Being Tom’s dad has changed me in ways that I will be grateful for my entire life, writes Ben Keenan.
Before the boy, I was an odd blend of old-fashioned values, third helpings of everything and the occasional hangover that lasted up to three days.
Nowadays, there are those who would consider me dull and boring whereas I believe I have never been a better person and I owe it all to my son. Tom has made me appreciate the fact that the things I once considered vital to my wellbeing became irrelevant once I became a father. I am not ashamed to admit that there have been times in my life where my own selfish needs have outweighed everything else because I have always believed that selfishness in moderation can be good for the soul. But the second Tom wakes up in the morning and greets me with a smile, the material world around me vanishes leaving nothing but my son and I alone in a world that awaits our next adventure. Whenever Jen and I are invited to parties that Tom isn’t on the guest list for, a battle of logistics takes place which always ends with my amazing wife staying behind to look after him. It’s not that we don’t have phenomenal support nearby, it’s just that when Tom wakes up in the night, only Jen and her magical milk supplies can soothe the boy back to sleep. I’ve tried on numerous occasions to do the midnight feed with a bottle but my son senses immediately that the soft silkiness of his Mama has been replaced by the bearded Yeti that goes by the name of Dada and that this will simply not do. My wife is the amazing rock which Tom and I build our lives on and as good as I have become a parent, it will be a long time until I’m as amazing as Jen is. When selfishness rears its head and I decide that yes, I will go out with our friends without her, she is a constant support and our son and his dad are the luckiest boys on earth because she is ours. And wherever I am without them, I am always where they both are because there is no better feeling than the one you get knowing you’ll soon be at home again.