The fool in King Lear could have spoken to me when he said: “Thou shouldst not have been old till thou hadst beenwise.”
I have gained a lot of grey hair before losing the worst of my stupidity. Today will be the last time I write the words “the four-year-old Egg” in this column.
On Wednesday, she turns five. My son was born when I was only 27 and had misplaced dreams of making my mark in life by working day and night to build a career, which I realise now, was stupid.
Today, I know the test of a man’s life is not in his professional achievements. It lies in the children and grandchildren he leaves behind.
My son is 27 – as old as I was when I held him in my arms for the first time. Today, we have an unbelievable relationship, but I still feel cheated out of those precious first years by my own misplaced ambition.
I was, however, blessed with a second chance when Egg was born two days before my 50th birthday and from day one, I tried to experience every moment of my second fatherhood.
The first years of this journey as been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. I started looking after her during the day four months after her birth. I worried about her development daily.
When she went to school 20 months later, I was a competent parent… but also a paranoid one who read every article on childhood diseases.
The next three years, the nursery school Snapdragon and I cherry-picked for her turned my little hooligan into a young lady, albeit a potty-mouthed one. But there isn’t a prouder parent in Gauteng than Egg’s dad.
Of course, I can’t take all the credit for what this little miracle has become. Her mom, the sometimes lovely Snapdragon, has shown that no matter how dedicated a father is, he can never replace a mother. She’ll save the last piece of bread for our daughter.
She’ll freeze but won’t hesitate to give her jacket to Egg. She’ll fight for our child with the last breath left in her body.
Having a child late in life is an enormous privilege. I make sure that I’m an active, present dad. It is, after all, the best seat in the house to witness the wonder of motherhood first-hand.
CELEBS AND VIRAL