Monday 29th May 2017 – Bank Holiday Monday affords me one more day to be Super Dad and I’ve arranged a trip for my son and 3 of his little friends to go to the Natural History Museum. We set out early to avoid the crowds and it is already apparent that this is going to be a top day out for all the boys and all the dads. It also dawns on me that I’m starting to build a whole new circle of friends around his little friends at school. These are people that I wouldn’t have normally been associated with. I don’t mean this in a negative sense. What I mean to say is that I haven’t become friends with them because of a shared interest of mine, which has so often been the case in the past. I have become friendly with them initially because of my little boy. But the more I get to know them the more I am learning from them and the more I am really getting to like them! I guess there is more than a degree of gratitude because of how open they have been to me. But also because these are new friends that I have been able to make when I’ve been on the floor, at my worst and feeling so down.
The museum is packed and on a hot and humid day it is also pretty sweaty work getting around. But this doesn’t stop the boys. They are excited by the volcanoes and amused by the stuffed animals. But it is the dinosaurs which has all of them transfixed and particularly the T-Rex. It amazes me the number of different dinosaurs they all know by name and we spend ages going from exhibit to exhibit.
Before I know it then it is time to head home. Everybody looks weary and I know daddy has come up trumps again today. It is a measure of how content my son is that there isn’t even much of a battle over the gift shop. He seems more than happy to carry on playing with his little friends. By now I’m shattered. The weekend has been full on and it is back home to make him some food and to drop him off with his mum. As I walk home the tears start to well up again. I really, really miss him. I really, really miss him. I’ve arranged to meet a friend for an evening bike ride to take out some of the emotional pain I always feel at handover in a productive and physical way. I don’t think I will ever get over the loss of being apart from him and I genuinely don’t know how people can walk away from their kids. I know I could never do it and having it done to you is one of the most difficult things any man can face.