Big Daddy's Goulash
"Dad," he says, "did you always want to be a Dad?"
Big Daddy ponders carefully and then replies, "no, not always but I am glad I am a Dad, especially yours and La-la's."
The Dude considers this response.
"Dad," he says, "when you decided to become a Dad, did you think you'd become such an awesome Dad?"
Big Daddy ponders the second question and replies.
"No, I didn't. I'm not sure I'm such an awesome Dad but I am trying my best."
The Dude fixes his eyes on his dinner and indulges in a bit of pondering himself. This is followed by a sigh as he announces, "I don't think I'll become a Dad, I don't think I'd be very good at it."
This astounds me, as this is pretty much the reason why I am a geriatric mother - for most of my life I thought the whole mammy scene wasn't for me. I believed I wasn't cut out for the demands of motherhood. Children were like foreign objects to me - strange creatures in constant need of attention and care that didn't seem to obey the laws of anything - merchants of chaos! And I felt I didn't have the necessary talents to deal with such creatures, so the world would be better off if I left the mammy box unticked.
Yup! Kids Are Crazy!
Thankfully I had my road to Damascus conversion once I became an aunty and I figured maybe I could handle this mammy gig after all. Luckily I hadn't left it too late. Nearly but not quite...
So here I am sitting opposite my son who has the same ideas about becoming a Dad as I had about becoming a mum and I don't want him to go through life with that idea in his head. I want him to feel that he has as much potential to become a Dad, and a pretty awesome Dad, as the next boy. I don't want him plagued by the same silly feelings of inadequacy as I was for most of my life.
I sit bolt upright in my chair and announce, "hey, don't feel like that! I never thought I'd become a mum and I thought If I did then I'd be crap at it but you know what, I am a mum and I'm a pretty fucking awesome mum!"
There followed that enormous silence when someone has said something completely incongruous and then everybody around the table exploded into laughter.
The Dude's eyes were out on sticks.
"Mum!" he exclaimed, "you swore! I'm not sure that makes you awesome."
The Dude & His Eyes!
La-la was laughing so hard at this stage, she had tears in her eyes.
Big Daddy was shaking his head.
I was sitting there thinking how over forty years worth of self-doubt had just been obliterated in that one comment and it felt good! I looked at my two children laughing their heads off, their beautiful faces the picture of happiness and I said to myself, "yeah, I'm a pretty fucking awesome mammy!"
As La-la sees me!
All singing, all dancing Mum!