It’s never going to happen.
But it doesn’t stop me thinking.
For some reason, more so at the moment than for some time.
What would I have been like as a dad?
Maybe it’s all the “what to do with your kids at half-term” stories, maybe it’s because tomorrow we have three of the kids Jay, my wife, used to nanny for, over for the day. Maybe.
I can’t deny there is a big hole in life where kids could/should/maybe would/ have been had things turned out differently
Sometimes I can gloss over it. We don’t have the constant worry or expense that offspring bring.
Then again nor do we have our own family. Much as my beloved Bosley, ten-year-old Lab/Collie cross, does his best.
Ironically, when Jay and I first communicated properly via email after meeting online, we realised there were many parallels in our lives. She was born on New Year’s Eve, me on New Year’s Day, we had both just about survived horrible marriages & divorces, AND we had both been the healthy partners in IVF treatment.
We did try for children when we first got together but it didn’t happen. Jay suffered fibroids and has since had a hysterectomy.
And yes, we did inquire years back about adoption, but were told the agency would want to contact our previous partners. Which I could understand had we had children with someone else.
But we hadn’t. I had no idea, nor any desire to know, where my ex-wife was and I certainly didn’t want any contact, so that kicked that idea into touch.
Jay’s work has meant we have lovely relationships with the children she has looked after.
But of course nothing can replace having your own.
We don’t idealise it. Ok, maybe we do at Christmas time, I know from family and friends – and from Jay, that it is unrelenting, bloody hard work.
But, and there is a but, it must be incredibly fulfilling too.
You also feel left out. The majority of people of our age have kids, and quite rightly they are the centre of their lives. We have a dog and four chickens (oh, and three goldfish). Almost as messy, but hardly replacements.
I’ve often dreamt about holding my own baby, taking my kids to the park, to the football, to the beach, and especially at Christmas when they are still young enough for things to seem magical.
And being called ‘Dad’.
There’s no point in false modesty, I make a fantastic Uncle, to four great nephews and nieces. Who I love very dearly. It’s a great relationship.
It’s not the same though is it?
Years ago a girlfriend did get pregnant, but neither of us were right for each other let alone ready for parenthood, so she had an abortion.
That’s the closest I’ve been.
Tomorrow Jay and I will have a fun-filled day of board games, a film on TV and some craft with sticking drawing and painting. It will be truly lovely.
And yes we get to give them back. All of the fun, none of the responsibility.
Yet, deep down, I’d love to have that problem that many of you are fretting about this week.
What shall we do with the kids?