I am a policeman’s son — a proud policeman’s son.
When I was young he worked at the CIB in fingerprints. I will never forget the Luna Park fire in the ’70s. Boys from our community, the same age as my brother, perished in that fire. Dad had to go to work on the scene. I have never been able to understand since how he dealt with that. He turned up and did his job.
Mum and Dad weren’t wealthy. It was never about what you made but about what you contributed. I was an OK student and my parents’ hopes for me and my brother were centred on the idea that we would become good men. My brother and I learned that from our dad. He taught us about a world bigger than ourselves.
My hope and prayer when I became a father 11 years ago was that I would be a father as good he has been to me.
Dad has always shown me his example first through his own actions and his own life. My own faith is a product of his — I have witnessed how important it has been to him over his entire life. I know not everyone has this life experience, and that for a lot of people Father’s Day can be tough. To have lost your father, or to have had an absent or bad father, can be the source of pain.
Father’s Day is also a day I think of my family and my own kids. I love the homemade cards, the burnt toast and the undercooked eggs as Jenny and the girls celebrate the day.
If that makes me a “daggy dad”, sign me up. I’ve had many delights in my life, but none go past my wife Jenny and our two beautiful girls.
They are the centre of my universe — always have been and always will be. Along with the toast and tea, they will come in and give me a big hug and a kiss as they do every Father’s Day.
My girls are the joy of my world and seeing them always means that I’m home. They are the first to greet me running down the corridor when I get home whenever that is — and they always want to know when I will be home.
On Saturday night it’s a case of: my kitchen, my curry, my mess, and my washing up. It’s the night to laugh, share news, argue, talk about the Sharks and critique curry. And yes, I tell terrible Dad jokes with the best of them.
Like most men with families, there are moments when the demands of work and home seem to cascade, but mostly, from Jenny, our kids and my parents I draw strength. I am grateful beyond measure.
This Father’s Day, my message to my Dad is the same as it is every year: thank you and I love you.
To all the Dads in Australia my message is keep up the good work, because the kids of our country need the best dads possible.
For all of us blokes, let’s strive to be the best dads, husbands and partners that we can be — and if your kids bring the toast in this morning, just be careful of the crumbs in the bed!