The Toy Elephant in the Room

I’m not sure I can truly get back to blogging (some may argue I never started…) without speaking, writing, and generally pointing out the elephant in the room... my back.

If you’ve been following me on Instagram (@dadofboy) you will know that I’ve been suffering from a back issue for quite some time. My problems go back many years but they’ve never affected me as much as in the last year, and this is mainly due to a certain tiny person. Back problems on any level are not nice to deal with, but when you are trying to be Superman to your little boy it becomes almost impossible.

The fact is that my back gets me down, I’ve been in a pretty difficult place the last few months. I find it hard to fully look after Max on the days I have him ( I’m now doing two days work a week on JamPot) and quite frankly it’s a bit depressing.

As a bloke, I’ve always had this image in my head. Superman, super dad (anything with super in front of it…). I’ve always imagined that I'd be one of those dads in the films or tv shows, playing football, chasing him, throwing him around etc etc.

The fact is I got on all fours the other day, pretending to be a dog (I take my child role play very seriously) and it hurt like crazy. Most energetic stuff I just can’t do and unfortunately, as I keep being painfully reminded, I just can’t be that guy, the stereotypical invincible Dad.

Max will always know me as the dad who can only go outside and play for 15 mins before his back hurts. And my friends currently see me walking around with a special cushion, which I find fairly humiliating.

This “sorry for myself” attitude has been eating me up over the last few month until around a week ago. We watch a variety of tv shows in our house, from Peppa Pig to Bake Off and it was on one of these tv marathons that we came across a genuinely incredible guy on Jonathan Ross.

Henry Fraser is disabled from the shoulders down after going on a lads holiday in Portugal. He jumped into the sea, a wave caught him badly and he ended up smashing into the sand. He was just 17 when it happened to him, but since he has written a book and become an amazing painter. Upon hearing and seeing this tragic story unfold it really puts things into perspective. Everyone has their own issues and their own mountains to climb so I’m certainly not belittling mine or anyone else's problems in life, but having heard Henry’s story it really jerked me back into a much better place. I suppose what I’m trying to say is that there is usually someone far worse of than you.

I wouldn’t say I’m the soppy type (although past blog posts may beg to differ) but throughout this period my wonderful wife and lovely parents have been amazing in every way. Words, written or spoken, cannot sum up what brilliant people they are. They’ve all put in extra shifts with Max so that I could lie down and rest, or go down to London to see my doctor and without them all I don’t know where I would be.

Life is full of challenges, big and small, but no matter what is thrown at me next I know that I will always have a great support network. And who cares if I can’t lift a car or run as fast as a train, Max still thinks I’m great…(I keep telling myself that anyway haha)


Simon Wheeldon1 Comment