Before I Was Somebody's Father I Was Somebody's Son

12/06/2017 11:16 BST | Updated 12/06/2017 11:16 BST

Three Letters, One Word, Dad.

It is strange to remember that before you were somebody's father you were somebody's son. The hopes, dreams, heart-clenching worries and wee-wee inducing laughter caused by your own, snotty-nosed ankle biters isn't a feeling that you alone own.

My whole world is based all around on one three-letter word. This word is 'Dad'. Sounds daft right? But let me explain.

Two years ago I set up the 'Don't Believe The Hype, The World's First Agency Of Dad' a magazine and online publishing/ PR agency for dads.

I've launched a campaign called 'The Dadifesto', to challenge the media negative 'Daddy Pig-like' stereotypes of dads as bumbling buffoons.

Alongside this, I juggle running a family-friendly event agency called TotRockinBeats with being a freelance journalist writing about all things dad-related and doing the school run.

And, as the 18th of June marks Father's Day, you can imagine this is my busiest time of the year.

The date is traditionally one where us dads are inundated with tacky socks, t-shirts and mugs proclaiming that we are 'The Greatest' one ever. While the rest of the year we are dismissively patronised as 'Babysitters' if we dare venture out with the kids by ourselves...

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Credit: Author's Own.

But have you ever stopped and asked your dad what he would actually want as a present?

If you did, you might be surprised. The year supply of free beer, a pass for a guilt-free, all-expenses paid weekend in Vegas with (insert name of the favourite football team), and a coachload of Swedish nymphets may not actually be at the top of his list. (Possibly number 2 or 3, I reckon)

For me, it's a lot simpler yet a whole more unattainable. What I'd dearly want is to hang out with my own dad and son for the day. I'd love to take them down to somewhere nice for the day. We'd go for a kick about at the park, eat fish and chips on the beach and to jokingly compete at stone skimming at the sea.

Sadly, that isn't going to happen. My dad passed away three years ago, so he never got to see the wonderful world we've made for ourselves.

It is strange to remember that before you were somebody's father you were somebody's son. The hopes, dreams, heart-clenching worries and wee-wee inducing laughter caused by your own, snotty-nosed ankle biters isn't a feeling that you alone own.

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Credit: Three Generations Of Flanagan Boys. Authors Own.

Losing a loved one is a life changing event for any of us. When it is a dearly loved parent that goes and you are a parent yourself, you have a glimpse into just how much they have done for you.

Below, is the poem that I wrote after my dad passed. I hope you don't mind me sharing it and that maybe it makes you think about your dad.

So, if you still have the opportunity give them a big, big hug. Us men might not be known for loving public displays of affection, but believe me, secretly we utterly adore it.

Before I was somebody's father - I was somebody's son.

Before I was somebody's father - I was somebody's son.

And I belonged to the big hairy hand that steadied me - when I was learning to run.

To walk and to talk, to shout and to scream

The broad shoulders to lean on, teaching me how to laugh and to dream.

Back so strong, with the weight of the world on your shoulders

And one son, three daughters and five cheeky grandkids to help you grow older.

You always danced to your own tune played by a strange and unorthodox band

I can see you now at on a bench, a cuppa of tea and newspaper in hand.

You are the big shoes that I could never quite fill

With a mind full of schemes that would never sit still.

The kindhearted soul with sparkling blue eyes, born just for laughing

And quick-witted feet made for scoring goals and for dancing.

The same hands made for drawing and for holding a beer

Are the same hands made for helping and for holding us dear.

Never told you I love you nearly enough times

Public displays of affection, the most audacious of crimes.

The message was passed on instead by thought and in deed

So thank you, Daddy, by building me strong, you gave me all that I need.

But the last time I saw you, I think you understood

I looked into your eyes I knew that my Blackpool boy had done good.

So now I know it's time for you to go, but I'm not quite ready or set

My Father, my hero - a man I will never forget.

####

Happy Father's Day. Until next time.

Keep the faith, keep it real, keep on keeping on and keep em' peeled.

For more Dad-related stories, check out DontBelieveTheHype onTwitter @DBTHSocialPR, or join me at TotRockinBeats 'Da La Soul' on the 18th June, where Granddads are most definately welcome.