I had often heard of the bond a mother and a baby share, I clearly saw it with Stacey and Frankie. It’s understandable in its strength, after all a mother goes through to bring that life into the world. I know from my own experience that a fathers presence and love, is as much needed to a child.
In recovering from alcoholism I was forced by my own fears and resentments to look at the relationship I had with my dad. Without all the anger and judgment.
I had no connection with him. He was always at arms length, although he was always at home he wasn’t present in my life. And I wanted his attention and approval more than anything. I began to hate him for his impatience with me early on. Nothing I did would earn me his love. I looked up to him. He was the male presence in my life that I should have been guided by. I needed him.
It is why when I met Stacey my relationship with both her and Frankie was equally as important.
It wasn’t long before I saw the positive influence on Frankie of having a loving Dad in her life , just to encourage, and listen to her had a big impact . We watched her confidence grow, it was beautiful to see after what she had been through.
I then had no doubt that patience and consistency from me had to be a foundation for my girls. I would after all, be the man they will judge all other men by. That’s quite a weight of responsibility.
We played them music, from Mozart to Etta James, Elvis to Steve vai. I read them story’s from Frankie’s books , talked to them about what was waiting when they arrived. We had the names and knew who was who. I would kiss Stacey’s belly goodbye in the mornings before I left for work.
Bonding allowed many opportunities. It was a way for me to start that connection. It was a demonstration to Stacey that I would be involved with my children. It also gave Frankie a chance to make a connection with her new sisters. I think it brought us all together a little more as a family during an incredibly stressful time.
looking back now I’m glad I put that effort in.