Father’s Day…time to honour my husband, the father of our two beautiful girls. Dudie, this one is for you. It’s a pity you don’t read this blog… I could say ANYTHING and get away with it…B.U.T…it’s not very me to be deviant, so I will just tell the plain ol’ truth. And maybe I will make you read just this one!
Dudie, Dudie Dudie…the guy with the funny nick name. You are a legend. Seriously. I don’t tell you enough…(or at all). Thank you for being the amazingly good Dad you are to the girls. They are a credit to the best bits of both our personalities. Opposites attract for a reason – to give a good balance to the personality genetics of offspring. It seems to be working.
How have you achieved this? Lets take a look:
– By teaching our girl’s that at every opportunity go adventuring – by pram, foot, scooter, train, car or boat. If there is a long way round to any destination – Dudie will take it…apparently, it will always be a more interesting journey this way.
– By teaching our girl’s to drive a car, just like a kid brought up on a farm or station would be taught at a young age (not on public roads – we are not that crazy!! Dirt tracks and private farms only.) Dudie, you started when they are young. Really young…They have gone from sitting on daddy’s lap to doing it all by themselves…yes, with bunny hops and at only max 30 kph but they love it! It’s given them knowledge at a young age about car safety and concentration; about loving the country and the freedom that comes with the bush life and about having fun carefully.
– By teaching our girl’s to skipper a boat. Starting them before even Mum knows how…Bel, age 15 is ready to sit her Skippers Ticket as soon as she turns 16. Dudie, you have taught them about the sea; about safety and wind and swell and tides and currents and about B.O.M. (Bureau of Meteorology) You drum safety into them and give them tests they have to pass before learning a new skill on the boat. You have taught them that this knowledge could save a life one day…and that knots are a sailors best friend… Bon, age 9, was the only kid in a class of 32 boys and girls that could tie the teacher a complicated knot when he needed one.
– By telling tall tales and silly stories at bedtime…at least once a week for 12 years. It doesnt matter if you tell the same story 50, 000 different ways and twice in one night…you just tell it. Stories about when you were a naughty little boy are the best.
– By teaching our girls to laugh at themselves. To not be too serious (like their mother…ahem!) all the time. Dudie, you have won the office tally for ‘Best Dad Joke’ on several ocassions…This is quite an achievement among the dad’s you hang out with. “How do you get a tissue to dance? – Put a little Boogie in it.” Yep… that’s a Dad joke. Dudie, be proud, very proud of the thousands of Dad jokes in your repertoire.
– By teaching our girls that even though you can have fun adventuring and being silly …that you must work hard. Really hard. Life will not be handed to you on a silver tray by your doting parents, teachers or peers. School is important; grades need to be kept high. Dudie, even after a 12 hour work day, somehow you still manage to help with maths homework. English?…”Go ask your Mother”.
– By teaching our girls that a work / life balance is important…Dudie, no matter how often the balance falls out of kilter (and it has happened quite a bit over the last 6 months of setting up your new business! In fact, it’s been a frantically busy year!) you keep on pushing to get the balance right.
– By teaching the girls how to fix things. Dudie, you may be renowned for your “Rough as guts gardening skills” but at least you can assemble Ikea furniture with your eyes closed…and have imparted this incredible life skill on to your daughters, among other things.
Moving right along to a couple of other Papa Bears that deserve a pat on the back…
Firstly and number one, My Dad – Captain Pops. Dad, a divorce is always tough on any family, but I think the work that you and Mum put into holding the family together, regardless of the divorce, was amazing. I thank you for your incredible Peter Pan spirit…will you EVER GROW UP??!! You play hard at life and age is no excuse to getting the most out of every day. Tennis is a way of life…a day with out tennis is a day not lived. Last year you spent 6 months travelling around the U.S in a caravan. This year? Hey…why not make that caravan bigger and see the other half of the U.S!! Have fun on your travels when you head off again in December. You (and Jan) are amazing!! Oh! And you can cook…bonus! You have taught me to tackle life as an adventure.
Uncle Ant…my big brother. Two beautiful girls to match our two beautiful girls. I thank you for that perfectionism. It makes for easy hand-me-downs. You have taught your girls an amazing ear for music, rhythm and…sound effects! You have taught your girls to adore nature and pets. Though your job has stolen you from us, it has given your girls a whole world view. With living in Mauritius and now Dubai, they know other cultures and the appreciation for this big wide world you are showing them how to live beautifully in.
Granda, Dudie’s papa bear. Granda, your mind is incredible. I have never met anyone who has the ability to recall the smallest details, dates and times in the past as you have. Seriously, it blows me away to hear you tell the girls what you did on the 10th July, at 11.45 am in 1965. No kidding. Granda, you have the most wonderful memory. I can only wish to be like this in my 80’s.
Lastly, but by no means least – Alley Cat…though you may be a little beaten up on the outside such as your nick name explains… your heart is made of gold. You have taught me that its important to giggle and giggle a lot! It’s contagious to everyone around you. You and Bubbles have been a constant in my life and I am truely grateful for it.
So there you have it…
My ode to fatherhood.
Happy Father’s Day to the Papa Bear’s (and Alley cats) that have been so important in our lives.
If you are a Papa Bear? – sending wishes your way.