When I told my father I wanted to get married, he offered practical advice: “If you insist on filling your life with tears and drama, buy an Italian car.”
I didn’t listen, and he just shrugged. “Some people have to learn things the hard way.”
Of course, he was right.
But having said that, he omitted one vital fact: to raise a child with a woman is one of the greatest privileges life has to offer.
And that is another lesson I had to learn for myself – there is no greater wonder than motherhood.
I have two children and the dedication and unconditional love of their mothers has humbled me time and time again over the past quarter of a century.
I am extremely proud of my 25-year-old son – he is a young gentleman with manners, grace and sophistication that bears testimony of his mom’s sacrifices and backbone.
Intelligent people as well as journalists insist it takes a village to raise a child. But my own son has shown me that this is nonsense – you can’t do it without a mom. A village of dads won’t have half the success one mother does.
The two-year-old Egg has me as a father. Three days after her birth I fetched her and the lovely Snapdragon, my present wife, from hospital to take them home. You could see the hope in the newborn’s blue eyes:
“Are you going to load me into your Merc?”
“Nope,” I replied. “I don’t have one.”
“What do you mean? You can’t put a baby in a sports car?”
“I don’t have a sports car either,” I said. “Just a big, grey Ford.”
You could see the disgust. “But we do live in Melrose Arch, don’t we?”
“Sorry. Just plain old Welties.”
“Damn,” her eyes said.
But her rotten luck is balanced out by one piece of good fortune – she has the lovely Snapdragon as a mother. And that makes up for the dented Ford and the humble home in Weltevreden Park.
Every child with a mother has won the Lotto. But Snapdragon is just that bit better at mothering than anyone else.
Her children test her her patience daily. But she passes all the tests with flying colours, which says a lot..
Today, on the eve of Mother’s Day, I pay homage to every mother I know, but most of all the lovely Snapdragon, who parents the foul-mouthed Egg with me.