Last year I recounted some of my experiences having become an “Instant Dad“, by dint of being in a relationship with a lovely lady who has two children. I’ve not said much since, other than to perhaps share the odd tale if we’ve been out for a day trip or something like that. Last weekend saw a significant milestone for me in that role, and I thought I’d share it here.
Dee was working all weekend during the day, and her son’s dad was in the US on business. Dee’s daughter looked after H on the Saturday as I had to play in my first gig for my new band, but on Sunday I got to look after H all on my own, for the first time ever.
It’s hard to describe what this meant to me, other than “everything”. To have Dee trust me so much that she would entrust her only son to my care was incredible. For me to have sole responsibility for this young man was huge. I had to make sure that he was safe and protected wherever we went and whatever we did, and knowing that if anything went wrong the ramifications were unthinkable. Beforehand, my mind kept racing, making me ask myself all sorts of questions. What if I wasn’t up to the challenge? What if I messed up? What if I couldn’t cope? What if H didn’t enjoy it? What if…
As it turned out, H and I had a great time. We went to see Batman v Superman (he’d seen it and wanted to go again, and I hadn’t seen it so was happy to go). It’s quite a long film, at 150 minutes, so a good chunk of the day was spent in the relative safety of a cinema.
We then had lunch, before heading off to see Dee at work via the supermarket. I’m not sure I’ve ever driven more carefully. All of a sudden, my time in sole charge was done, and nothing bad had happened. I definitely felt the weight of responsibility lift when we were three again, and with that resonsibility came tiredness after the fact: is that normal?
Even now, a couple of days later, I’m still struck by what an honour and privilege it was to be entrusted with H for so long. I know it was a big step for Dee, and for me, and I’m very touched and humbled by it.