… and you’re still here (correcting my grammar.)
Normally, I share the opinion of many people that you shouldn’t need a special day to tell your parents you love them. And I don’t, not really.
However, as) a journalist and b) a procrastinator, I do need deadlines. Some form of schedule telling me when the random thoughts flitting about should be written down in some kind of logical way.
Add to this the fact that my new shift (and therefore sleep) pattern means I have hardly spoken to my parents for two months and you get the below, a post about my dad, which happens to fall on Father’s Day, for no reason other than it seems to make sense.
(Some ages approximate due to not having a great memory):
I am too young to remember, and my older siblings learn what embarrassment is as my dad waltzes with me through Sheffield City Centre to stop me from crying.
I am three, and he picks all of us up at once and I think he is the strongest man in the world.
I am four and he lets me wear a spiderman outfit to the supermarket.
I am five and I curl up in the crook of his legs as he lies on the sofa teaching me the rules of cricket and rugby.
I am six and he reads me The Hobbit for the first time and we listen to PG Wodehouse in the car on family holidays.
I am eight and he drives me to judo every Saturday morning, a ritual that will last a decade.
I am nine and he carries me up the road from where I have fallen, breaking my arm.
I am 10 and we drive to Scotland and he does all the regional accents on the way. The same summer he teaches me how to do cryptic crosswords.
I am 11 and we begin the University Challenge challenge, a game I have never won.
I am 12 and we still watch nature documentaries together, marveling at Attenborough’s world.
I am 13, 14, 15, 16 and he drives me all over the country for fencing, waiting in the car or walking the dog because I won’t let him watch me compete. He introduces me to Bob Dylan, the Stones, the Boss, and the Kinks – the soundtrack of our road trips for years to come.
I am 17 and he never says ‘you’re not going out dressed like that.’
I am 18 and he bends the laws of physics to fit all my stuff into the car as I start university.
I am 19, 20, 21 and he picks me up at the end of each term, and takes me back in time for pre-season training. We still sing along to Bob Dylan as we drive up and down the motorway.
I am 23 and he helps me move into my first flat. He loves the river and the swans that nest outside my window.
I am 24 and he helps me buy a house, sitting through mortgage meetings I don’t quite understand.
I am 25 and he is confused when people ask if he is worried about me moving to Doha.
I am 26 and he fills me with bacon whenever I come home. We watch University Challenge, and do crosswords, and drive to see my nieces and nephew, singing Bob Dylan as we navigate the country.
I am 27 and he probably can’t lift all three of us at once anymore, and I have long outgrown the crook of his legs, but he still beats me at University Challenge. Every. Single. Time.