What do you want your children to remember of you?
I’d reckon most Dads with a little boy would agree with me that there’s a special bond involved. Whereas it’s needless to say that we love our daughters equally and treasure them dearly, I think a little boy gives us the chance to almost “do things over” and give to him what we, as young boys, didn’t get to experience.
My father died before I was born. In fact, he died on a motorbike on way home from work the day after I was conceived. So, lucky that I was to be alive, I never knew the bond that a father shares with his son. I didn’t know that it could be so deep that you’d make sure that you’d do absolutely anything to keep that person safe and to raise him to be a good man. One who loves others because he knows love himself.
I wrote Hey Little Boy for my son when he was about a year old. As most little ones do, he had an obsession with the moon and would always want to touch it. The song talks about bringing a moonbeam to him, for him only to have and to gaze at – something that he’d treasure. And really, he’s symbolic of being my moonbeam. Something (a love and a bond) I thought impossible to obtain – to have and to gaze at, and to treasure.
What do you remember of your father?
I never met my father, he died on a motorbike before I was born. He left a wife, a 2 year old son and me on the way.
As you can imagine, this time would have been incredibly hard for my mother – it’s something you can’t (and would never want to) comprehend unless you’ve been through it yourself.
Luckily for her she had an incredibly supportive family around her, and my brother and I were raised and cared for, in what I think, the most loved environment possible.
A great deal of that love came from both sets of Grandparents, and we had very close relationships with all of them.
I had a very special relationship with Grandad Store, pictured with me here. He lived just around the corner from us and I remember a lot of my youth was with him – whether it was playing cards, fishing, tinkering in his shed, or just having him sit under a shady tree and watch me at cricket.
The most important thing was that he was always around, always consistent, always loving and you always knew where you stood with him. He taught me a great deal of how to be a father, and how to love my kids now.