.
We approached my flat and the car slowed down. I got out and T’s expression changed from one of happiness with his cartoons to one of incredible sadness. He cried out ‘Don’t go Daddy. Don’t go. Please don’t go Daddy.’
I tried not to cry and told him I had to, that I’d see them both again on Wednesday evening. I closed the door and waited, waving them off, seeing my son crying in the back of the car as they drove away.
During the evening my head was filled with their noise. Their chatter, their squeals, their joy. My daughter saying her brother’s name, her giggles when she realised she made me laugh just by pulling a funny face. My son’s cries of ‘Don’t go Daddy. Please don’t go Daddy’
I thought of Fathers Day. How tough is must be for those who aren’t fortunate enough to see their children. Single parent mums who do the role of mum and dad. I thought of others. I thought that I’m lucky as I could spend time with them. I also spent three great years as a SAHD. Not many people get to do that. Not many are as fortunate as me.
My aunt suggested I approach is this way. If things are tough and the children get upset, then remind them that they have two special places to go. One with mummy and one with daddy. Both different. Both special. Not everyone has that.
It’ll get easier, I know. All this. But leaving them will never be easy.
But, all in all, we had a fun day. Not because it was Father’s Day, but because that’s how we roll.
Hope you all had a great day. What did you get up to? Let me know in the usual manner, by commenting me up big style.
Oh, and thanks for reading.