Fringe Benefits

So many thoughts.
I was thinking about this ‘being a Dad’ thing, I was trying to work out how you can know you’re doing it right or even if you should think about it.
 I remember recently writing on another blog in the comments section,reading it is one of those unexpected things that brings huge benefits to you without necessarily realising it at the time,actually it is the blog that inspired me to have a go . John had written a blog called “Sometimes” in which he was describing a feeling I know well about how sometimes we are all “shit dads”. I remember thinking, good grief, he’s beating himself up for doing a good job, I read this guys blog all the time he sounds so in touch with his sons needs and how to manage being a Dad and he seems able to forgive himself for his mistakes and move on, and here he is admitting too what I know I’m guilty of; ‘Not getting it right all the time and how it feels when it goes wrong’.
John is right, I read back my blogs like he did before that post, I realise  I may give a false impression from my writing, all I can say is I try to do my best and worry about it even though the advice I give my boys is not to worry about stuff you can’t change. Am I a hypocrite? I hope not. I do worry about doing it right, I do worry about saying right, I worry about my sons future, I worry about what they do at school what they do at their Mums I worry constantly, all probably useless worries, because like I tell the boys all that worry uses up energy you need for important stuff and worrying is not important.
So what am I trying to work out? I’m not sure, and that seems to be the nub of the thing. As men we are programmed to get things done, see it through to the end, and create something tangible. The fact is the Readers Digest book on D.I.Y Dad-hood never got published because there is no end. Being a Dad goes on forever, there is no end result because once you become a Dad you are forever and always a Dad. Every day is practice. I’ve seen a magazine a while back that I think was called ‘Practical Parenting’. It should be called ‘Practicing Parenting’ that’s what we are doing, practising all the time, doing our best and hoping to some invisible intuition that we are doing it right.
This remarkable man (and Dad) is currently performing a show based on his family experiences at the Edinburgh Festival, if you are able, I urge you to go and see it,  and if not, sign up to the blog. Truly life affirming stuff.
Below is my comment on the blog, completely inadequate but it was heartfelt.

 I wish I was as patient and knowledgeable of my boys as you are of yours. I don’t  see my kids as often as I should because I’m the one with a “condition” I am terrified that they will “end up like me”, because god help me I made mine as well!. I’ve been inspired by this blog and it has helped me in ways I’m not even sure of, I don’t have an autistic child so am reticent about posting sometimes, but this isn’t about that it’s about being a Dad, and if we didn’t question ourselves and our situation or “our lot” if you prefer, then none of us would be working hard enough at it. Asking questions of ourselves is our way of searching for ways to get better at the Dad thing. I for one am grateful that you put so much thought into it John.I don’t follow this blog because the boy is autistic,I have no frame of reference for that. I follow it because you are, in my view an astonishing man and Dad.Thank you for writing this blog.I question my Dad-hood far more as a consequence of it and I’ve even been inspired to have a go myself.”

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