Small things make a big difference, right? It’s a recurring theme on this blog and, this Fathers’ Day, it’s the small things I’ve been thinking about.
It started when I was trying to find the words to put in my dad’s card (always a tricky one for us Brits – we want not too gushy, but sincere, and where possible a touch of humour in our greetings cards). Dad’s done some big things for us lately, like taking us on an amazing holiday, and for those things we are obviously grateful. But as I sat poised, pen in hand, it was also the small things that played through my mind. Like giving my boy a (running) piggy back to his therapy every week, which makes the little journey a super fun transition for our son and a much appreciated break for me. And playing football with our sporty daughter. And listening on the phone when I need to offload, letting the kids ride on his lawn mower, toasting marshmallows with them and building sand-boats on the beach. It’s these acts of kindness and support that help my children feel loved and accepted and my husband and I encouraged and supported.
It’s the same with my husband, Andrew, and our two. Each day, he’ll do little things for them. Whether it’s turning their dinner into little pictures to eat, giving them rides in the tractor, taking them to the park before school, or helping create amazing vehicles out of old cardboard boxes, he’s continuously offering creative, fun, patient acts of kindness.
Also deserving of mention is my generous grandad, who, in my younger days and now, has always been a steady source of kindness. He let me come with him to collect the takeaways (I still love the warmth and smell of a bag of fish and chip parcels or tubs of Chinese balanced on my lap in the car). He bought me iced buns, accepted the fact that none of us grandchildren would ever reach any kind of prowess in his beloved golf, showed me a bit of fishing, took me on holidays, taught me hill starts and three point turns and generally spoils and supports us all in an unassuming but often extravagant way.
Parenting can be hard and at times thankless, but I’m so glad to have my dad, Andrew and other men in our lives, who persevere in small acts of kindness every day.