I’ve never written about Father’s Day before. Well, maybe just a fleeting mention. Usually Father’s Day passes us by. Maybe N gives his dad a card he’s made, but the OH and his family aren’t really big on Father’s Day gifts (or Mother’s Day – card and maybe some flowers are given but that’s because I’ve sorted them out for my mother-in-law). They’re just other working days on the farm like every other day of the calendar.
For me, until I got married, Father’s Day wasn’t in my calendar of events. Because my dad died when I was 3 and my brother was only just born. Back in those days, people didn’t really celebrate days like they do now. But one of the things about such days when you see all the cards and gift displays in the shops, is it makes you stop and think about how things may have been different had I grown up with my dad in my childhood.
Once you have a child, it also makes you think about how things might have been different and how I would have been different.
The bond between father and children
My OH was never a hands on dad in the early days. He would give N a bottle in the mornings while I showered, but didn’t do any of the bathing, dressing, nappy changes, making a bottle. As N’s got older, he’s like a mini me (with quite a lot of me thrown in as well). Mostly their bond is all about the farm, and the connections they have with the rest of the family. N now spends a lot of time with his dad on the farm. There’s the hero worship aspect of a dad coming into play.
For me, my dad was in air traffic control, he would work shifts, and I remember sitting on the stairs with him before he went out to work. He also used to take me plane spotting (although I wasn’t too keen on that).
Passing on the genes
We’re all a little bit of each of our parents. It’s really hard to see which of us N most takes after facially, although I’m hoping he takes the OH’s genes when it comes to long life in their family, and his build and height. He’s got his dad’s laid back look, lack of competitiveness, and the risk averse side. But my eye and hair colour, stubbornness,, racket sport coordination and enjoyment of being out and about.
With my dad, everyone who knew him would say I was his spitting image. Not so much in colouring (my brother had his dark hair and eye colour), but from the nose down, his expressions, and matter of factness. It just shows how personality is inbuilt rather than being all learnt.
The dad’s influence
Even if the relationship between parents is equal in respect and both look after the child, the relationship and influence the dad has, is always different. Unsurprisingly, N always wants to be out on the farm with his dad, and often at weekends I don’t see a lot of him, however much I try to get him out with me. N just wants to do the same as his dad. And he always wants to impress him more than he does me.
I do sometimes wonder what I’d have been like if our dad hadn’t died. I’m certainly a lot more independent than I probably would have been (seeing your mum do everything for the family gives you a different type of role model to many children). I certainly wouldn’t be where I am now. We’d have still likely be living in Windsor, would have had more money growing up, I’d have been to private school all the way through my school life, and wouldn’t have ended up in Oxfordshire and meeting the people in my life. I’d imagine my values would have remained similar though. will continue
N is a giving child. He loves to make cards for no reason, and he’ll quite often donate things of his own that he thinks you’ll like. Now he also understands a bit more about having his own money and saving, so he’ll quite often suggest he pays for things he wants when I’m not convinced. We were sent some vouchers to shop the father’s day gift range at Debenhams.
N gets all excited at getting to choose gifts, but the OH prefers practical gifts. We decided against things like experience vouchers or quirky gadgets or accessories. We stuck with a new polo shirt from the RJR.John Rocha range. It got the thumbs up from N, so hopefully the OH will like it on the day.
I’m sure with N’s love of farming, their bond will continue. I see the relationship that the older nephews have with their dada and how the OH is with his dad, and I’ imagine N will be the same with his.
How do you see your relationship with your dad differing to the bond your children have with theirs?
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