These posts I write are not designed for likes or to say "oh look at me aren't I just wonderful?"
Like I said in the beginning these are here to push some positivity back onto Social Media, creating a little herd immunity from the negativity out there.
I am conscious that some people don't like to be named or tagged so I'm being even more careful not to stress people out with this.
A friend and I were talking a few weeks ago about our parenting experiences and she asked if I thought that our parents had a better idea of it all than we did or if they were winging it too.
I think they were winging it and quite honestly I've learnt that that's ok.
I am (have been) both of father and a stepfather (although in all honesty they are no different please don't let anybody else tell you that they are). And for the last few years I've being a single and sole parent.
It's been tough but it's been very rewarding. As I look back I see that I have made many mistakes. Some are my own mistakes. Some mistakes I made from listening to other people's well-intentioned advice. And I know now that there are more successes than failures, but for a long time I wasn't sure. What the hell was I worried about?
I have regrets don't get me wrong. I should have spent more time with them. I shouldn't have got so angry with them. I should have been a better example to them. I should have protected them more. I should have provided more for them. I have made my peace with it all and you can't change the past.
When I do look back and reflect on it I am reassured that I have achieved something great with all of them. That I actually taught them quite well. But I don't get too caught up with that as I realise that they were doing all the work and as a result they were teaching me.
And since that realisation I am more open to learning from them.
Again I'm not going to go into any detail but through all of the things that I and my ex-wife put them through because we struggled to deal with our own situations, all three of them have grown into strong, independent, driven and caring people. More so than I could ever wish to be! And that's all we want right?
I mean we give them all the tools and they have found their own way to use them carve out a future of their own.
That's no different for anyone else of course but it's good to know that in spite of all the times we wrap them in cotton wool and subject them to our own worries, fear and concerns (mixed with love and joy and wisdom shared of course) that they actually can "bounce".
From watching these three people grow, how they overcome their respective challenges, how brave they are in the face of their fears, and how they are there for their friends and family members when they need help the most, I have learnt how to be an even better person.
They've also helped me navigate this whole new world of kids and technology and whatever bloody language they are speaking!
The stuff I went through that I never handled very well, they handle brilliantly. And I take notes and use it in my day to day now.
So a big thank you to Aaron, Daniella and Devon, I'm extremely proud of you all! Thank you for teaching me and helping me grow into a better old man ;-)
I'm setting the challenge for you all to lean into your vulnerability and give appreciation to someone else, especially if this is something you feel you cannot do but want to!
Have a great day and I'll be back with another name soon x