I was just scrolling my photos when I came across this one. It of course made me smile straight away, but when I looked at it a little longer, I saw so much more than what it was showing. I looked at this photo and I saw the guy who saves so much more than a hundred football shots a week. You saved them, Charlie and Elsie, and you continue to save them every single day. You came into our lives at a time when they were uncertain and a little scared to trust, and you showed them it was okay to let their guard down.
They were going through a lot of hurt and confusion back then, they missed their own daddy and you weren’t sure of your place in their lives, but you never once rushed them into loving you. That came all by itself and I’ll tell you why. It’s because of the time Charlie got into trouble at school and instead of lecturing him, you sat upstairs with him for what must have been a solid hour, just talking through his feelings.
It’s because of the day Elsie cried that her legs ached so you carried her on your shoulders all the way to the car even though you had a bad shoulder and we both knew she was just being dramatic. It’s because every single night you lay with them snuggled up close until they fall asleep, no matter how long it takes.
It’s because the voices you put on when you’re reading the Gruffalo are so funny, that even their mummy can’t stop laughing. It’s because of all the times you do weird snorting growling thing and you chase them around the house trying to tickle them. It’s because even when their mummy says your silliness is doing her head in, you risk her wrath and keep being silly with them anyway because it’s making them laugh.
It’s because you teach them they don’t need anything but their imagination to have fun and you take that imagination to the next level, every damn time. It’s because you don’t mind painting Elsie’s nails and she loves the American accent you put on when you’re playing dolls with her. It’s because when Charlie loses his 7-year-old mind big time about not being able to do 99 keepy-ups, you never stop encouraging him to try again.
It’s because you’ve never once tried to evoke good behaviour through fear, but always through mutual respect. It’s because they see you love and utterly adore your own little boy during our family time with him too, and that makes them realise you’re a safe place and always will be. It’s because you show them every single day with how you unashamedly dote on their mummy, what it means to really care for someone.
It’s because you loved them right from the start and you’ve never been ashamed to show it. It’s because you took their fragile, forgiving little hearts, showed them they were still whole and promised them everything was going to be okay with you. It’s because you’re you, and even writing this, I have bloody tears in my eyes because I know there could never be a better ‘like-a-daddy’ to them than you and that’s why. That’s why they love you.
That’s why WE love you
P.S- I’m so bloody broody now. Shall we make our 3 little people become 4?
P.P.S- Kidding, I’ve got to qualify first and earn a living for a while. I didn’t put in all this work for nothing.
P.P.S- Well maybe I’ll change that to half kidding. No, kidding. Kidding. For real.”
This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Jessie Collins of The Student Nurse Mummy. You can follow their journey on Instagram. Do you have a similar experience? We’d like to hear your important journey. Submit your own story here. Be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.
Read more stories by Jessie here:
‘When your son and I decided to go our separate ways you said, in the heat of it all, I wouldn’t let you see your grandkids.’: After separation woman pledges to mother-in-law ‘my door will always be open for you’
‘You’ll sit with your midwife and calmly place your order. ‘A 2-hour water birth, please,’ you’ll say, smiling toward her. The big day arrives, they’ve messed your order up, bad.’: Mom laughs at the reality of motherhood
Spread beauty and strength for others. SHARE this story on Facebook with family and friends.