It was Father’s Day a few weeks ago in the UK. I wanted to capture my thoughts, it’s just taken me a while…
My first one as a Dad, with all the emotions that brings with it.
Every single day I tell my son I love him and Father’s Day was no different. It’s part of a promise I made to him when I was holding him in my arms for the first time, having just been handled this tiny little thing all bundled up in a towel. I tell my son I love him every day, I tell him I like him, I will make sure he knows this growing up and can feel confident that that will never change, that I will always be there for him. It’s important to me that Jack knows I’ll support him no matter what, the same way my own Dad did for me.
Still miss Dad. The grief gets easier but it still hurts that he isn’t around and that Jack won’t ever get to meet him. I know I’m a lot like my Dad in many ways though so a fair part of who my Dad was will be passed down anyway but I would have dearly loved to see my Dad with my son. He was such a great Grandpa to Lucy and it’s sad that Jack and Daisy won’t experience that too but we have many happy memories we can hold on to and try and pass on.
I am enjoying being a Dad. All the fears I had still linger in the background but day by day with the realisation that those fears aren’t coming true, that I might actually be ok at this whole Dad thing. I was worried about so many things, would I love him, would I want to spend time with him, would my inherent laziness and selfishness (neither of which I know are actually true) somehow prevent me from bonding with him… all nonsense now and, no doubt, many of you would have told me that anyway but such are the thoughts that swirled through my head.
Of course, none of those things are coming true and instead I’m spending time with my son, looking after him, feeding him, changing him, soothing him, and sitting with him while he plays (he’s very independent already). All of this brings so many little moments that I want to capture and hold on to, tiny moments of each day that fill my heart with more love for this tiny human who is dominating our lives and who I love so much.
Sometimes Jack will pause what he is doing, turn his head and look at me, a little smile on his face and I already know that’s all I’ll ever need from him.
It was Father’s Day a few weeks ago in the UK. I wanted to capture my thoughts, it’s just taken me a while…
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If in doubt, write about what you haven’t written about even though you’ve been trying to…
In the past when I’ve struggled to find time/motivation/words for this blog I’ve resorted to some cliched posts and, well, here’s another one.
I had planned to write about Father’s Day, given it was my first one as a Father myself. Admittedly I’m not big on these types of manufactured ‘days’ but it did give me pause; time to consider the fact that I’m a Dad and to wonder what my own Dad might have thought, the latter of course leading me to a place of melancholy that he isn’t around and didn’t get a chance to meet Jack.
But back to me and, on the whole, I think I’m doing ok as a Dad. I love spending time with my son, watching him play and learn, and learning how to be a Dad from him. It’s a wonderful, emotional cycle that, even during the not-so-fun moments (he’s currently only wanting his Mum at night) I still can’t quite believe how much I love him.
Elsewhere I’m still working from home – a huge boon with Jack around – and enjoying the freedoms that allows. I’ve not been out on my bike as often as I’d like but foot injury remains (ultrasound appointment soon), and we are settling into life in our new house well with the garden scheduled to be useable by August (from 8 years of neglect it’ll finally have a lawn and a small patio, just in time for a small crawling boy to explore!). Ohh and married life is pretty sweet too (she’s a keeper!).
Of course in the world of social media it’s easy to sway to the good stuff. On the whole life is very good but there are hard moments, as any parent knows. We are both exhausted for different reasons, but remain a good team. There doesn’t seem to be a day that goes by with a spare minute in it for either of us, but we are muddling through.
I’m not as active on social media for these reasons as well, but I’m still around, and it’s largely what’s prompted me to grab 10 minutes to write this post; there is still a desire to share my thoughts here, to capture moments of my life and, whilst a lot more of those go into my private journal, it’s nice to write for public consumption for a change even with the knowledge that it’ll only be read by 7 people (on a good day).
Anyway, enough about me, I hope you are all well and prospering in the life you’ve chosen.
All 7 of you.
