I often wonder how I’ve fathered four children when my default position on children is; not particularly interested. Before I go one letter further, please hear me when I say, I love all of my children dearly and in the main they quite like me. My life has been enriched by them, I am frequently frustrated to the point of apoplexy by them, I wouldn’t for one moment change any aspect of any of them, my next heart attack will be named after one or other of them, of that i am sure.
I first became involved in the procreation business twenty four years ago and found I was enthusiastic and satisfyingly fertile. I know this sounds smug, but a man’s ego is a fragile thing and anything that gives it a boost rather than shooting it down, has to be welcomed with open arms.
As a new father I quickly discovered that every single aspect of fatherhood had an enormous learning curve attached. I was a modern man who was keen to be involved in everything; nappies, feeding, dressing bathing. Tell me when and I’ll be there, just let me look up what to do first in the manual.
Excuse me; there isn’t a manual?
Remarkably this ineptitude was replaced by something approaching confidence, at least by the time my fourth child had arrived fourteen years later. Now the two older children have flown the metaphorical nest, living with partners and living there own lives and will I’m sure have there own families.
Our two younger children left at home are dramatically different from each other. One is creative, thoughtful, enthusiastic and slightly kooky, the other is technologically advanced beyond his years, fiery, passionate and loyal. I can only assume that this diversity of personalty is as a result of mine and my wife’s differing temperaments.
As I watch them grow and experience the same problems, revelations and delights that were present with the older children, I struggle to remember how any particular situation was handled. Does it matter? Probably not as long as when they become adults they are well rounded and happy people.
If I had one wish for all of my children it would be; happiness and a large family. It seems to work; even if you didn’t think you were interested in the idea to start with.