Lex-2Bis-2Bcatching-2Bup-2Bto-2BSteve.jpg

Years ago, I made a wish for a dad for my future children, and it came true

We’re celebrating Father’s Day today. It’s not Father’s Day for my dad, as he’s in Australia, and I’m not even sure if it’s Father’s Day here in Thailand! However, regardless, we have embraced it and today, I want to honour and say thank you to the father of our two beautiful boys – Steve Johnson.
From the day we met, I knew I was a lucky gal. Steve was the guy I always hoped to have by my side. And then, when we became parents together, well… you’re looking at a whole new dimension to a relationship!
One definite highlight of becoming parents is the deeper love that forms as you enter this new stage of life – for your children and for each other.
But it can also be enormously challenging, as parenting styles come in many dimensions, and often, you have no idea of these differences until the kids actually arrive.
Not long now Steve 🙂

That was a surprise for us, because we had been totally aligned on everything before then – #BloodyKids I tell ya!

We recognised early on that we were at either end of the parenting philosophies spectrum, and thankfully, rather than one saying my way or the highway, we have constantly worked hard to move towards the center, closer to each other, rather than letting it tear us apart.
We each had to compromise a little, to ensure we could be the parents we wanted to be, without giving in to the other’s style 100 per cent. That has worked well for us, even if we disagree sometimes.  
There is no doubt about it, it’s definitely an interesting life journey this parenting stuff, and today, I want to say thank you to Steve.

For being all-in

Since those little tackers arrived in our lives, you’ve been all-in. A totally present dad, who was in it from the start, in all-ways, every day. When you traveled for work, you constantly stayed in touch and when you came home, those boys were the center of your attention – regardless of how weary you were.
But I was too, always the center of your attention. Your devotion to your family and those you love is something I admire greatly my darling. You have no hang-ups about loving bravely and fiercely – what a role model you are for our lads!
Another bonus is you always honoured the work I needed to do. You understood that my sanity relied on fulfilling my destiny too, and you always created space for that, taking the boys out so I could have some cherished time. Something you continue to do today. Thank you.

For being our protector

The Protector, with Shrek ears
When we first met, I pushed back so hard on you being a protector, because I could take care of myself thank you very much. But you didn’t care, that is who you are. Your big heart and strength combined mean you are The Protector.
When we went into quarantine facing a global pandemic, you had a few weeks of struggle, because of course you did. How could you not be worried with so much uncertainty?
When you could finally speak to me about it, you said you’d been stewing on the questions – were we safe in Phuket? Should we go somewhere else? How can I keep my family safe?
Big questions that needed to be shared, and I’m glad you eventually did, because you were a bit annoying when it was all stewing inside.
After the decision to stay or go was taken away when the airports closed, you got us sorted – we had a wad of cash for emergencies, a tank full of petrol, and chocolate, lots of chocolate.
I fully appreciated the impact this time has had on you. It’s not easy to be a man in a time of great uncertainty and unknown risk. But I’m glad we did it together, not to mention, we had some bloody funny nights together in quarantine!!

For raising gentlemen

When I was a young, angry teenager, if a man opened a door for me, I wanted to smash him in the face, because I could do it myself!! Thankfully I grew up, stopped being angry and realised gentlemen are not an enemy and their actions do not diminish me, instead it is a way of giving respect to each other.
So by the time we met, I loved the fact you were a gentleman and I love it even more that you are raising our boys to be gentlemen too.
And they get such beautiful responses to it. No angry girls wanting to smash them in the face, just delighted people taken aback to be treated with respect by two young boys. Long may it continue, although, I will help them understand how to handle the angry girls…

For teaching them to be men of their word

One of the things that always tied us together was our commitment to being people of our word – a lost art in a fast moving world. It’s something so intrinsically important to both of us, and now, something we are passing onto our boys.
But you don’t do it with words, you do it with action. And there is no better teacher than action. I love seeing them embrace it.

Virtual quiz night, Bond-style

For your work ethic

Another quality we’ve always been aligned on is work ethic. We work hard but we play hard too – because what is the point otherwise! That’s a great lesson for the boys too.
I hope they embrace it, and also the unconventional opportunities available for a life well lived. There are many paths to success, and success has definitely never been about stature or money for us. It’s a smile on your face, or a great adventure to speak about for years to come, or about making an impact that makes the world a better place.
As a role model for work ethic, the boys couldn’t have a better one!

Your patience

OK I might be pushing it here 😊 but seriously, we ain’t had an easy ride. There have been years of grueling stress and anxiety – mainly around Lex, but also the years when we couldn’t get a break.
But we kept going, never gave up on anything that was important to us, and while you probably aren’t feeling too patient at the moment – especially as Jax has decided to target you in this lovely stage of growth – you are more patient and loving than you know.
Just accept it when I say: you go, I’ll handle this love – OK? That’s a sign you’re not being as patient as you could be.

For being adventurous

We’ve had a wild ride together haven’t we? Neither of us afraid, just ready to see it and face it all. Humanity in all its glory and in all its gore. I love how we embrace all sides.
And it’s even more fantastic that the boys love it too! Disney World – boring! They want adventures, where they don’t know what’s around the corner.
Thank you for being an adventurer. Thank you for being open to the world. Thank you for instilling that passion for life and humanity in our boys.

For being emotionally mature

I believe the greatest gift you can give boys, so they can grow into awesome men, is to help them embrace and accept all emotions, and to never let them think it’s a weakness. They’ve seen it all in you, which means they are not scared of expressing their emotions, and they never feel the need to suppress them either.  
What a gift these young boys have in you as their dad!

For being bloody funny

Jax, his father’s son….
I could write a book on your qualities as a dad for our boys, but I’ll finish with your humour. I don’t know if everyone gets to see it as much as we do, but you are hilarious. Totally hilarious and your stupid dad jokes are a hoot, if a little yawn-ish sometimes too… You know the ones I mean.
But there’s another aspect to your humour, and that is how you adapt to suit both of the boy’s very different comedy styles. And they love you for it.
Not to mention, with your guidance, both boys are now developing more sophistication in their humour and that will set them up well in life. If you’re not funny, well….

Thank you

This Father’s Day I just wanted to take the chance to say thank you. You are a gorgeous husband and a fiercely loving dad. The boys adore you, and as I watch you guide them through this treacherous period of growing into men, I know they have the best coach to get through these years and out the other side, intact.
It’s definitely not long before they’ll be out in the world, beautiful, bold, emotionally and culturally intelligent men, with awesome senses of humour, respect for everyone they meet, an open mind to all, and a passion for life that will see them achieve whatever it is they set their heart on achieving.
They will always love and honour their dad for the way he guided them to get there too. I can see it in their eyes today. I know you don’t always feel it’s the case, but trust me, you are their hero.
So thanks for being the dad they need to become their best possible versions of themselves. You are, quite simply, an awesome dad.

Lunchtime with my quarantine buddies
Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there – to the ones in the stars, and the one’s on the earth. It’s beautiful to see so many expressions of love towards the dads in our life today, and I wanted to add to that beauty too. I love ya Steve and so do our boys.
Yours, without the bollocks
Andrea
Thank you for reading my ramblings. My brain and heart are a work in progress, always. I’d love a comment if it stirred any thoughts or feelings and of course, please feel free to share it with anyone you know who might be interested or entertained. I sure do appreciate it when you do. If you want to connect, I’m on Twitter here, Instagram here, YouTube here, and Facebook too. I share loads of stuff, not just my own xxxxx

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