Whilst the arrival of my son has curtailed posting here recently, I still have plans to post more often but as ever life is, wonderfully, gloriously, getting in the way.
23 years is a long time to be doing anything on a semi-regular basis and this blog has seen me through several major life events; a divorce, polyamorous relationships, multiple jobs, many ups and downs (and that’s just on the scales!), and more recently finding my best friend, having a baby with her and get married.
And to think it all started with a post about sunglasses.
Happy Birthday little blog!
I’ve been goal driven most of my adult life, it’s part of who I am and over the last few years I’ve been slowly changing my approach to it so I’m confident that these days it’s a healthy thing, not a potentially self-sabotaging mechanism.
Which is just as well as, somewhat predictably, my goals for this year are slowly shifting. This is mostly due to injury, a little to do with bring up a 7 month old boy, and a lot to do with being sensible and not letting myself getting too downhearted when things don’t go to plan.
For example, this weekend we are supposed to be heading up to Pitlochry so I can take part in a cycle sportive, one I completed last year, but I’ve decided not to go. I’ve not been able to get much training done due to issues with both feet; I had podiatrist visit on Thursday to cut out some of whatever is stuck in my left foot (and has been for over a year) and have another podiatrist appointment next month to see if I do have Morton’s Neuroma in my right foot.
On top of that, we are working Jack into a sleep schedule, Becca is back to work so we are adjusting things around that too, and truth be told I’ve just not had the energy or mojo to get out on my bike enough. And when I have gone out recently I’ve hit the 1hr mark and started to flag. Amazing how quickly your fitness disappears!
So the sensible thing is to drop out of the sportive this weekend. And I’m happy to do so, which is a nice change from where my head may have gone in the past where I would’ve looked at the reasons I’m not doing it as excuses or some sort of weakness, whereas it’s more just down to circumstance.
I set out this year with the vague notion of getting my fitness up to the 100km cycle mark but given it’s May already then that’s unlikely to happen, never say never of course, but instead of beating myself up for failing to meet a goal I’m simply adjusting and focussing on enjoy life. Enjoying taking long walks with my son in his pram, enjoying exploring Bothwell with our dogs, and enjoying when I can get out on my bike.
I do have more sportives booked, but the more I think about them, the more I realise that if I don’t do these there’s no harm to me. I can always try them another time.
5th June – Tour of Mull – 43 miles/70km
17th July – Helensburgh – 50 miles/ 80km – provisional (still to book)
21st Aug – Round Strathaven – 50 miles/80km
4th September – Tour o the Borders – 55 miles/88km
Perhaps it’s a good thing that I’ve not done these sportives before, perhaps that’s why when I decided not to take on Etape Caledonia this weekend I was more relieved than I realised. I’ve done it before, I set a good time for it and I know myself well enough to realise I’d have done it and felt disappointed if I didn’t beat that time. After all, we are always supposed to improve, right?!
I feel good about this decision, having mulled it over for most of the day and, as Becca has pointed out, we’ve already had a helluva few months. So, I might participate in the ones to come, or I might not, but I’m feeling good about making it a ‘wait and see’ decision, removing the pressure on myself to hit training goals, removing the fear of failure, and letting me get back to enjoying just going out on my bike.
Yesterday we had a Naming Ceremony for Jack. Just us and a small group of friends and family, the people we know will be in his life for years to come. Alas some people weren’t able to be there, but we know he was in their thoughts on this special day.
We all gathered at Pollok House and after a lovely humanist ceremony delivered by https://www.facebook.com/gerrie.douglasscott we all applauded as we welcomed Master Jack McLean! What a great wee guy he was on the day, all dressed up in his shirt and waistcoat with smiles for everyone, blowing bubbles at every opportunity, and generally reminding everyone just how cute he is.
