Somewhere out there a Dad is lounging around, sipping a cold beer and feeling pretty smug. Yep, not been a bad year. Rescued the kids from a burning building. Cured teenage daughter’s temper. Raised a million quid for children’s charities. And he might – mistakenly – be looking forward to pocketing the ‘Dad of the Year’ Award.
Sorry, mate. It was all wrapped up on Friday. Something so amazing happened that all your daring rescues, your behavioural breakthroughs, your thousand mile charity walks pale into insignificance.
My wife received a Mother’s Day card. From Tom. Currently at university. Studying engineering. And as regular readers know, not a boy given to that touchy feely stuff.
Did I send him a reminder? Oh yes. The Mother’s Day quest became my Holy Grail. If Tom could send a card, there was hope for him. And I was a fine Dad.
I was helped by finally realising what my 5,000 free texts a month are for. Didn’t quite get there – but I wasn’t far off. I almost changed my e-mail signature as well. Love, DadDon’tForgetMother’sDay.
True, he only managed six words – and three of those were ‘To,’ ‘Mum’ and ‘Tom.’ So you can tell that he didn’t take too much time off Maths and Mechanics to compose a little poem or find a suitable quotation. Who cares? The card arrived, and I’ve snatched the ‘Dad of the Year’ trophy from Mr. Smug. You’ll have to try harder, pal.
Yes, Tom came through – and the credit is all mine. Or is it?
My son’s card was… well, there’s no other word for it, appropriate. Funny even. Finally she could relax after getting the baby settled down. It had been the longest 20 years of her life. (Credit to Emotional Rescue cards for that witty little line.)
But imagine the process my son had to go through. Leave the warmth and comfort of the Engineering lab. Motivate himself to go shopping. Find a card shop. Find the right section. Look at cards. Find a suitable one. Hand over the equivalent of a bottle of Grolsch. Write it. Buy a stamp. Remember his home address. Find a post-box. Damn it, we’re looking at a complete flow-chart.
In fact it’s such an achievement for an engineer that I begin to suspect there’s a woman in the boy’s life…
Meanwhile, back at the ranch, I had a simple question to ask. “Is there anything special you’d like for Mother’s Day, my darling?”
“Absolutely,” my wife replied. “Gin. Lots of it. A bottle from both of them.” Yes, gentle reader, it’s easy to spot the NHS employee at the moment…
Unfortunately the demand for a double Gordon’s was thwarted by Jessica. Say what you like about my daughter – and I have never said anything other than that she is an angel – she never forgets an important date.
She’s organised, she’s been into town and she’s bought a present. Which left me standing at Tesco’s gin counter balancing the twin demands of love and cash-flow… Was the standard bottle (via Ben, obviously) a sufficient declaration of my passion? Or with 20 years of wedded bliss only a week away, did I need to buy the bumper-bottle-for-dedicated-drinkers?
“Here,” I said to Ben, handing him a tray. “Time for the traditional Mother’s Day breakfast. Tea, toast… and that bottle of gin I gave you.”
Thirty minutes later Jane sent me an erotic love-text. More tea and toast, please. Huh – with both teenagers up and about it clearly wasn’t a euphemism. It was going to be a long Mother’s Day for the kitchen staff. That would be me then…
Thanks for reading. If you’ve enjoyed this post – or any of the posts – I’d really appreciate your votes for this year’s MAD Blog Awards. Best Dad is through to the finals in two categories – Best New Blog and Best Writer – and you can use this link to vote. Thank you.