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On Father’s Day it’s the little things.

I’d always had a feeling that I’d make a good dad and to be fair, growing up people had often told me that I probably would too. I’d had a good upbringing, was reasonably well educated, had a good perspective on life and right and wrong and all that. I had a good sense of fun and thought I could be both equal good and bad cop depending on the situation.

Fast forward a few years and there it was, the moment I got home and my wife, Helen, had the test on the bathroom shelf. It was game on!

Fast forward 9 months and she’s heavily involved in the story again, crying out to me as I lay in a separate bed, trying to shake off a cold I had. It was one hour past our due date and at 1am in the morning it’s pretty unsettling hearing your wife crying out to you. But it was good news. Waters had broken, and our firstborn was on the way. Showtime!

That was when the world around us changed and we met our son, NJ. He’s now 16 months old and developing his personality and all the things that begin to shape who we become later in life.

I’m writing this post in the few days leading up to Father’s Day and as I do I’m filled with pride about the way that little man makes me feel. But it’s not just the big showstopping numbers that he performs for us, it’s the little things he does that really make life as a dad worthwhile. Here’s a few:

Playing rough. He loves a good tickle! But it’s more than the tickle that I love, it’s the insanely hysterical laugh that he has when we’re doing it. And the smile on his face that tells me he’s having fun.

Leaving for work. It’s not normally something I’d enjoy doing, and in fairness it does make me want to stay home even more on a morning, but I love the way that when I leave for work in a morning now he’s just full of kisses and saying “Bye Bye”, waving and blowing kisses through the window! There’s really nothing that gives you a bigger skip in your step to start the day.

Coming home from work. Getting to see the cub again after a day at work is always going to be awesome, but when he’s stood in the window waiting for you it’s even better. And then the excitement in his face and realisation that he just shouted “Daddy” and waved at me is just magic.

Snuggles. Can anything ever beat snuggles when he’s tired and we’re reading a book together or watching the mesmerising In the Night Garden. I’m not sure it can.

Music time. There’s not much more satisfaction for a musician father than seeing your offspring appear to take at least a passing interest in your hobby/job. Queue NJ dancing like a maniac when I strum and sing an upbeat song to him with my guitar. At first he was afraid, he was petrified. He actually was scared of my mystical sound machine at first. But now he likes it so much he likes to strum it for himself.

My final thought is one of the smallest but most powerful things any human is capable of… smiling. Sometimes I just look at him and he smiles back at me. No words are spoken. Just a smile. Unconditional.

This is what I signed up for. This is why I’m here. Along with being a good husband I’m just meant to be a dad.
And I’m loving every.single.minute.

What are the little things that make it all worthwhile for you?