I’ll happily concede that the day was more about bringing people together than any notion of a ceremony for Jack. We aren’t religious, this wasn’t a ‘substitute christening or baptism’, but we did want to do something for him, and hopefully he can look back on the photos and videos and get a sense of how lucky and loved he is and how that hasn’t changed as the years have gone by. We did appoint two Champions though, my sister Jennie and Becca’s brother Robbie, who promised to be there for him, and support him and help him grow in ways we can’t.
For Becca and I it was a wonderful day, bringing both our families and all our favourite people together, and the love and joy in the room was palpable. It was so nice to be able to mingle with everyone afterwards, enjoying donuts (thanks Nic’s NYC Deli) and cupcakes (thanks I Love Cupcakes) as well as the food served up by Pollok House staff. And what a glorious venue it was, even if the day was a bit dreich, it felt cosy without being small, and the staff were wonderful. Can’t wait to see the photos (we hired the wonderful Leigh at Pearl and Plum) to see all the love and laughter that filled the room.
Ohhh and Becca and I got married too, cos why not! It was a surprise for everyone, and just made the day so much happier and giddy.
Which is exactly how I feel, so very happy with my life, with my amazing son who is coming on leaps and bounds, and with the knowledge I’ve just married my best friend
What a great day.
Entry 582 of an ongoing series of posts about how minor injuries and life events continue to get in the way of carefully made plans.
Safe to say it’s been an eventful year so far, in no specific order…
At the end of January we had booked in to a hotel for a night to celebrate the anniversary of our engagement. It would also be our first night ‘away’ with Jack. We had a lovely time, the hotel was great, and all was good until we started the car next morning, only to hear a horrible crunching sound. That was 10:30am.
The tow truck eventually arrived at 4pm. Thankfully the hotel graciously allowed us back into our room for the day (there wasn’t anyone booked in it anyway) so we hung about Kenmore for the day, and with the car finally assessed (DMF failure) and towed it was Granny Morna to the rescue! She drove up to get us and got us safely home. The car is fixed now, all under warranty, but what a long day.
We’ve also had our landlord serve notice so we have to move in a few months. She was very apologetic as she knows our circumstance with Jack (she’s been a great landlord!) but she needs to move back in. So we’ve moved to Bothwell! From a maisonette in the city, to a 3 bed semi, with a garden and conservatory, a good place for Jack to grow up, maybe ever cloud does have a silver lining?! All depends on how much it’ll cost to get the garden turned into an actual garden as, at present, it’s more of an overgrown and neglected wasteland.
We also had a wee trip to A&E after Jack banged his head. He’s fine, but as the first ‘scare’ it was NOT fun for Dad who had to wait outside (thanks COVID rules) for a few hours until he could see his boy and hold him and cry over him as, lo and behold, he’s fine!
On top of all that and I’ve developed a sore foot which I think might be a nerve issue. Not a quick fix at the best of times, but with NHS still ‘behind’ thanks to COVID (not a complaint about the NHS!) it could be weeks until I get a proper consultation, looking at private options.
That said, we’ve moved in to the house, and now my mind is turning to cycling as I’ve three Sportives coming up and with next to no training in the last 6 months it’s time to get out on the roads (and up the hills!).
However the overarching positive is our son, our chunky little boy who is growing fast, and brings us smiles every single day even through the worst of the teething so far. I never knew that I could adore, love, and be so overwhelmingly consumed by fascination with anything, I am cherishing every single moment as best I can.
Life is Jack. That’s pretty much my update.
There is so much more to it than that of course, it’s a whirlwind ride of sleepless nights, smiles and giggles, nappy changing, pram walks, and those moments when he looks at me and my heart melts all over again.
We are finding a balance though, Becca getting to the gym, Jack going swimming, and I’ve started nice long walks with him on my lunch hour. Needless to say watching Jack grow (fast and big!) is amazing, his motor skills are coming along, and at almost 5 months old he’s almost sitting up and is grabbing everything in sight to cram into his mouth.
It does mean time and energy for other things is taking a back seat for now, mostly this blog, but even that will come around.
Until then we’ve got a house move to organise. Fun timing eh!