The Friday Club is back. I missed this one by a long way, but wanted to write nevertheless.
“There’s something like a line of gold thread running through a man’s words when he talks to his daughter, and gradually over the years it gets to be long enough for you to pick up in your hands and weave into a cloth that feels like love itself.”
I always get emotional when I address things to you, my darling Girls. I always feel that, as I write, I am storing information for you to read after I am no longer with you, and it saddens me to think of you alone. But I find comfort in the thought that your darling father will always be with you when I am not. Your precious Pappa is without doubt the greatest gift that I have received from God or Fate or whatever you believe to be the provider of good fortune. I have become all that I am because of his love. I owe him the most precious things in my life: you two girls. And I am sure that he would say that the greatest gift in his life has been the gift of fatherhood.
Your daddy is a fascinating man. I imagine that you may not always see that as you grow. You may not see that he cares for you more than anything, that he would do anything for you, that he holds you in such high esteem that no-one will ever come ahead of you in his affections. Perhaps I should give you a few pointers so that you might better understand him. You shall have to bear with me as I am still learning about all the things that makes the man I love tick. I certainly anticipate that it will take me the rest of my life to fully understand him.
1. Your father is, quite frankly, an almost perfect example of a man. He is caring and thoughtful, compassionate, understanding, chivalrous, intelligent and he never fails to make me laugh. Although there are days when I curse him repeatedly, I admire all of these things in him. I suspect that I am not without envy, and it certainly makes me regularly question what he sees in me!
2. Your Daddy is a thinker. By the time he gives voice to an idea, you can bet he's been mulling it over for a significant period of time. The downside to this is that it is pretty much non-negotiable: if he says we are going to do something, go somewhere, learn something, buy something, you can bet that it will happen. The upside, however, is that you can work this to your advantage by planting an idea and leaving him to ponder it for a while (length of time dependent on the size of the idea!)
3. He does not stop. He reads, he learns, he potters. He comes up with ideas brilliant enough to go on Dragon's Den. He plans on writing a fascinating series of books. He comes home and throws himself into tidying and laundry and tinkering with things that need mending, which brings me on to...
4. He cannot abide stuff. He hates things being out of place, untidy, messy, dirty. Learn to be tidy. It'll be easier.
5. He is never more delighted with life than when he gets to spend time with you. I know that you see little of him during the week but that is because he is a brilliant man who works ridiculously hard doing "'portant work" in his office to fund the life that we have. But when he is at home, he is yours. The three of you will wander out in any weather, talking about your days, learning about the world around you: a secret club of which I am not part. He cherishes every moment that he spends with you. Being a father is far better than he could ever have imagined. Watching him relish every minute gives me such joy. Watching you two welcome him home with such unbridled delight never fails to make me cry.
We are all so incredibly lucky to have each other, and to have him. I hope that you will hold that in the back of your mind when he tells you can't go out wearing that, or when he says you can't go to a party on a school night, or whatever else he does to offend your blossoming-female-sensibilities in the future. Your father is absurdly calm, so everything he does will be carefully considered and in your best interests (but just in case, if you can't get your point across, try calling Granny. She knows best!)
With all my love, my darling Doodlebugs,