How would you define the role of a father?
For me, it conjures up a million different words, feelings and thoughts. I also think that such an enormous definition is simply impossible to be summed up in just a few of those, but fortunately in this day and digital age, we're not limited by language in such a way, we have the ability to use photos, imagery and pictures to help us.
Ahead of an exciting competition launching later this week with Lifecake, I've had a go at defining the role of dad, by trawling through the 12,000 photos I've take of Teddy over the first 22 months of his life. Below I've shared a few of my favourites that go someway to defining fatherhood to me.
I was woken up on this occasion by 2 small feet delicately placed upon my cheeks... followed swiftly by the full weight of a nearly 2 year old. Rude awakenings are rarely welcome, but for some reason when it's your child bursting into your room, full of beans, you don't mind. Being a dad, the way you once felt about things in life changes and priorities shift. A lot.
This photo of me cleaning Teddy's teeth (and him cleaning mine) says a thousands words. You can see the delicacy he has adopted to get the brush in my mouth and it also highlights the lengths us dads will go to look after our children. I must admit, the delicacy didn't last long and I had the ulcers to prove it. Ted had shiny teeth at least.
Reading to our children, even when they are super small, is so important and this is definitely one of my favourite times of the day. Ted loves reading and I feel it's within my role as his dad to teach him, educate and support him in his learning.
I think this photo speaks for itself. Sometimes the role of dad is stress reliever / rag doll /soft toy.
We thought it was a good idea to nip to the shops. But then this is England and of course a torrential downpour was hovering about us... and Teddy didn't have a coat so I gave him mine. Did I mind getting wet? Not one little bit. I'd protect him from anything with everything I have.
When I look at this final photo it stirs up the same emotion in me, as if I were actually cuddling him. When he runs over to me, arms up and says 'Dadda', my heart actually bursts with love. It's these simple moments that go a long way to defining dad.
So what is it? Comedian, protector, stress reliever, teacher, provider, carer, comforter but there is one thing that ties all these together.... a father's love.
As soppy as it sounds, that's how I would define the role of a dad; to love.