Dear little one, it’s your father here. How are you doing in there? Do you have everything you need? If you want any extras, put them on my bill.
Now you’re minus-three-months-old I thought I’d write because there’s something I need to tell you – I’m probably going to be the oldest parent in the playground. Sorry. There is nothing I can do about this and I promise if I could make myself younger, I would. But as things stand, you are stuck with an older father.
What does this mean? Well, when I bend my knees they sound like grit in a tumble-dryer. I say ‘Ahhhh’ whenever I sit down and sometimes my skeleton forgets to join in when I stand up. My cultural reference points are mostly in the last century and, as I’m sure you’re already aware, I whistle a lot and shout at the television all the time (it’s a family thing).
You’re probably now considering your options, such as adoption, fostering or joining a circus. But before you make any plans here are some benefits you may want to consider: you will be able to outrun me as soon as you can walk; you can hide my glasses and become, for all intents and purposes, invisible; and best of all, we can synchronise our naps in the afternoon.
Also, apart from having the most amazing mother in the cosmos (that’s universe, not cocktails – although both apply), you have three grown-up siblings who can teach you how to play me to your maximum advantage. They have honed their manipulative techniques over many years and they’re all there for you to use, for free.
And you will be the beneficiary of the immense knowledge I have accumulated. For example, I am really good at long division (I’ll probably teach you that before you start school). And you will have access to a library of books it’s taken me a lifetime to read, the best mid-century British film collection outside the BFI – and don’t get me started on my playlist of 70s prog rock… actually, I’m serious, don’t get me started. I’ve been warned about it.
So, that’s a good package, isn’t it? And I won’t be one of those needy, high-maintenance, hysterical fathers desperate to make their children something they’re not. I’m through with all that. I want you to be exactly… you. I won’t even get picky with your grammar (I will really). I’ll be focusing my energies on low-impact parenting – like having fun, looking for where you’ve hidden my glasses, and respecting the afternoon nap.
Anyway, that’s all for now. Don’t worry about writing back. Oh, there is one other thing, I may well be the oldest parent in the playground, but you will be the most loved, the most precious, the most adored little boy or girl or gender-fluid non-binary entity in the whole school – or anywhere else for that matter. And I won’t negotiate on that.
P.S. a message from your mother: would you mind not jumping on her bladder so much? Thanks.
Categories: Don't do the Maths!
Bless you James!
A lovely note I’m sure your son/daughter/ gender-fluid offspring will enjoy reading it one day.