Saturday, June 15, 2013

Happy Father's Day, Gary!

This post is for Gary. I've been ill this last week, and so am totally unprepared for Father's Day. This is my small way to express how much I respect, love and am grateful to Gary for the Father he chooses to be.

Gary, literally chose to be a father; he didn't become one due to an accident of biology, he made a conscious decision. A decision informed by what he believes it means to be a father. You see, he used to say he was too selfish to be a parent, but that view in itself showed what a good parent he would be. He sees being a parent as a full-time job. It's not something you can be half-assed about. It requires sacrifices, compromises and commitment. When Gary made the choice to be a father, he literally and consciously decided to change his life to fit my child.

Gary is without a doubt the best father I could ask for for my son. He has been there through the night-terrors and nightmares. Through the sleep-walking and tantrums and trauma. He has held his son in the wee small hours and whispered words of love and comfort. He has stroked his son's hair, wiped his tears, fought away the monsters under the bed. He has made our son feel safe.

Gary has always been there, with a hug, and a smile or a stern word and discipline, when either were needed. He's been there to pick our son up when he fell down. He was there at the hospital when our son had surgery, he was there by his bedside when he was sick.

Gary is there to play peacemaker when our son and I are butting heads. He reasons with us both, calms the situation and brings back the harmony. He tells me when I go too far, because I loose my head in frustration. He's there to warn our son when he's pushing the boundary just that little too far. He understands us both, knows what we need and when. He sees the similarities between us, and how this makes us clash sometimes, and he deals with it. He NEVER walks away.

Gary is there to have fun with our son. Oh, the fun those two have! The shared jokes that no-one (not even me) understands. The silly stories, the laughter, the silly made up games, the shared passions, the shared interests. The relationship they have, it's like something out of a movie. It's that perfect, that right. Old friends and new ones comment on how alike these two are. "Your son is so like Gary". He is, I know why. Because Gary has been the best role-model my son could ever want. He shows our son how to be a man, what that means, all the responsibility, all the work and all the fun. And he shows our son that this can be done, whilst also being true to yourself.

Gary LOVES in capital letters. He doesn't do half-measures. I don't think he knows how to do anything else.  He loves our son, in a way that is PERFECT. In a way that accepts our son for who is, that is proud of him for being different, that shows him who he is is amazing.

But, being a good father isn't just about loving your child. You see, part of being a good parent, is showing your child how to be a good partner. Our son knows how much Gary loves me. He sees him treat me with love, compassion, and kindness. He sees Gary treating me with respect, being proud of my achievements, being proud to have a strong-willed and independent wife. Our son sees the care that Gary gives when I'm sick, or hurt. He sees the way Gary talks me down when I'm climbing the walls. He sees Gary react calmly, when I lash out verbally because I'm stressed. He sees the little looks, the small gestures of affection. Gary doesn't only show our son how to be a man, and a father, he shows him how to be a husband.

I could ask no more of this man for my son. So I say to you, stuff biology! THIS is what makes you a father. If you do these things, then I wish you a happy Father's day.

Gary, thank-you! You are without a doubt the best Father anyone could want for their child. Thank-you for choosing mine. We LOVE you right back, in capitals. :)

C & C

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