Archive for the ‘Family’ Category

Thirteen

November 21, 2009

It’s about 10pm, Thursday 21st November 1996. The phone rings:

Hello?”

Mr Steadman?”

Yes”

It’s the hospital, your wife….”

I don’t recall the rest of the conversation, but within seconds I was out the door heading to the hospital. Probably the happiest moment in my life was about to happen. My daughter was about to be born

The day had started with me taking my wife in to the maternity ward to be induced. That was 8am. By 9pm, there was no sign of anything happening I was told by the nurses that as visiting had finished at 8, I really should go home. An hour later and I got the phone call to tell me she had gone in to labour. At 11.54pm, I became the father of a little baby girl.

Today she was 13. A teenager. For the last six and a half years she’s lived with her mum, 160 miles away, and I’ve had to watch her group at a distance. Yes I’ve had her for the holidays, but it’s not the same as being with her every day.

She’s not perfect, in fact she far from perfect. But I wouldn’t change her for anything.

It only seems like yesterday that I got that phone call, where did those years go?

Regrets, wrong decisions and hindsight

November 9, 2009

Three separate things have led me to today’s post: Firstly, a discussion a couple of weeks ago with friends about things in our past that we regretted. Not the little “Oh I wished hadn’t eaten that extra slice of cake” type regrets, but the big ones such as “I wished I’d never had that relationship”. Secondly, the post I did the other week about heading off down a wrong turn in life. And thirdly a Church service where the preacher spoke about looking back with hindsight at the decisions we had made in life.

Now I’ll start be telling the story which Rev Trevor Gerhardt told us at the beginning of his sermon. There was a man walking through the desert and he was beginning to suffer from dehydration and really need water. Eventually he found a tent with a Bedouin standing outside. He asked the man for some water. “Sorry,” came the reply, “I don’t have any water. But I can sell you a tie”. “I don’t need a tie, I need water!”. “Sorry I can’t help then, but there is another tent about three hours away in that direction” replied the tie-seller. So reluctantly the man continued on his way through the desert. Eventually he came to the second tent, and again there was a Bedouin standing outside. “Water, water, I need water” said the weary traveller. “Oh I have plenty of water, but you can’t come in” he was told. “Why?” “Because you’re not wearing a tie!”

So all through life we are presented with choices, but it is only with hindsight that we can see if we have taken the correct path or not. However, whichever path we take, it affects us for the rest of lives. It’s not possible to go back in time and alter our decision. Once made, the path is set, and even if we decide that we are going down the wrong route, it’s not possible to go back and start again. We just take a different route from where we are now.

So when my friends were saying that they regretted taking certain jobs, or having relationships which didn’t work out, I can honestly say that I don’t. I may not like the way some of my decisions have played out, but if I could alter them, I probably wouldn’t because I wouldn’t end up where I am now. If I had never met/married my ex-wife, I probably wouldn’t have the daughter I have. If I had taken that other job (the one I would have enjoyed more than filling shelves, paid better and had better prospects), I probably wouldn’t have some of the best friends I now have. And if I had not gone to Church on that particular Sunday (and just carried as any other Sunday), I wouldn’t have my other best friends. Yes I admit I have made some really bad/stupid decisions in my life but on the whole, I am happy with where I am now. I have a good set of friends and a daughter that I wouldn’t change for anything.

So I challenge you, next time you’re thinking that you’ve made a really bad choice, and are regretting it, just think about what’s good in you life and imagine if it wasn’t there. If you had taken a different route, you life would be entirely different, and not necessarily for the better.

This weekend

November 23, 2008

Well what a weekend this has been. I’ve just spent a couple of days with my daughter, celebrating her birthday. But I can’t say the whole experience was a happy one – as you could probably tell from yesterday’s blog post.

I now feel that I can write about the weekend in a slightly calmer manner, and hopefully without upsetting/annoying/irritating/[insert your own word here] the other people concerned.

Friday evening I took my daughter shopping so she could spend some of her birthday money. She knew what she wanted – an iPod Shuffle like mine. Prior to going out, her mum had told me that if the iPod, or another mp3 player if she wanted a different one, cost more than she had then her stepdad would put some money towards it as he hadn’t as yet bought her a present. And he would also use his computer to put music on the iPod for her.

So off we went.

She found what she wanted, and despite me trying to talk her in to buying a cheaper non-iPod mp3 player, she had made her mind up and bought it. Upon returning home, her mum said that in fact stepdad had said that he wouldn’t install iTunes  (which is needed by an iPod) on any of their computers. Luckily I had my laptop with me so I could put some music on it for her.

Saturday morning I picked her up in order to spend a few hours with her before her party. Her mum then clarified why stepdad wouldn’t install iTunes on the computers. Apparently they play all their music through the Xbox, and if they installed iTunes it would re-catalogue their music and they wouldn’t be able to play it through the Xbox anymore. I knew that this was not true*. But I held my tongue and didn’t say anything because I have always felt that parents should back each other up in front of children, and I didn’t not want to cause any friction between myself, my-ex and the step-dad.

So off the two of us went. While we were out we did some shopping and she spent some of what remained of her birthday money. She didn’t waste it on silly things, she bought some bits for school, some “thank-you” letters, a CD and a book.

Today when I picked her up, her mum was not very pleased with her because she had “spent all her money and in a few weeks time she’ll want something and not have any money!” Well she hadn’t spent all her money, I still had a few pounds left, and her stepdad still hadn’t given her anything. But again I kept my mouth shut.

After another nice day together, despite the weather, I took her home. As I said goodbye to her, she asked how much money she had left. As she hadn’t spent anything today, she thought it was about £3. Well I gave her £10 and said that I had paid for the book she had bought yesterday. This put a big smile on her face, and I left her knowing she was happy.

So she now has an iPod with some music on it, but she can’t change it until she sees me at Christmas. I hope she doesn’t get too bored of it!

*I’ve now had four other people tell me that iTunes can be installed without messing up what’s already on there. So why he doesn’t want to put iTunes on I do not know.

Twelve

November 21, 2008

Twelve years ago today was the happiest day in my life. It was the day my daughter was born.

My wife was two weeks past her due date and I took her into hospital at 8am to have labour induced. At 9pm, I was asked to go home as there was no chance of anything happening that night and visiting hours had finished at 8pm! So off I went for the night.

At about 10.15pm the phone rings

“Mr Steadman?”

“Yes”

“It’s the hospital, your wife’s in labour”

I reckon I was in the car before they even replaced the phone

Our daughter was born at 11.54pm.

Six years ago her mother and I split up and she spent the first year with me, and the rest with her mum (and stepdad). She’s not perfect, but I wouldn’t change her. She’s the most important person in my life.

Fathers’ Day

June 15, 2008

So Fathers’ Day draws to a close. I can’t say I’m sorry to see the end of it.

Fathers’ Day is one of those days that, more than most, is hard on absent fathers.

I didn’t receive a card – but then I didn’t really expect one. I did get a “Happy Father’s Day” on the phone, but it was during a virtually non-existent conversation: she was too busy playing a computer game to want to talk to me.

Still, there’s always next year…

Mothers

April 14, 2008

Mother has bought herself a new mobile phone – I think that’s her fiftieth!

She’s had it a few days so why, when I turn up, do I get the questions (the same questions I always get):

“What’s this symbol mean?”

“What does 3G mean?

and “Where’s my photos?”

And the best bit is, she’s sitting the other side of the room with the phone in her hand so I can’t see it and I don’t even know what the phone is!

You can read Mother! Read the book that came with it! Or else give me the phone to play with and then I’ll tell you!

Mothers. Who needs them?