I need to confess my sins.
An old friend writes a few updates to me on Facebook on family life some years after our legendary drinking sessions meant we were BFFs forever. His kids are doing rather well in a mixture of words involving straight A's and A stars-pluses, cross country county representation, cup winning photographs and who knows what, its a good thing. It may seem less of a good thing that my kids seem somewhat a distant competitor on whose are best. If I write back of the daughter achieving a 10m swimming badge, it seems to lack the necessary gravitas.
But to confess my sins that once I cared deeply that Oxbridge was not a made-up word like Camford; but and double but, a destiny. But and triple but, now I have changed my tune, I dance to a new fiddler, my kids are doing ok, or more than ok really, on the ways of this world, and if so by damn, then I am doing ok.
They seem happy, despite all my life has thrown at them.
We were chasing the euro dollar to avoid austerity measures, long before austerity measures entered common parlance as not a good thing. I was trying hard to put that elusive bread on a plate and buttering up a greasy pole of a career that could flatline better than a British economy. It was successful on the bread front, possibly less so on the complimentary butter. And I confess somewhat less successful on the continuity of houses and/ or apartments, stability of friendships and sadly the academic development of little ones becoming not so little ones. Like it or not changing schools is not a good thing.
So the kids have had to turn-up to unknown teachers, unknown classroom walls, unknown strangers that may hopefully become future friends and try to get on. The kids have had to stand too often looking at the sky in a 'why me' way, looking at the ground in 'why dad' way, looking gormless in the schoolyard a few times too often, before gormlessness was passed over by degrees on their own. They did it and are different human beings for the experience, perhaps a tad nicer, a tad better methinks. I celebrate their survival as my old friend celebrates straight A's and Oxbridge. It makes me feel less guilty.
Touching so much wood, that I wish there was an Amazonian forest was close to hand, they are happy kids, and as if to make me still happier, they laugh at my jokes. What more can a Dad ask for outside "world peace" and a wooly-pully that can hide a belly no middling aged man should have without a scaffolding expert in attendance.