September 05, 2005

When he calls me Dad


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Originally uploaded by billyjoebob.
So I awoke yesterday morning for my first Father's Day, punkin.

I don't know, as a son, that I ever appreciated how much it meant. I'm not sure that I ever understood how important my handwriting was on the card that I made in school. I don't know that sticking bits of macaroni to cardboard was ever given the appreciation it deserved.

I know that, for me, opening the card that you had written on with your own fair hand, knowing that I was the only person who could decipher its arcane text, seeing you try to eat the ribbon in which my present (a loverly 14cm vegetable knife from Global)

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was wrapped, these were all moments of extreme emotional intensity for me. I think that, the night before, my feelings of anticipation were akin in my memory to how I'd felt the night before Christmas as a child. That feeling of... approaching transformation was intense. The idea in my head that somehow I was only going to be a 'proper' father after I'd been through a Father's Day was hard to shake.

Being told that yesterday was my day, knowing that I had done a good job in playing my part to bring such a beautiful well mannered baby into the world, having someone say "keep the recipe", having complete strangers walk up to me and feel compelled to talk to you. All these things add to the amount of pride I have in you. Knowing that I'm at least partly responsible for bringing you into the world makes me think about how I relate to my own dad.

Now having some concept of how he feels about me and my brothers and sisters, his actions become more understandable. Seeing him stare off into space when we're all gathered around a table, eating, drinking and all talking ten to the dozen, I know what he's thinking. Look, he's saying to himself, look at the beautiful, strong, intelligent, passionate children I made. And they love me.

Looking at you sitting at that same table, cradled in someone's arms, I know that you'll sit up here one day too. You'll join an argument or throw cheese at someone. You'll tell Uncle David that he's being reactionary, or laugh when someone does a Monty Python impression. You'll have a (small, watered) glass of wine with us, and marvel at the culinary expertise of Fabulous Aunt Jann. My feelings about how soon this day is coming are mixed. I love the fact that you're growing up, that when I come in to see you in the morning there's no telling which direction you'll be facing in, that you stand up in my arms and laugh at me when I make silly voices.

This, however, will pass. I'm not looking forward, punkin, to the lengthy period of time in which you decide I'm an idiot, but that's at least 15 years away, so I'll have time to prepare.

So, for me and for my dad and my stepdad and my grandad and my father in law and all the dads in the world, I tell you this, kid.

We love you.

2 comments:

rowdygrammy said...

Good Morning Abraham William,

Now your Dad appreciates how precious the two tattered angels made out of toilet paper rolls are. And he can get to tell you one day when you ask (and you will) "How come there is Mother's Day & Father's Day and there isn't any Kids Day"? "Becuase every day is Kid's Day".

What a treat to see you with your father and grandfather and uncles.

And while I'm sure that when Grandad Ian gazes into the middle distance he is thinking 'What lovely intelligent, good looking children I have', maybe he's thinking 'That's really great wine, and it wasn't all that expensive, I wonder if Albert has another case' OR 'My wife is not only beautiful but such a good cook' OR 'Spring is coming, I can smell it, and I think I will plant some basil in a bathtub and then the dog won't eat it'

But most probably what he's thinking is that you are the most beautiful, intelligent, strong and well mannered grand son a person could ever want for.

I have spoken before Brambill about how much I enjoy watching your Dad and Mum become parents. They have a lot in front of them, but they will do whatever they think is the right thing at the time, and give you all the love they can. And one day you will get to hear your Dad say 'I don't want anything Bram, just a card', and you will know that is true. All he will want from you is that you tell him that you love him, and give him a big grin as you charge out the door daying 'See ya'.

Love to you my beautiful boy, and your Mum & Dad, and Aunt Jann & Grandad Ian, and Grannie Annie & Grandad John, and your Uncles.
And especially to the great, Great Grandfathers Grandad David and Uncle Jack.

kisses and hugs
Rowdy

Paul said...

I'm not big on families, Mr Bram Penford Dennis. I have a strange, and slightly fractured relationship with mine. I'm deeply aware of the flaws and cracks that form between people. I'm deeply aware that sometimes two different people just don't get along, no matter how much either of them might want it, and no matter how much either of them might try.

It's one of the reasons I don't really think that having kids will figure too much in my future. I'm too scared of making a mess of it. Not that my own family made a mess of it, but the potential, the scary possibility, is always there, to completely screw it up, and leave a human being(tm) paralysed, damaged, and unable to function.

But at the same time, I'm obsessed with it, endlessly curious about why people do get together, why they form families, why they choose to live their lives, and why they choose to bring another life into the world.

If you ever manage to read anything I've written, it all pretty much explores those themes. Even my rejected Doctor Who story - hidden beneath the science fiction, and the aliens, and the time travel, and the destruction of entire planets, there's a single man, fighting to save his wife, his daughter, and the life he created for them.

So...point...

I'm continually amazed, and incredibly happy, that people I know, and respect, and care for are doing such a wonderful job with their kid.

And by their kid, I mean you!

Good work, Mr Bram Penford Dennis, you made a good choice. I know they'll do you proud.