With father’s day quickly approaching, we have decided to dedicate this blog to our Dad…JF. Here are 10 of the many reasons he is and continues to be the best dad to both of us.
HE DOES NOT JUDGE
In the world we live in, we often judge one another on outward appearance; we often see the physical, the house, the car, the achievements, the attainments as being the definition of one’s character. These are sentiments he doesn’t even consider. When he first meets someone; he looks beyond the superficial. He admires honesty, integrity, loyalty and kindness above all. Our dad never intentionally planned on being a role model, he just was and is. In so many ways our dad is Atticus Finch from ‘To Kill a Mockingbird (pardon the literary reference) he tells Scout that “You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view..until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.” Such an important message to teach our children and one that was certainly transposed onto us. All too often we can get sucked into the nasty web of gossip, our dad has taught never to be influenced by someone else’s judgement. He has always encouraged us to make our own judgement on everything; experiences, people, things. He is a strong believer that you should make your own judgement and trust your own judgement.
HE IS HUMBLE
From a young age, we can both recall being proud to have JF as our father. He was and is ambitious, hardworking with a big heart. Despite our pride, this is something we have never identified in our father. He has taught us the importance of being grateful, humble and kind. It is all too easy to take our lives for granted. For anyone who really knows our dad; the man behind the suit, you will know that he does not believe in materialism. Daily he rocks those Primark tracksuit bottoms and mucky wellies and we have no doubt that his Nissan Patrol Jeep holds a very dear place in his heart. We often wonder if it is the dented bodywork, the moss growing from the windows or that ‘fresh’ smell that lures him to it every day. For dad it really is the simple things in life; a home cooked meal, a Tyrone match and a good newspaper he’s a happy man.
HE IS STRONG
Sometimes life knocks you down, sometimes the going gets tough but JF is and always has been the ‘glass half full’ kind of man. If you are ever in need, worried, scared…he really is the man to go to. Dad is strong, he doesn’t let life, people or problems cloud his day. If we ever have a problem…he is the go to. We don’t really know how but he is ALWAYS able to fix it. Sometimes it might just be a good talk from him like ‘you need to settle the head’ other times it’s ‘I’ll sort that, leave it with me’. Living with three women often our problems are a ‘little’ dramatised (dramatic….who? us? Never). Sometimes it feels like it’s the end of the world and we don’t know how he does it, but he sorts it, he always does! Probably the most admirable thing about all of this is that there is never an utterance of complaint, there is never a problem or issue and it appears that he has fixed the problem effortlessly.
HE MAKES US LAUGH
He is the dad that will enter the father’s sports day race, the dad that will sing down the mic on holidays and the one that will do anything SILLY/MAD/CRAZY that Kate asks him to do. As a child, Kate was quite determined and she knew exactly what she wanted. Kate summoned dad to her playroom and did his hair in bright pink rollers. He sat patiently through it all and when it was over, he started to take them out. Kate unimpressed demanded that they stayed in. Dad explained that he had to go to the shed to feed the cattle. Kate would not back down and dad walked (quite happily I think) to the shed with the rollers in his hair and did meet someone on the road. The best part; he really doesn’t care. Dad is often forced to engage in our silly games but it is his willingness that truly makes it so enjoyable. He will dance with us at a party and show some ’interesting moves’, he’ll be the first volunteer for a game of Pie Face and really tries to be down with the kids. Laughing till you cry with people you love….a wonderful feeling!
HIS KINDNESS IS UNPARALLELED
Often when people think about kindness….they think of gifts and there is no doubt that our dad is generous in that way but it’s the other acts of kindness that are truly meaningful. The gift of time; despite his hectic schedule, we know that he will always give us this. There are very few people in your life that you can truly and fully rely on. Someone that you can call on in your time of need and know they will do everything in their power to have you. Having someone like that is very special. Whether you’re on a late night out and need lifted, you need someone to check your assignment before you turn it in or you have a flat wheel, there is nothing he can't or won’t sort. A week after I got engaged, I remember crying just thinking about moving out; I vividly remember telling Lukas; who will leave my cereal out in the morning or start my car if it’s a cold morning? Kindness is in the little things!
He is anything but a PUSHY PARENT. He gives us the right amount of encouragement and pushes us when we doubt ourselves or need more confidence. One thing we are really grateful for is the fact that our parents never made us feel pressurised, always telling us to do whatever we wanted to do.
FORGIVENESS OR FORGETFULNESS
No such thing as a grudge or bad blood. He does not hold onto animosity, it’s not really in him. He sees past it and moves beyond it. When we talk about things that have happened he often forgets things that would often be etched in the memories of others. We admire his ability to shrug off the negativity and focus on the good in life.
IT’S IN THE MEMORIES
This is where it can get a bit emotional. We are blessed to have the amazing memories with both our parents. They have both given us every opportunity to be the best that we can be, they have dedicated so much of their lives to us and we have absolutely no doubt that we would not be the people we are today without them. We all value the time we have together, we know that it’s special and we try to make it memorable. It’s not all rose bushes and sunny skies but it wouldn’t be a normal family if it was.
SOMETIMES IT’S IN THE UNSPOKEN
Our relationship with dad is different and we are both like him in different ways. Kate is motivated and determined and well I am probably the forget or forgive kind of person. Kate has such a fun personality; her and dad joke and she will often pester him to respond when she says ‘love you’. It is so funny! With dad and I it is a little more unspoken we both squirm a little with PDA. Although different, the love is the same.
Finally who could write a father post without mentioning the leading lady…Patricia! She is the glue! The one that hold us together and keeps us in line! JF wouldn’t have a clue what to wear on a daily basis, there wouldn’t be a meal cooked at Pine rd and quite simply it would all fall apart. ‘Behind every great man stands no woman. There is no greater man than the man that can acknowledge the woman standing right next to him’. There is no doubt he does!
Advice to kids and teenagers reading this: Appreciate your family, your parents and those you look up to because they will shape your life forever.
SarahJane: As a 7 year old girl getting my next karate belt, I remember my dad peeping his head through the leisure centre door; mucked to the eyeballs. I was excited and delighted to see him. Later as a fourteen year old girl, I remember him stalling up the steep hill to my school in a rough, worn out jeep, beeping the horn at me with his friends while I bowed my head in shame. It wasn’t ‘cool’ now I couldn’t be prouder…hey I would probably be the one beeping the horn!
Kate: I tortured my Dad from the day I was born and he couldn't escape me. Mum complained that she always had to be bad cop because my Dad would literally try to make all of my dreams a reality. I feel so lucky to be able to work with my Dad everyday over the summer and to have the best relationship with him that I could have. I call us the 'dream team' but really I'm the one learning lessons from him everyday.
We are forever grateful for both our Mum and Dad and wanted to take this opportunity to dedicate a post to them.
SarahJane & Kate x