My dad passed away ten years ago. When he was alive, for the majority of his life he was cared for by my mum after he had a motorbike accident. Before the accident, we were never a family for commercial celebrations and he wasn't the sort whom the cards wanted to pay homage to anyway. He had four sons and I'm the eldest. Two of us are childlessness. Nevertheless, I've enjoyed being part of the lives of my now grown-up nieces and nephews, turning up on my motorbike to see them, and meantime working hard so I could travel the world and buy a house.
I loved the chaos of my brother's lives and the sociability of the children, with a seemingly endless stream of friends coming and going from one house to the next. But I never met anyone I wanted to be a parent with. I had a different life and lots of adventures, sleeping on Greyhound buses to explore as much of America as possible in three weeks, busking in Spain, the freedom to ride motorbikes I've owned and loved to any destination I felt like, when I wanted to, disappearing to remote islands and being mistaken for a local and being a roadie for a band.
I'm explaining this because it gives some context to why Fathers Day doesn't impact on me a great deal. I don't hide from it but I focus on the advantages of the life I have. On Sunday I'll walk our dog on the beach with my wife in the morning. I'll head up to the pub for an evening pint, when the lunchtime Sunday roasts are cleared away and the banners are taken down, the chalkboard is wiped clean, replaced by the beer festival details. Life really does carry on and the local pub seems to sum that up.
I suppose I didn't grow up until late in life when I met my wife! We'd have loved children together and tried our best but my only regret is not meeting her early so we could share those adventures, not that I am not a dad. That would be a bonus to a different life. It's not too late to do a life in reserve and take those road trips, explore the world or adopt that dog. As hard as it may be, why sit around at home and avoid life on Sunday? Go out for a mini-adventure far from the tourist attractions and the lunches. I might see you on the beach. I hope so.
Kenny Smith of Walk In Our Shoes
Walk In Our Shoes
Throughout the week in the run up to Father's Day Berenice Smith, the founder of Walk In Our Shoes (and Kenny's wife) has been sharing the stories of men who are involuntarily childless via her social media sites. She writes
"It's so important to talk about this to help ourselves and others. Please do be brave and share these posts, you may help someone speak out."