Quotation: The Man in the Iron Mask

January 12th, 2012

All my life, all I ever wanted to be was … him.

- Lt. Andre in The Man in the Iron Mask

Parents Always See Their Children As … Children

January 10th, 2012

You will always be my “little” boy.  Even when you are 40.

Your Mummy has a tripple photo frame by her bed with a picture of each of you (you all have your snugglies with you – although I think Noodle has an ordinary ning-ning because it was before he got attached to Otto).  In our minds, that is how you are.

Bug with Sooggy Blanket

Bean With Ning-Ning

Noodle with Ning-Ning

For myself, my definitive image of Beanie is that picture that’s on the wall in the utility room:

Beanie

One of my biggest regrets in life (I don’t have many, praise God) is that I had not discovered either raw image capture or spot metering when I took that photo, because Bean’s face is much too dark.

For Bug, it’s the picture I took on my birthday when Mummy gave me my first DSLR (my 350D).

It was taken on one of the automatic modes, and it captures Bug with his underpants on his head.  Adorable!

If I have an equivalent for Noodle (not sure yet – give me time!) then it’s this one, taken on one of the snowy days when I  couldn’t get to work (hooray!) because the trains were all frozen.

You get the idea.  For all our lives – in our heart of hearts – that is how we will think of you.

I hope you will accept that this is not a bad thing.  There is someone (2 of us, in fact – maybe more: I can’t speak for grandparents) who will always see you as:

  • irresistably lovable
  • vulnerable / in need of protection
  • innocent
  • adorable
  • beautiful
  • precious

Perhaps I’ll unpack a few of those in another post.

Of course, I don’t fancy selling “in need of protection” to even the best-adjusted teenager!  I understand that you will not always want to be seen like this.  It’s just one of those things, and it may help you to understand our attitudes to you.  If we seem over-protective (and, I can assure you that we go to some lengths to avoid being so) it probably has its roots in this view of you as … our children.

P.S. Here’s a thought: How do you think I feel about the fact that Grandma and Grandpa see me as their little boy?!   ;-)

Quotations: Cool Runnings

October 21st, 2011

Derice, a gold medal is a wonderful thing.  But if you’re not enough without one, you’ll never be enough with one.

- Irv in Cool Runnings

I am Proud of You

October 12th, 2011

The title Says it all.
If I could only tell you one thing, this is it: I am Proud of You.

I worry that I deny this and tell you that I’m not proud of you every time I’m cross with you (especially when I shouldn’t be), every time I snap at you or shout at you (even though there are times when you need to be shouted at ;), every time I’m not there when you go to bed, or when I rush out the house with barely a “hello, goodbye” (which is every weekday).

When I fail to notice something that you are trying to say to me
When I don’t praise you for something you tried really hard at
When I pooh-pooh something that is important to you

I am so sorry for all of these things. Many of them are my fault.
Many are just… the way it is.
But for all of them, my heart tears when I think about them and about how they make you feel, and if I could I would pay any price to go back and erase each of these occasions. Because there is nothing worse for me (for any father) than knowing that I have hurt one of my children – by omission or comission.

But this is not about my sorrow – that’s my problem.
It’s not even about your pain.
It’s about my pride in how fantastic you are.

Each tiny victory in your life is special and is worth celebrating.
You have no idea how my heart swells and my very being feels lighter when I see you grow by a tiny amount or accomplish a small thing which you have not done before or when I just reflect on your character and bask in the warmth of what I see of your inner being.

Inevitable First Post

August 26th, 2011

There are many first posts, and we know when we post them, but few of us know what or when our “Last Post” will be.

So before mine, I want to jot down a few articles, essays, thoughts, and letters addressed to young people whose lives are just beginning.

This blog is for my boys.

It is all the thoughts, advice, feelings and information I really ought to share, but for which I can never find the right moment.

Of course, there never is a right moment for all the important stuff, and we spend too long waiting for or trying to create that moment.  The moment is only ever now.

Writing things down makes them available for all moments; you can read this blog at any time.  You can ignore the parts you think are wrong and the parts you don’t understand, and come back to them another time.  Perhaps those parts will speak to you later.  This is important because I’m pretty sure that many of the things I want to say to you are things that you won’t understand now, or won’t fully appreciate.  That’s just because you don’t yet have the perspective, experience and maturity to understand what I mean when I talk about things like being a father or a husband or an employee or a church member.

I hope that you will grow to have greater wisdom and intelligence than I have, and you will be able to put me right when I write things that are wrong, or where my perspective has skewed my belief or understanding.  I really really look forward to that day – when you out-grow me.  … But that’s a topic for its own post!

For now, just know that this is your Daddy writing things that I want to say to you – both to you now and to the future yous.

Why am I writing this publicly?  Two reasons:  1. In the hope that it will always be available to you. 2. Because there are boys who do not have Daddies, or who do not have Daddies as lovely as yours.  I am not being egotistical or boastful – that’s just the way it is.

So, Benjamin, Matthew and Joseph, this is for me and for you and for anyone else who needs it.