If you haven’t picked it up, I’m a proud man. I have deep faith in my own abilities, and know that even if the dice rolled against me, I’d cope. LL says its one of the things she loves most about me. I am also very proud of those around me. I think I have a most excellent wife, despite the odd wranglings we do fine.

One of the things I didn’t really expect about being a father was the pride in my children. Its not big full grown pride in world changing achievements (though I have no doubt they will do just that in their time), but pride in simple little things. I can still remember my heart almost bursting out of my chest when Pirate Pete took his first steps. Its such a silly little thing, but lordy I was so proud of him. That moment has been matched by each of the kids.

Just before Christmas the boys, completely unprompted, decided to buy each other presents out of their pocket money. They only get 50p a week, and used up months of savings to buy each other something. I was fit to burst I was so proud. At the weekend I caught them conspiring about what they’d buy their sister for her upcoming birthday.

My princess came in this morning, she’d dressed herself. The buttons on her jumper where misaligned, and she had on a shocking pink top with green trousers, but she was so pleased with herself. I’m the one that gets her dressed in the morning, and I felt such bitter sweet pride. So happy for her for making that step, and a little sad at my girl being not quite so young any more.

Such is the life of a parent. I wouldn’t for a moment swap the heartache, tiredness and frustrations for a life without them. Those moments of love and pride and joy are so precious I savour each one. Long may it continue

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