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Today I was asked, by another great Dad, where I found the time to write my blog and fit in other numerous things I am involved in…. and it got me to thinking….so here is a little bit about my inner workings and how I am changing as a Dad.
Tonight I resume, what I have affectionately come to call, my post. Armed to the teeth with every known gadget to man, to ensure our twin boys (& the wife) sleep as well as possible. Only the darkest of night time Ninjas could get past me and the dog now….. and that’s only because I don’t actually own a dog.
As I sit down at a 3 mtr long table on the back deck in the dark, I run through my checklist….
Kids video monitor…yup…stills reminds me of the old black & white TV we had as kids.
Iced Coffee drink…. Not so iced but still good to sip
Glasses…need them now a days
Inside on the bench….
Two small popper bottles filled with water
iPhone (doubles as my torch to avoid the Lego!)
My neighbours probably wonder what the hell I do out here every night with the faint glow of the iPad illuminating my face.
Does he have a secret Sukudo addiction?
Is he writing a novel?
Is he plotting to take over the world?
Is he an infamous blogger or does he simply have insomnia?
Well none of the above really, I’m just a Dad doing his best in the hope that we can function fully the next day.
Raising two fantastically active, nearly two year old twin boys is like being chucked into a thermomix hooked up to a V8 engine…it’s full on, especially since my wife and I work full time, full time on our work and kids that is.
Some Dads don’t get the privilege of doing what I get to do, which is sad, but sometimes necessary. Being FIFO / DIDO in the mines, truckies on the road, defense force personnel, shift worker, the list goes on….
So what do I get out of this? Fame, glory, accolades and a fat pay cheque…nope, sorry! I get something better than all of those and something money can’t buy….
Satisfaction. Satisfaction that my boys are sleeping well, knock on wood, the wife is getting at least 8 hrs solid sleep and that I get the chance to write and reflect on what has been, not just on today but whatever length of time I choose, like tonight.
Every night for the last twenty-one months I have sat here, through all the different seasons, and watched a fuzzy B&W monitor spring to life with movement every 20 mins or so. I pause, glance and then ensure everything is ok before resuming my writing. On at least four occasions tonight I will go in to see the boys are warm or cool enough, comfortable and make any adjustments to help them sleep better.
Looking back over the last 24 months or so, I have realized I have become a changed man. Where I once liked the idea of kids, now I am in love with two precious rascals that drive us to that proverbial twist, then stop, flash a cheeky grin and swallow us up whole with affection. Disaster averted for another day and everything is reset while they are sleeping.
During this time I have come to realise that I care more about the world I am leaving for my kids, hope that they have a good upbringing along with a healthy dose of respect, manners, humility, confidence and wisdom. It also allows me to ponder upon many things that have helped shape me to become the man, I mean Dad, which I am today.
A lot of my personal insecurities have vanished; I care less about what others think and more about what they do. I have taken an interest in helping other Dads who may need a little help, or a lot of help, to make their kids lives, and hopefully theirs, just that bit more special. In a crazy way I am paying it forward and backwards at the same time. Paying it forward to those who are going to be a Dad, and paying it backwards by trying to help other Dads with multiple kids that are older than my own two sons. Sometimes I haven’t even experienced what they are going through relationship wise with their own kids, as they might be aged four, five, eight or more, but the foundations don’t change from when they are babies. They still need nurturing, protection, security, love, discipline, affection and a good relationship with their parents.
In many ways I am trying to be as ready and open as I can be for my boys when they are old enough to start discovering the world at large. Trying not to have to many preconceived ideas of what they will become, have taste in or even what they will or won’t like is my starting point. Like a fulcrum it is all about perspective and balance, who knows, I may end up seeing my first ballet concert with my boys because they just want to know what it is. This would be is stark contrast to my days as a kid, where the best cultural experience I had was going to the local high school dance. The world has changed a lot and I am just trying to keep up!
My biggest concern is the generational gap. I know I had it with my Dad who was 40 when I was born, but I was 42 when our boys arrived! I know my tech stuff, what’s going around on the top 40 music wise yet interested enough in our local and federal politics (god help us all). Our museum in town is bright and vibrant and nestled within with a promenade of what is locally known as the ‘Cultural Arts Precinct’, a far cry from the dusty old museum that was around for annual school trips many years ago. I have seen more plays and international acts and bands in the second half of my life than I would have ever thought possible.
Travel is the counterpart to the cultural component that I hope my boys get a yearning for. Having been around 70% of the globe (x4), has really opened my eyes to how big, yet how small our planet really is. May David Attenborough live to narrate another 100 episodes of all that is beautiful and wondrous in the world we share.
You see, this is the beauty of reflection….. you can dream and wander at the same time. You can recall small and large life events of your own, see what you want to include and exclude, from your kids lives and the rest can either be stored for layer or tossed out completely.
Does it hold purpose, a life lesson or broaden their horizons?
Does it encourage them to explore, take risks and give them opportunities to become better men…and better Dads?
I don’t know the answers to any of these questions….my true hope is that one day my boys will look back one day and be able to see what they were not be able to remember from their infancy.
My journal, my blog, my journey, whatever you want to call it, will hopefully give some insight to two certain young men somewhere down the track. For now though, there is one thing I can assure both of them both today, tomorrow and forever and it is this….
My boys will always be thought of fondly, missed whenever we are apart, hugged when we meet, loved to the fullest of my abilities and told how much joy and love they have brought to both my wife’s life and my own.
Then there are nights like these….where reflections and words just cannot seem to convey the full extend of my love and sheer overwhelming need to say, “My heart is full because of both of you”.
I am grateful, blessed and content.
So tonight I leave my boys with this message…..
May your hearts wander the earth, yet always return home to us safely
May you both rise to all occasions with your best ability and deepest compassion
May your lives be full and diverse, yet humble and cherished
May your lives be all that you choose and all that I can encourage
Fare you well and know that you are both loved beyond any of our dreams…