In our haste to leave the UK I forgot to prepare for Fathers day so this blog is a tribute to my Dad, my Da. Pa, Papster, vitus parenti, hearts felt and every other name I’ve called him over the years. Every child needs a father and it matters not an iota whether they are biological fathers, step fathers or even transient fathers. What does matter is what they bring to a child. So Pa these are the things that you bought me and Mom I know you will be saying Oooo Corinne through some of these but it’s Papsters day today
I learned from my Dad that sex in a loving relationship is wonderful. As kids my brothers and I were thrown out regularly off a weekend whilst some kind of magic happened upstairs that sometimes caused alarm clocks to fly from the bedside tables and crash to the floor. It also left an oniony smell in the parental bedroom that caused me to smile in recognition many years later. The way my father would sneak up behind my Mom and cup her ample bosom and say smilingly “lubbly chubblies”. Of course Mom would say in mock consternation “oh Dahl” but we kids smiled at each other knowing it was all in good fun. I am so thankful that in an age when the topic of love and sex is reduced to money and status that I knew differently from such an early age.
My Dad also taught me that sailors don’t cry. And boy it took an awful lot to make me cry. I was a tom boy through and through and over the years Dad has tried with such effort to make me into a lady. I remember him recanting that “horses sweat, men perspire and ladies glow” after I would come home having spent a day at the dog kennels or a stable, filthy dirty and believe you me sweating! I will love him forever and a day for keeping his promise that if I saved half the money to buy a horse he’d put the other half up. I suppose at 13 nobody thought I’d manage it. But I worked everyday after school and every weekend and even saved my dinner money. So when one day, when he was far away on a naval warship, I sent him a letter saying I’d seen a horse and had saved half the money, without a second thought and despite my Mom’s protestations he paid for the other half. What he didn’t know was that I’d bought an unbroken stallion from a travelling family and that it had never even had a halter on it. I walked my roan, odd coloured stallion, I named Harlequin home, through rush hour traffic, rearing and skittish as cars edged cautiously past.
My Dad also taught me never do a job unless I was going to do it well. This didn’t work out at school because a girl that didn’t cry and was fearless did not fit into the 60 and 70’s school protocols but by the time I went to University in my late 30’s it made me voracious across the academic landscape. I excelled where at school I was chastised for being verbose and opinionated. I continue to this day, in everything I turn my hand to, to do it as best I can. It has made me a formidable opponent on many platforms and I am unashamedly proud of my ability to do so because I know that my Dad will be proud of me for doing so.
So Papster just a wonderful thank you for being my Dad each and every day through all these years and an apology for all those premature grey hairs I caused you.
And here is a tribute to Terry who is both a father and a step father – if any of our children were to say “I’m stuck in the Saharan desert” he’d be in his car the next moment. Where I might hesitate he jumps in. He’s a man of few words and is economic in the extreme with emotions but his heart is made of gold.
And to James who has turned out to be the kind of father every child should have. He has enough discipline to teach his son respect and enough love to ensure William will be a fully rounded and happy child and therefore an adult.
Finally to my brothers who have, respectively, biological and situational children. It’s been a pleasure over the years to see what wonderful father’s you’ve both been and continue to be. And as a completely competitive sibling it’s been a comfort at times to see we’ve all had the same tribulations and joys.
And I end this tribute on a note of caution; if there is any Mother reading this who, for whatever reason, is denying their children access to their fathers, think long and hard at what you are doing. Except in certain very extreme circumstances every child deserves a father.
Happy Fathers day Dad