Sunday, 19 May 2013


The Sun is on anabolics burning Pea Soup
When I began this it was intended to be an aid to recovery from my personal “slough of despond”. It quickly turned into an on line boast about my beautiful boys.It was never supposed to be this but bizarrely has had and is having the effect of lifting me from my mire in any case. Strange how these things come about.I have tried all kinds of treatments most with little success.This feels (so far) different.

Occasionally the fog falls  but I find it hard to write about this. Something that being 'anonymous' was supposed to enable. Strangely deep within I think I must still feel some sense of shame or similar as I still avoid it. I don’t really want to feel that,particularly as it's contrary to what I teach my lads and counter to all the advocacy I do for others. Writing about the boys lifts me out of the miasma quickly,however it also brings the realisation that this condition prevents much that I need.

A few nights ago I wrote a short blog during an onset slump. I actually posted it for 30 minutes but decided to delete it. I have been trying to understand why ever since. No one that reads this blog knows me personally with a single exception (and they know a great deal about how this came about and are of the most generous of human spirits) so why the reticence?

The truth is – I don't know. Simple as that. Maybe there is no answer maybe brighter minds than mine have an understanding. I still don't know. I hear the obvious platitudes and am guilty of occasionally using them myself. I know it's none of them. The piece I wrote was to see if act of it would prevent the onset of the melancholy; it didn't. What it did do was swallow me into the grey  more hurriedly. At some point I will probably post a self indulgent piece along the'woe is me'line so I apologise now just in case.

It was written in a stream of consciousness way and wasn't mentally edited like my writing is usually. But reading it back I noticed the preoccupation I seem to have with being a failed father. And there is the nub of it.This condition means I am not able always to have the boys. The not being able to have the boys exacerbates the condition. There is a repetitive realisation that I cannot be the Dad I so want to be.

The cure? Well the fog fell Monday night and was lifted instantly the next morning by the phone call I blogged of on Tuesday. My eldest phoned me and asked me to be his Dad for a few minutes. In its own way it is pure magic one telephone call burned away the fog like the Sun on anabolics.

I wrote before of how I encourage the boys to see teachers in all people of all ages. To accept that each new friendship will bring opportunity to understand and learn. So in order to practise what I preach I decided I should point out what I have learnt from my children.

I have learnt that my children own the world. They glory in it and are mesmerised by it in ways I seem to have forgotten. They have an extraordinary capacity for acceptance. As no one has told them something is not “normal” then they embrace it. Including and especially of and in other people. My boys cope with change more readily as a consequence of this ability to accept. It is absolutely the case that the boys were quicker at coming to terms with the change to their lives when their parents separated, than either parent did! My boys trust not the naive trust one associates with foolishness but real trust. The kind that is supported by the Corinthian plinths of forgiveness. They hold no grudge they simply move on. They LOVE; they love me, the day, their mum, the neighbour’s dog, the walk to the shop, the trip in the car, the bike ride, the swimming, the telly, the football, the cooking, the playing, the cuddles, the bedtime, the stories and everything in between. I have learnt of dinosaurs with wings that lived on the ground. Of wasps that reproduce by laying eggs in caterpillars. I've learnt what type of bike is cool. That WOW isn't for being surprised but for talking about a video game. I have learnt that the best burgers are not the ones with a free toy, but the ones you make with each other. Where you squish and squelch the meat between your fingers and roll into giant balls before slapping them flat with your hand(so much fun!). Add your own ingredients like herbs or chilli flakes (put extra in that one Dad and we'll give it to L... he he he...) or cherries? Yup! chopped up cherries why not? I have learnt to say "why not" more often. That the funniest thing for a child to see is an adult behaving silly. (Mr Bean would be king if my boys were in charge!).

I worry that sometimes my blog makes the boys sound perfect. They are not of course but they do enthral me and that, I am afraid, I simply can't hide. As you will have certainly already noticed. All this and more I have learnt yet the one thing I have to remember is that I CAN get better and they deserve for me to do so. Because they never once have shown anything but love and understanding when it has meant they could not be with me as planned. Never demanded pleaded or sulked. They have always just said,” Sorry you’re poorly Daddy, get some rest and get better and we will see you next time. Love you Daddy, mwah!”

I learn something new every time we speak!

Oh beautiful boys don’t be in a hurry to grow up. It’s seriously over rated!



  1. Your kids are great in large part because you are. Your self awareness is helping you but look what you are tracing them too. Keep the faith. You're a great Dad.

  2. nothing wrong with showing pride in your kids, remember they are a reflection of their parents.

  3. What a great post. From a Dad with two small boys I struggle sometimes thinking I am letting them down because of how my mood at times can change their day. The reality is they don't need an awful lot to make them happy and time is the one thing I can and should always give them, they are always happy with that.

  4. Brilliant post,
    I agree with many of your sentiments but I particularly wanted to comment on what Ben Radley said, how 'my mood can change their day' - isn't that the truth! I shouted at my daughter today, and it damn near broke my heart to see the look on her face. The worst thing was she didn't deserve it, I'm just tired.
    It's hard not to berate ourselves but the fact we can be self-critical is surely a positive right?

    Mate, never stop bragging about your kids, they deserve and so do you.


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