For a while now, my younger daughter Rebecca has been nagging at me to write a blog about “my daughters”... So, belatedly, here it is... and don’t ask me why the title is in German because I really haven’t a clue!
Although I barely look old enough (!), I have two daughters: Leigh-Ann and Rebecca, both of whom were born in the 1980s (the exact years have been omitted for reasons of safety... namely mine...). Leigh-Ann was born in York and Becca in Gateshead... and they now live in the respective capitals of England and Scotland.
Throughout my few months as a serious blogsmith, I have always tried to be open and honest about my own failings and whilst I am not going to go into any great detail, I would readily concede that I haven’t been as good a parent as I would have hoped. My younger years were blighted with bad decisions, born out of naivety selfishness... or both. I don’t consider myself to be a bad person, but whether or not objective opinion would disagree, I am not going to offer any excuses for my past.
What I am going to do is say that from being a teenager, I always wanted to be a father... and I always wanted to have a daughter (or two). I was lucky to be able to raise my stepson Chris as my own, but my two natural children were the girls I longed for.
The picture is of the two of them on the banks of the River Tyne back in 1995; it’s one of my favourite ever photos but certainly a lot has changed over the past sixteen years. There have been times when my relationship with both girls has not been as close as I would have liked... and I am to blame for that. I was lucky though... my life belatedly took a massive turn for the better and I had the chance talk things through with both of my daughters; to give them the explanations they deserved and to accept the failings I know that I had. So, at a time when my life had finally reached a point where it was filled with trust, love and stability, I was able to understand more about the person I was and appreciate that whilst I could never make up for the time that had been lost, we could still make the most of the years that were yet to come.
Now, I have a wonderful relationship with both of the girls: they are both tall and pretty (as you’d expect!!), but they are very different people. Leigh-Ann has a lovely kind and gentle nature; she’s so easy to talk to and has grown into a wonderful young woman. Becca has a worryingly similar sense of humour to her father; she’s had to mature very quickly, but has coped brilliantly – I’ve just met her new boyfriend Scott and Becca looks happier than I’ve seen her in a long time.
They’ve had tough years for differing reasons, but have overcome all the obstacles that have been put in front of them and emerged from the other end, better and stronger people. So there it is: today’s blog is for Leigh-Ann and Becca... I’m incredibly proud of both of you; proud to be able to say I’m your father... and I love you xxxx
All my own work... almost.