I'd earned my dues.
Wiped backsides, cleaned up the aftermath of projectile vomit, suffered hours of homework, crap TV & an eternity of parents evenings. Blue light hospital trips, nights on hospital wards, dentist traumas and hours in casualty.
I've had my nose broken, accidentally she claimed, by Sarah.
My leg bitten til it bled, she was a tiger she explained, by Gracie.
Two black eyes simultaneously, I was a duvet monster in his defence, by Ginger
Then this summer for a fleeting moment all seemed lost.
Birth family stepped out of the words in case notes and became flesh. Sisters, aunts, uncles, cousins and dad...........and DAD
What if they make their future exclusively with them?
I thought I was secure, I thought I was progressive, open and forward thinking. I thought all that history counted for something.
It was a like the sensation of being winded and for what seems like an eternity you can't breath. You forget how to, and something that you've done countless times suddenly is forgotten and outside of your control. Straining to draw air, panic rises.
I floundered, what if they were going to leave and put the last 15 years behind them. All my dues counted for nothing, faded away, those experiences did not make me a dad. The years of being there suddenly meaningless.
All that 'stuff' meant nothing because I love them. I couldn't consider them not being part of my life.
For a few hours the threat of loss enveloped me and permeated me,
Then you breathe. You catch air again.
They are not leaving just exploring, broadening, rediscovering.
They are my children and I am their dad.