Saturday, 14 June 2014

What he does...


It's all in the detail, what he does. I don't think I could ever be as fun or as devil-may-care. Spontaneity is what he has, and long arms that take her down to the waters edge or push her up a tree. And something else that I fail to possess, in spades. Adventure. Up his sleeve, spilling out from his pockets. I'm about the internal. He's all about the external. I read her books and role play with her dolls. I explain new words and encourage her to sail those uncharted terrains of her mind. Who is she today? What spell is she going to perform? Why exactly are all those teddies piled under the duvet like that? He pretends to be a robot. He chases her about the garden. He flaps his heavy arms, a man fairy in a crew-neck sweater; bless him, he can't fly. 'I'm coming to get you.' 'I'm coming to get you,' he says chasing after her. She doubles over giggling, he's the funniest Daddy ever. He counts. She hides. He helps her onto the highest rungs of the climbing frame. 'Don't worry, I've got my eye on her; and anyway, if she falls - but she won't, I promise you - that's how she'll learn.' He shows her the limits and gently extends them a little bit further.

He tells her how beautiful she is, how much he loves her. Daddy cuddles are the best ever. He's glad he had a girl, not one for kicking a ball about, not one for cops and robbers and shoot-em up games. Together they build lego, work out jigsaw puzzles, play dominoes. Together they tease out the plastic pieces from the patient, touching the sides on purpose, laughing at the shock of the buzz and the flashing nose. Once they made a fairy house from cereal boxes with a door and a chimney. She painted it pink and red and yellow and green. They bake rice crispie cakes and chocolate buns, and huggle together on the sofa with a biscuit, watch Frozen or Tinkerbell again and again.

He is her bestest, most favourite Daddy ever. (I keep reminding her she only has the one). But for the past twelve months he was away on assignment from Monday till Friday, and she missed him terribly. In his absence they spoke on the phone, or chatted in person over Skype. And through the laptop she watched her Daddy draw silly faces on his whiteboard, or at her request, draw abstract renditions of a nose or an eye, describing how each one worked with deft arrows and manic squiggles. Every evening she had another query for him. And every evening like a seasoned open-university pro, he had his marker pen at the ready. How he relishes the role of teacher and mentor. On our way to Wales, he explained the mechanics of the Seven Bridge. How far it stretched. How tall it was. What kept it from collapsing. 'We're going up! We're on the bridge Daddy! I love the holder-uppers!'

They have their rituals, their things. On Saturday morning it's scrambled eggs on toast. On Sunday they watch the racing cars together. When he mows the lawn, she follows from behind holding the lead, preventing it from becoming tangled. He tells her his own special stories as he tucks her up in bed. She accompanies him when he has a haircut, to the dump, to the car wash, when he needs a new pair of glasses. The daddy stuff.

Together they are the right fit, a beautiful father-daughter combination. Younger Dad is a wonderful mix of warmth and sensitivity, confidence and bright thought. This weekend we are celebrating him. I couldn't have asked for a better father for our child.

Happy fathers day Younger Dad.

(this post was inspired by Dorky Mum's Boy Love).


60 comments:

  1. Such a sweet post.
    It is so nice to watch the father-child relationship evolve and blossom, dads can be so many things mums aren't. Beautiful writing.

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    1. Thank you very much! And Dad's really have a very different relationship with their children. A lot more adventurous and out there which is a good thing. And if they do it right, they can instill their daughters with so much confidence.

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  2. Oh this is a gorgeous post. He sounds like her bestest Daddy ever! x

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    1. Thank you very much. He really is the best Daddy! X

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  3. Oh that made me cry, and all the more for having met the lovely Younger Dad. I can picture everything. You made a good choice and I am so pleased for you all XXX

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    1. Don't cry lovely :o) ! He is a great Daddy to Little A, and she totally adores and loves him. Thank you. X

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  4. This is such a beautiful post! Totally agree with the comment above xx

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    1. Thank you very much. He's a great Dad. X

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  5. Aww - what a wonderful Daddy :)

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  6. This has made me well up.I love how you've weighed up the ying-yang of parenthood.

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    1. Thank you very much. There is definitely a difference between what Mums and Dads do.

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  7. This is lovely and brings back memories of the kind of things my daughter did with her dad at this age. It's good to remember this because these days they often clash. She wanted to call him Grumpy on his Father's Day card.

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    1. Thank you. It is lovely what Dad's and their little girls do at this age, and yes, to be savoured, as one day the inevitable will happen, and they may clash. Grumpy *LOL*.

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  8. That is so lovely. Better than any Father's Day present and card. And it sounds like Little A has a fabulous Daddy. And Mummy ;-) xx

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    1. Thank you very much! She has a wonderful Daddy, and they adore each other :o). X

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  9. Gorgeous. It's all in the details and the celebration of the everyday. So important. xxxx

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    1. Thank you very much, and I couldn't agree more - it's all in the details. X

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  10. Such a very lovely post and a very lovely committed Dad. I love how you sit and observe just taking it all in.

