We sat back after a special Didsbury Dad tea; all colours and flavours with no central theme. There was some male bonding, shared through a sigh, the odd grunt and a glassy-eyed happiness usually only seen in post-feed babies.
Didsbury Son looked at me and said the line that makes all dads swell with pride, rather than gas. “Dad, when I grow up I want to be just like you.”
Even as the words fell like the sweetest confetti on the happiest groom I could picture the majority of my poor decisions and wish Didsbury Son an adulthood with many differences and less crises.
I surreptitiously loosened my belt, squinted over my glasses at him and, reaching for an antacid replied,
“One day son, this will all be yours” pointing at a pile of papers that contained a credit card bill, a letter from school, two takeaway menus and a conference programme from March.
He smiled, scratched his nose and we both wondered what to do next.
Both of us savoured and inhaled the thought of success. Him considering the easy acquisition of My Wonderful Life, me deciding to crank up the homework and make sure his first significant A is not AA Roadside Assistance.
We returned to happy silence as I fought the urge to pontificate; failed, gave in to the urge and gave him a selectively edited version of my rise to being Didsbury Dad.
By the time I had finished I expected applause, tears, flowers at least.
I got a smile and a pat before he sloped off to watch TV with an encounter he may one day be able to pinpoint as the day he first began to see the gap between intent and actuality.