What It Takes To Be A Real Dad.

Yesterday I was at a swimming gala.
looking after 42 young swimmers,
when a wonderful memory of my dad just rose to the surface.small_2348222238

I was an undersized 9 year old,
swimming in my first gala.
I had been entered to swim in the 100 metres butterfly.
I can clearly remember the fear I felt.

For those who do not know,
butterfly is physically a very challenging stroke.
Being young, undersized and in my first meet it was a lot to ask.

Too much as far as I was concerned!

We lined up.
I was distraught.
No way out.
The whistle blew and I put on my goggles.
I can remember them misting up quickly because I was crying.

“Take your marks”
As I “took my marks” I felt a tap on my shoulder.
I looked around and my dad was there.
He said, “Do you not want to swim?”.
I sobbed, “No”.
He held out his arms and I jumped in.

I can remember him carrying me away.
It was the most wonderful feeling.
Away from that pool.
Away from that awful experience.
I kept my head buried so I did not have to look at anyone.
It was just me and my dad!

I have never, ever forgotten that moment.

My dad died in his early fifties.
Leaving us all way too soon.
He never got to see me married,small_2970191269
or to see my children.
He did however leave me many wonderful memories.

So to other dads I would say,
You don’t have to be the greatest sports man,
Or the best at DIY.
You do not have to be a macho man,
nor must you buy your children all they ask for.

To be a real dad,
you just need to be there when you are needed,
and show your children they are loved.
Just as my dad did,
and I will never forget him for it.

Other posts on my Dad.
More than words can say.
Miracle or coincidence?
Fathers Day, a day to forget

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17 thoughts on “What It Takes To Be A Real Dad.

  1. Lovely post, tric, though I’d have kicked you in the ass right into that pool were I your dad. You’d have been disqualified I assume, but the fun we’d have laughing about it years later at a pub would be worth it.

    1. Ye? Funny reading your posts I think if your little lady was in the same situation I have a feeling you might just wade in there and “rescue” her! Just like a real Dad.

  2. Thanks a million. Lovely to see this very old post getting a view. My Dad may have checked out early but he was amazing while we had him. Miss him still every day really. He is still my measure of a man.

  3. It’s difficult to find educated people in this particular subject,
    however, you seem like you know what you’re talking about!

    Thanks

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