Love and Fear

I’ve had the privilege of speaking to a lot of new Dad’s in the course of writing a book or two about fatherhood.

Amongst the fatigue and the joy there have been some great quotes offered up about how life changes when two becomes three, four, five or beyond.

“Sleep is the new sex” was perhaps one of the pithiest lines to come my way but the one that really hit home was from a father of two who is quite a bit further down the track than I.

“Before I had children I had no concept of my capacity to love or my capacity to fear.” this wise man said to me, and he is very right indeed.

Where your own children are concerned love and fear are two sides of the same coin. The more you love the more fear you have of the thing generating that love being hurt or taken away from you.

There are exceptions to this rule like there are exceptions to all rules of course, but in the main even the most emotionally stilted of men find the love they have for their children conquers all.

As first smiles are followed by first steps and first words, the deal is sealed and from then on just a look is enough to have you hook, line and sinker – the depth and power of the feeling in your chest enough to take your breath away.

But loves sneaky bedfellow fear is soon making its prescnce felt too. From the stair gate to the plug sockets it’s easy to let the perceived threats to this small package that you dote on so much reach obsessional levels.

Living in a city as my family does roads and the cars that speed down them are the things that occassionally wake me up in the middle of the night, my body gripped by fear as my dreams play out some hideous road safety announcement with my youngsters as the principle stars.

There’s nothing to be done about this ying and yang relasionship of course and if my mother is to be believed – and she generally is – the worry never ever leaves you, even when you are an octogenarian and your offspring are busy fretting about their own kids.

But as ever, when the coin is turned over we find the love is life long too.

fatherhood skills now move firmly under the microscope as your partner watches this blessed man complete every chore, play every game and tidy up every jigsaw piece with a smile on his face and a song in his heart.

Don’t let that put you off though, if you’re going to be just as busy on holiday as you are at home you might as well do it with people who are as exhausted as you are and who get just as excited about that first glass of wine of an evening!

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