“Do you still love us when you’re not with us?”

Father and Son

My son asked me a question today, prompted by my ex, his mum, leaving us in soft play to go and get the car. Not sure where this question came from, or if he’d been thinking about it for a while, but it was surely prompted by the act of my ex leaving us for 5 minutes. The question was “Daddy? Do you still love me and K**** when you’re not with us?”

I hope I answered it adequately at the time. I picked him up in my arms so he was my height, looking me directly in the eyes. I kissed him and said “Yes I do. I always love you both and I will always love you both. When we’re not together I miss you, and I always, always, always love you. Love doesn’t go away when a person does. It’s always there. And I know mummy feels the same way. When she goes to work, and when she has to go away for work she loves you too. We both, always love you. Is that okay?”

He said it was. He looked at me and said “That’s good daddy. Because we miss you too and love you too” then he kissed me, and went off to play in a massive ball pool.

But just in case this is an older version of my son, reading my blog at a later time in his life, then Tiernan? This is what I wanted to tell you. I didn’t say this at the time because it involves some complex words and thoughts. When I picked you up and I looked into your eyes, eyes identical to mine, this is what I wanted to say.

I hope this explanation is enough and I hope you don’t feel short-changed by me expanding upon this now. You both deserve an explanation better than this, but these words at this time will have to do.

Son, I cannot ever stop loving you and your sister. It simply doesn’t work like that. You are my children, and you are so incredibly precious that words will never be able to explain just how much you mean to me and my words cannot ever describe the love that I have for you both, at all times.
You are both special, and brilliant. Loving, caring and a heck of a lot of fun. When I’m not with you I always think about you, wonder how you’re doing and wonder what you’re up to. I call you every evening to see how you’ve been, to find out if you’ve had fun, to find out what you’ve been up to and to always wish you “Nunnite, sweet dreams, always.” I always tell you I love you. Because I always love you.
A love like this isn’t dependent on anything. It’s unconditional, and one that begins when you find out that you’re about to become a parent. I loved you both from the first moment I knew you existed. That’s how it works and one day I hope you’ll find this out. It’s terrifying at times being a parent, because you want to protect your children so much. You’d bleed for them and pull down the Moon, if you could, just to make them happy. When you become a parent the world becomes a place full of dangers and threats, but if you put your fears and anxieties to one side, as you must otherwise you’ll go insane, your world also becomes an earthly paradise.
By being yourselves and by being on this earth, you have both given me such indescribable joy. When we part, my heart heaves inside me and I feel a physical ache. Our goodbyes, at times, have been sad and full of emotion and tears. We’re getting over that I think but I still see something in you when we part. When we say goodbye now you don’t cry. Your chin wobbles, you look down at the ground and you sigh. I see your shoulders slump and you come over to me slowly. We always goodbye and see you soon, and you know I will see you soon. Reluctantly we part, but we must. But know that in the time we’re not together I’m always thinking about you, and always looking forward to the next time I walk to your door and ring the doorbell, hear you clumping down the stairs shouting “Daddy Daddy!” and know that I’m standing there bursting with excitement, because I can’t wait to scoop you both up in my arms.
Never question my love for you both. Please. Remember our hugs and kisses when we see each other and when we say goodbye. Because those say more than any words ever could.

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21 responses to ““Do you still love us when you’re not with us?”

  1. Aw Spencer that’s (as several other people have said) beautiful. I’m a bit down at the moment and depressed about a few things that are happening in my life but you’ve reminded me again (as if I’d ever forget) how happy having my little son (who turns one on Monday) has made me and never to take it for granted. You really do do writing well mate.

    • Thanks Mr B. I’m sorry things are tough for you at the moment. If there’s anything I can do, or if you ever want a natter, then please let me know. I can’t provide any answers but I can listen.
      I hope things turn around, and wish D a very happy birthday for Monday.

  2. Lovely post. You made me cry. I have just lost my Dad and one of the things I mentioned at his funeral was that he was not afraid to love unconditionally. I am sorry you cannot be with your children all the time but I think they are blessed in the Dad they have

  3. Your posts are always written with such raw, beautiful and often heartbreaking honesty. I feel sure that both your children know now, and will always know your love for them. They’re so lucky to have you as their Daddy. x

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