Tony and I aren’t terribly mushy to each other. We have mushy moments, but I think we communicate affection best through humour and reruns of West Wing, rather than in Hallmarkesque prose. Which is why I’ve deliberated over writing this post – for someone who really doesn’t like calling attention to himself, this post could turn out to be the complete opposite of a Nice Father’s Day gesture for Tony.
So as a means of insurance, I’ll also state that this post is primarily for Arddun’s sake. Because I pray she’ll grow up fabulous, and I know she’ll grow up loved by her daddy. And I also know there’s going to be some spots in her life when she will think she hates her parents. And decide she’ll let them know about it in so many words and actions.
So Arddun, if you’re reading this in the future and you’re mad with your father, here’s what your relationship with your father was like when you were 14½ months old.
Your daddy’s girl
And he is the first man in your life.
The first you see when you awake
The last you cuddle before sleep
All frantic, excited, whole-body-wave Hellos and Goodbyes
For him alone.
Gets the more muted version.
A non-verbal “Yo. ‘Sup.”
The second word you learnt, after “Boo”.
(You still don’t call me anything.)
His ugg boots, and
His going-out boots, and
His work shoes, and
All. Over. The House.
And then you try and wear them. Sometimes.
The only one who can make your father sing
Very non-Jimmy Barnes songs.
You’ve started counting up to 3
(Except you say “1… 2… wheee!”)
And it’s only because your Daddoh reads
The Very Hungry Caterpillar
Because you wouldn’t have him read any other book.
Grow big like the moon
And sparkle like the stars
When the back gate creaks at night
And you’re so excited Daddoh’s home
That you run a victory lap around the kitchen island
Before running into his arms
Every week night.
His eyes go tender
And his heart say things
And both of you have such a way
Of bright’ning up each other’s day
Like no one else can.
Happy Father’s Day, Tony. xx