A lovely post on Facebook described my parenting as, 'brilliant' the other day.
It kind of made my day. I wasn't fishing for compliments and it was nice to receive one.
To be honest I think the actual truth is more that my parenting is better described as; 'capable' or maybe 'haphazard'; I muddle through somehow.
Somehow the kids get meals on the table (I confess that I did burn boiled eggs the other day, but that's another story). Somehow their school uniform is always laid out on their beds in the morning (the way that Amy used to do). Somehow they get packed lunches, and somehow I get to spend a few quiet moments to myself when the hubbub of a day (usually spent chasing round making sure that my two beautiful children are happy and feeling loved) comes to an end. We're getting by, but it doesn't mean that it's easy.
My little boy cried himself to sleep tonight. He told me over and over that he wanted his Mum back. I couldn't really help him other than rub his back and cuddle him. All three of us feel that way and after Eli went to sleep I cried too. The sadness and hopelessness I feel about missing Amy ebbs and flows with me - so why should it be any different with Audrey or Eli?
I put nail polish on Audrey's nails this afternoon (a high fashion electric blue if you're interested) and afterwards played cricket in the garden with Eli.
Audrey no longer has a female role model in our family which troubles me at times; Eli only has me to watch him play soccer or shout supportive words on the rugby field. (Perhaps sometimes I do shout loud enough for two though I guess).
I am 100% sure though that their Mum would be proud of the children they have become since she died.
Both my kids are so kind. We watched a subtitled cartoon this afternoon and without prompting Audrey read the words aloud to Eli as she instinctively knew that (although he can now read) he would have struggled to keep up with the speed of the text. Eli let his friend jump the queue at their facepainting session earlier today as he knew his friend had to leave soon and might miss out. Empathy.
I try my best to keep the memory of their Mum alive, but at the same time always making sure that the enormity of the terrible situation doesn't crush them or define their life entirely.
They are such beautiful and kind children, but equally both hard as nails - they've been able to shoulder the death of their Mum and carry on and done so, in lots of ways, so much more capably and much more 'brilliantly' than me.
I am so proud to call myself their Dad.