I love you.
I really do.
You have turned my life right around and made me a different man, a better man.
I wish I could be the kind of dad you deserve; a hero, a Superdad or a giant. I wish I could be there to pick you up from school, and go straight to the park for a game of football before dishing out some good quality, life improving advice about how to cope with growing up. I wish I could be there every night when you have your tea. I used to be home in time to do your bath and read you a story most nights, now I am not, believe me when I say I miss that. Even when I am at home to pick you up from school, I’m still working so we have to rush straight back to the house, and you get dumped in front of the TV while I go back to work. I know that you quite like the TV, but would be happy playing too – so would I.
Being a dad is much harder than I thought it would be. I thought I just had to do all the things that my dad did that I liked, not do the things that I didn’t like, and add in some things that I wanted him to do. Somewhere along the way that has got confused, it’s not always so straight forward.
Sometimes I’ve dug my heels in and got cross about things that I cannot even start to understand the reasons for now. It’s taken years to learn how to ignore the trivial fights and stick with just the important ones. I’ve made many mistakes on that front and probably still will for quite some time. Sorry, I’m not very good at that.
Daniel, you are incredible. You have such a thirst for knowledge that simply amazes me, you are going to go far mate, but I wish I could give you the 100% attention that you so desperately crave. I know how hard it was for you to accept a younger brother, and how much you have to put up with now, being followed about and adored by this boy. He ruins your games, breaks your toys and then runs off crying when you get cross with him, and this gets you in trouble again. How can someone you clearly love so much, cause you so much pain? It’s not just you mate, this has been happening for hundreds of years, ask your Uncle how it feels, I am his younger brother.
I’m sorry I couldn’t help you more when you were being bullied at school. I would have gone there for you if I could. I truly believe there are some things you have to sort out for your self though, and boy you really did. I told you to laugh it off and ignore them. I said they could only upset you if you let them, so show them that you weren’t bothered and they would move on. When your mum wasn’t listening I also mentioned that I didn’t expect you NOT to protect yourself if needed, I hope this didn’t confuse you. Since then you have done so much, and I know you are happier, you have done that yourself, and I am so proud. You have so many years left at school and there will always be problems like these, I really hope I’ve given you what you need to cope.
Jamie, you put up with so much, so patiently. Your lovely temperament and desire to play are rewarded, all too often, by being ignored while we deal with your big brother’s latest tantrum. You shrug your shoulders and play on your own, as your parents try and work out what to do with him, instead of doing something with you. Sorry son. I want you to know that we have spotted this happening, and are trying really hard to correct it. I will try my best to reward your behaviour with my time, which is all you really want, rather than giving that time to reward a different type of behaviour. This is surprisingly difficult to do, the theory makes sense but it is not easy, I will try harder mate. I’m so proud of how well you have coped with your first year at school. We were so worried about you because you were always so nervous and shy, but my goodness how you have grown this last year. Your confidence is amazing, you are amazing!
Boys, I know I don’t always get things right for you, and I hate that, but I am learning all the time, so hang in there. If I could protect you from every single piece of sadness and evil that this world will throw at you for ever, I would, but I know that I can’t. All I can do is teach, and encourage you to have the confidence and ability to face them alone. Remember when you do, I’m here.
I really don’t care what you want to be when you grow up and nor am I in a rush to find out, but I will fight hard for your right to have an opportunity to choose. I will try to help you develop into being whatever it is that you want to be. You both are blessed with good health and good brains; I hope you understand how lucky that makes you. You really can be anything!
Be nice to your parents.
Do the best that you can at whatever you do, without comparing yourselves to other people. As long as you are trying your best, you will always be doing well.
Look out for each other.
Don’t do drugs.
As long as I’m alive, I will always be here for you; I’ll always be your dad. Come and tell me anything, whatever the problem is I will help. Oh I might be cross, I might be upset, I might even be gutted – but I will never turn my back on you when you need me, ever!
You are who you are, and I love you.
Also posted at Glen' s Life