So one of my first posts on this blog was titled “Damned Good Dad”. I was just reminded of this by a comment made on it. It has been a long journey to get where I am right now.
Where I am might not be perfect, actually, heck, it’s not. But I do my best. I do my best every day. My son doesn’t miss out on much, he’s actually pretty spoilt, but he’s not a spoilt brat. I couldn’t live with myself if he was. He’s bloody messy, leaves shit all over the floor, gets snarky with me at times, and yes, I can can hear you all now, laughing, saying, “wait until he’s a teenager”. But hey, none of us are perfect, and if you claim to be, well, hahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!!!!
Because I have the struggles of my not so great health every day, I often worry that I should be doing more. But then, I know I do a lot more with my son than most parents who are both with their kids do together. I am not trying to boast, but at least I don’t outsource my sons care every weekend, and after school every day. Most parents spend bugger all time with their kids these days, because they think they aren’t being good parents if their kid isn’t doing sport every second week day after school, and all weekend, and the other times they are having music or singing lessons. Basically, they tuck their kids into bed, give them breakfast, and that’s it, the sum total of their interaction with their kids.
I refuse to have him sitting in front of a tablet all day, I don’t even have one in the house. Yes, he watches TV, and we both enjoy watching movies together. I have an obsession with collecting DVD’s, so currently, we have nearly 400 choices, ranging from kids tv series, kids movies, superhero and action movies, documentaries, and then the stuff he can’t watch, even though, if I have seen something that is M-rated, and is basically only rated that way due to a few “motherfuckers”, or “arseholes” or “bloody’s”, then I really have no problem with him seeing it. The beauty with having a large and ever growing DVD collection is, for all those times that there is nothing on the 60 channels of regular TV ( which is basically all the time), you can fling something in the DVD player that you’ll enjoy.
So apart from movie watching, we go for drives in the countryside, going to waterfalls and other magical natural landmarks. We go see his grandparents most weekends. We go to garage sales and Thrift Shops, he just about jumps out of his skin when I say we are doing that. He’s got a keen eye for a bargain. I put music on loud (not too loud for the neighbours, but loud), and we dance around like silly idiots, I am an expert at the dad dance. He draws, actually, he draws obsessively. Probably that’s to do with the genes. There are lots of artists on my side of his gene pool, including me, and despite the rest of her flaws, his mum was a great artist too.
So yeah, I interact with my son, A LOT.
As I said earlier, I struggle with my health, if you’ve read the rest of my posts you know that, but there are also those times when I struggle with how to respond to things that come up, because we are a single parent family. I really, really try hard to not demonise his mum, she does a good enough job at that herself, she hasn’t even wanted to see him for 4 years. The last time I got a letter from her, she referred to him as my son, not hers. So, that is what it is. I mean, what do you do with that ? When he asks, or remembers things, I talk truthfully about it. I don’t gloss over it, I think that is unfair to do, both for him and me. The truth is always the way, well that’s what I think anyhow.
Then we always hit this particular time of year, you know, that day of celebration. Mothers Day. There is always something that comes up, I mean, how is it not going to when they make things for their mum’s at school? It’s always so bloody hard. There isn’t some ” How to………………For Dummies” guide for this shit. I do my best to console him, to make it right, it seems to work, but geez, it’s a tough one.
Talking about Mothers Day, I just want to finish up with a short little story. Every second Friday, I do my grocery shopping after my son finishes school. We both go off to a town about half an hours drive away, go to a favourite Op Shop, then head into Aldi and then Coles, and quite often also hit a couple of the discount variety stores too. 2 years ago, when my son was still in kindergarten, we were walking down the main street of this town, when a lady I don’t know from a bar of soap, came up to me and said, ” Happy Mothers Day, you do a great job on your own”. As I said, I didn’t have the foggiest who this lady was, but obviously, she had seen me around before, and had deduced I was a single dad. I said a stunned “thank you”, I mean, it came completely out of the blue, and I was speechless. She smiled, said “your welcome,” and went on her way.