Too Late to be a Father

I havent talked too much about my fantastic trip to Oklahoma, probably because to me it was so personal, but I wanted to tell you about something that happened today. My fiance Angela has two children. One J is a nine year old rebellious boy, who is funny, energetic and hard to handle if you have a headache. The other J is 5, she is sweet, adorable and wonderfully manipulative.

They are two typical adorable smart kids. I was truly worried about them before I left for the US. Angela, I had spoken to for hours on end about everything and anything, laughing the nights away, but her children were another matter. I knew that the success of our relationship would depend on how I managed with her two precocious kids.

When I arrived and met my Angel in the airport, we were as we always knew we would be, in love. The next few hours however, whilst we chatted in a restaurant, were nervy. How would they take me, would they take one look and decide I would never be included into their family, or would they think of me instantly as a climbing frame, how would a guy with no children of his own deal with two kids for the first time.

The fact that they were at their grandma’s, another daunting prospect, made the experience all the more terrifying. As i tentatively walked through the swing door, having never seen an american front room and unsure wheher to expect a gun rack and a moose head staring at me from the far wall, a tiny high pitched voice screamed “PETER!” and a scamp no taller than a push bike had leapt on me and in a frenzy of blonde locks i was forced backwards. Naturally i could do nothing except grab the hairy rogue pixie by the legs and dangle her upside down. This caused instant giggles and the other one clearly decided it was safe and I was entitled to a hug. A rare treat as it turned out.

I have never felt so elated or bowled over before by such undeserved emotion. Something I intend to justify in the coming years.

The reason I mention them today is because whilst on the phone earlier to my beloved as she collected the kids from daycare, i overheard the school teacher inform her that her son, the tear-away, the vagabond, the waife, the street-urchin, the funniest 9 year old i have ever met, had won Student of the Year. I filled with Joy and Pride for him, laughing and smiling like a cheshire cat as I danced around the kitchen.

It reminded me of scoring the winning goal in the playground football match, or getting the deciding question in the pub quiz. I wanted to pick him up and spin him round in the air. To watch him look down on my excited face in laughing wonderment. And it didnt matter that he was not my blood. It didnt matter that he would never think of me as father. Just like my father looked after my half brother as a son, I was happy to do the same to him. To love him and care for him and protect him and guide him as best as I could. To nurture his imagination and fill him with ideas that had given me so many tremendous dreams.

You know, i’m getting on a bit now. My crows feet are growing and revealing my secrets to the world. And It may be all too late now for me to be a father. I’m sure I had my opportunities, but I always thought there would be more time. I may have missed my chance to see the birth of my blood, of my creation, of my child. I may never experience what its like to see that beautiful crimson squished up face regard you with such sincerity and need, or that tiny hand with nails like flakes of cheese, and chunky palms like tiny sandbags reach up and grab my nose. I may never know what it is to be helplessly stunned by such a helpless baby. It may be too late for me to be a father, but maybe , just maybe it’s not too late for me to be a dad.

~ by eggplantinspace on May 12, 2009.

One Response to “Too Late to be a Father”

  1. i’m glad you are having that beautiful opportunity. dads are more important than fathers anyway. 🙂

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