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    1. Thank you. He is a wonderful Dad and really makes the time to play with her and give her all his undivided attention.

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  11. So lovely! Sounds like such a strong, fun relationship. Know how hard it is when you've only got the weekends, but think it makes that time very special - I'm always more aware of trying to make it count. Only thing now is the boys have such a lot on at the weekends, so they seem to have less and less time with their Dad x

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    1. Thank you! They have a really great relationship. Younger Dad tries to pack in as much as he can into the weekends... we have him back at home now until the next contract starts. Of course, when they get older they start going to all those weekend clubs! X

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  12. Lovely, lovely post about a clearly lovely, lovely man. xx

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    1. Thank you very much lovely. He is a top Dad. X

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  13. What a lovely post :) A definite hero dad :) x

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    1. Thank you very much. He's defo a hero :o). X

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  14. He sounds like one hell of a dad!

    You're both very lucky to have him. Gorgeous post. x

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    1. He's a great Dad and we are both very lucky to have him in our lives. Thank you. X

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  15. Oh that is my husband too you are describing there. So beautifully written and exactly that. We all have our roles, the things we are good at and daddy is the fun and exciting one here but I can live with being the Mir sensible one as I love the way he is with the children.

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    1. I couldn't agree more with you - I am perfectly happy to hang back and let him be the super charged fun one as he does it so well. Dads really have a very particular role. Thank you.

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  16. gorgeous post, I feel all happy reading it x

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    1. Thank you very much. Glad you're feeling all fuzzy inside. X

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  17. This is the most beautiful post, I hope he's read it and realises how good he is.
    We are the same, Dad is brilliant and Mum is, well, just Mum. I'm always in awe of my husband and how naturally it all comes to him, especially as he had no Dad himself to learn from.

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    1. Thank you very much. That's very kind of you. And yes, he's read it and knows how fab he is. Dads have a very special role I think and they intuitively know what to do.... your husband sounds wonderful.

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  18. Such a beautiful post - very moving and your love shines through x

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  19. Oh such a nice sensible post! My eldest has a very strong and wonderful connection with her daddy too!

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    1. Thank you very much. The daddy daughter bond is very special; great that your eldest has such a good connection to her Dad too!

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  20. What a beautiful post, Sarah, and what a wonderful bond they have. xx

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    1. Thank you you very much. They do have a special chemistry! X

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  21. What a wonderful post, beautifully written as always. I just love this relationship Daddy had with Alice, reminds me of the one Poppy has with her Daddy. Great photo too. Look forward to catching up at BritMums x

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    1. Thank you very much... they really do have a lovely relationship. And I can so tell Poppy has a wonderful relationship with her Daddy just by all the photos you have taken of them together. Looking forward to seeing you at BML! X

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  22. Such a gorgeous post. He sounds like a wonderful father too! I get to see my Dad tomorrow, and I can't wait! :D xx

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    1. Thank you so much! He's a great Dad. Having a lovely time with your Dad :o).

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  23. What a wonderful tribute to a clearly wonderful father. Lucky you, and lucky Little A. xxx

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    1. Thank you my dear :o). We are both very lucky! X

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  24. Stunning as ever. It sounds to be as though you two are the perfect match - him 'the external' and you 'the internal'. What a lucky girl Little A is to have you both. x

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    1. Thank you lovely! We are a good match when we aren't bickering over the toilet seat - ha ha ha. And we are so lucky to have Little A. X

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  25. Beautiful words. It sounds as though you have a fantastic rapport within the family, the three of you. He's a lucky man to have someone like you to write such delightful stuff, and bring him into it too.

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    1. Thank you so much. I think our rapport is pretty good, and Little A and Younger Dad have so much fun together. I think he appreciates me writing about our lives too!

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  26. Such a beautiful post, poetic words about a much loved man x

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  27. I'm probably late in reading this post- but I'm glad I did! It's so beautiful and so celebratory of what 'daddy' brings to the table! My husband too has his rituals with the children, and quite often I find myself watching from afar (often feeling like the grubby ol' troll who lived under the bridge, too!) and seeing the way they connect, they wrestle, they chase. So different from the way they are with me...I bring the order, the watchfulness, the clucking about when they're poorly, and yet he is their strength, their protector! He has a different tale to tell from where he stands, though...and so we continue to layer our lives, palimpsest on palimpsest :) This is such a beautiful snapshot of your family life, Sarah! x

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    1. No not at all :o) And thank you very much.... I've been meaning to write a post like this for a while now. I like to watch Younger Dad playing with Little A too.... he has a completely different way with her, and it's usually a lot more fun :o). And like you, I am the more ordered and 'sedate' one with always an eye out for danger. Thank you. X

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