On 08/09/2005 @ 02:32am Rocco Samuel Montgomery came into the world and my life changed forever. I became a father. More importantly in the 12 years since I became a Dad to Rocco and Kai, and also a Step-Dad to Kieran and Stephen too.
You might think that being a Father and being a Dad are the same thing, but to be honest there is a big difference. That difference is commitment. There is a saying that 'Anyone can be a Father, but it takes a real man to be a Dad'. This is so very true. It takes courage to be a proper Dad/Step-Dad. To be the man you want your kids to look up to. To stand by your convictions and know that for the rest of your life you have a responsibility that can never be taken lightly - nor should it. If you are not with your kids full time, then you shouldn't think you have any less responsibility for ensuring your kids are parented. Encouraged. Disciplined. Loved.
So what makes me want to be a 'Dad'? It ain't easy, it's one of the hardest jobs in the world. I've experienced real highs, and sadly the devastating lows. But I am going to let you into a little secret; I do it for reward. That reward is being able to see the boys growing into decent young men, with amazing personalities and guiding them the best I can. I love the fact that they have a sense of humour that is so sharp you could cut yourself. I love how inquisitive their minds can be - even if I tease them with slightly 'embellished' answers from time to time. A personal favourite, and one I've never disclosed the truth to is 'Those fields of yellow flowers (rapeseed) are actually custard plants'.
I know it sounds like some sort of cheesy cliché, but I count the boys as friends as well as my kids. The small humans, well the getting bigger every bloody day humans. I look forward to being able to go to dinner with them. Or grab a beer or a coffee and enjoy the craic of just chatting, laughing and putting the world to rights.
It makes me think of the stuff you sacrifice, and it should be willingly. Kids come first, that is the way it needs to be. Remember the very beginning when sleep is a long forgotten ally, the nappies that could be considered 'Weapons Grade'. But it is a steep learning curve that brings awesome memories to be recounted and retold in years to come when the subject may be a little embarrassed to hear what is about to be told.
I'm not a perfect Dad, definitely not. To be honest I don't think anyone is. But I am honoured to be the Dad and Step-Dad I am. I try my best all the time and I look out for the best interests of the boys always. Don't get me wrong, there are times when you feel like you are banging your head against a brick wall, but then something clicks - the bond is made and it is there forever.
Believe me when I say nothing will ever beat hearing the happy laughter of a child. Regardless if they are 12 months, 12 years or older. It is the best tonic in the world, doesn't matter what sort of day you've had, you come home to a smile and it makes everything better.
Tell your kids you love them. Show them you love them. Never underestimate the power of a hug - regardless of how old they are or how uncool they think it is.
Be the difference between being a Father and being a Dad. You will be forever rewarded through the love of your kids.
Today is my 12th Dadiversary, and I look forward to many more.
Happy Damn Friday Peeps! x
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