On Father’s Day, it seems only right to talk about the men in my life.
That sounds bad, doesn’t it? Obviously, The Bearded Manc is the only man for me (for better or worse) but he’s not the only man in my life.
When I was growing up I had two very strong Male figures in my life, my Dad and his Father, my Grandad.
My Dad never really treated me like a girl, nor a boy. He treated me like his little mate. He would take me to football matches at White Hart Lane, proud of his little Yiddo or take me on his motorbike, which makes him sound much cooler than he actually is (sorry Dad, but it’s true).
My Dad used to be a builder (he works on the railways now, like The Bearded Manc). I loved nothing more than going to work with him in the summer holidays, seeing the camaraderie of a building site, the blokes all laughing and joking together, all day. I envied them. It seemed like a great world to be in. Male friendships are so uncomplicated, aren’t they?
My Dad had/has some old school views but I never let him get away with that nonsense. Being born in the 50s isn’t a get out clause for ignorance. I challenge him on his outdated views and he winds me up about my ‘hippie outlook’. Kindness to all makes me a hippie. I’m okay with that and I understand that different generations grew up with different teachings and some ideals are ingrained. We both know where we stand and I think that deep down, a part of him likes that I stand up for my views and challenge his.
I’ve never given him any trouble, I left that to my little sister’s. I’m too much of a scaredy-cat for being naughty and they did it better than me. So aside from our differing opinions on a few key topics, we’ve always got on.
He’s very smart, stubborn, bullish and a larger than life presence in my life and always will be.
My Grandad, my Dad’s Dad, was a wonderful man. Like many men of his age, he mellowed a bit when he became a Grandfather. I was the first Grandchild and by default, the favourite. I knew he adored me and the feeling was mutual. He was my mate and his death when I was 17, devastated me. I miss him everyday.
I’m gutted my Grandad never got the chance to meet The Bearded Manc and my children. I know he would’ve adored them in the same way he did me.
I know he would be proud of me and that is the yard stick I use to measure everything I do. Would Grandad be proud? If the answer is yes, then all is good. If I think something would upset him, I won’t do it.
Grandad was funny, a real joker who loved nothing more than winding someone up. I can remember him making fake dog poo and taking it to his friends houses and just leaving it in the middle of the floor, waiting to hear the screams of disgust.
My Dad is the same kind of wind up merchant (although he can’t take it back) and I have to say the apple hasn’t fallen far from the tree with me either. I also share being stubborn with them, but I hope that I’ve picked up some good traits too. My Grandad was big on family values and I hope that I am following his footsteps in the way that he showed me to.
Of course, we can’t talk about Father’s Day without mentioning The Bearded Manc. My other half. I won’t say my better half and I definitely can’t say my worse half because we compliment each other in so many ways. We are equally as evil in terms of our dark sense of humour and both pretty mellow. Too lazy to fight and too sarcastic not to bicker, but we are pretty consistent when it comes to our kids.
He loves our children fiercely, as fiercely as I do and works all the hours he can in order that I can stay at home with the kids and raise them in the way that we feel is right for us.
He is always ready to play no matter how tired he is and our children often use him as a climbing apparatus/trampoline.
Physically and mentally, The Bearded Manc is as solid as a rock and I’m happy that my children can say that about their Dad. They never have to worry about how he feels, because he always shows them and his presence is strong and grounded.
He’s a bit of a Neanderthal but I think my kids need that. It’s a good antidote to my head in the clouds, wimpy-ness. We balance each other out as parent’s (I hope). My kids are too young to tell you otherwise, so you’ll have to take my word for it.
So here’s to the Dad’s, doing the best they can. They get a bad press, but most of them are actually pretty amazing and I count myself lucky to have had these three in my life.