I have just spent the last two nights uploading and editing all the photos from our LG’s birthday celebrations this week, tonight my wife and I sat and went through selecting the best ones to upload and share with friends and family on social media. As we were going through we were making sure we caught at least one photo of everyone involved. There are some amazing photos of her opening her presents with the look of amazement that comes only from being a young child and opening presents that she has no idea what is inside, despite asking time and time again for a variety of things. That innocence, that beauty and excitement only comes from young children and it means Christmas this year will have an added edge to it in our house.
The trouble is as I was watching the images upload I noticed that there was one person missing, no major panic you think, just go back find one and upload it. Trouble is it isn’t that easy, the person missing was me daddy – there was one image of us first thing with me in my dressing gown that wasn’t for sharing with the world, other than that I was missing from them all. Now this was because I was taking all the photo’s, but also because I wasn’t able to get on the floor and play with her and her new toys, or sit with her during pass the parcel, and go crazy with all her little friends at her party.
Does it mean that she will grow up thinking of all these things I haven’t been able to do and think I do not love her/want to, or will she be able to rationalise it and know that I was there taking her photos. I’ve always said I don’t want my disability to impact on her childhood, nor for her to miss out on anything, I’ve also made myself designated photographer so that I feel like I am joining in on all our family time together. This evening for the first time I’ve felt like an imposter dad, that I am actually missing out on all the fun. Trouble is normally when you have these moments you sit there thinking right from now on I’m going to do this differently or start doing that but for me there is no doing things differently. I’ve already given up so much to my pain and disability that I don’t know what else I can change so that I can give her more fun times than I already do. This I know sounds melodramatic to my friends without pain, heck it sounds crazy enough writing it living with pain but I feel I have missed out so much this last year already.
Having over 300 photos to choose from and I’m not there. I mean I was there, I laughed and joked, I hurt my back blowing up the balloons (yes you read that right blowing up balloons was total agony) the night before. I sat with her opening her presents first thing in the morning and that took my spoons for the day so I did little else, well other than capture the photos. Will she see this, a child’s perspective is often so different to an adults because they have not been blinded by life, they do not think rationally/irrationally because they have not been hurt before, it is a simplistic outlook on life learning everything for the first time and as I sit here spasming into the night I hope that she remembers the fun times we do share together, the lightsaber battles, the snuggles watching fireman Sam and Scooby Doo, the stories in the middle of the night when she wakes up like I just have, and that although not in the pictures that I was there taking them all laughing and smiling with her and her friends. I will always be there I just hope she doesn’t feel like she misses out because of me!