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  • Writer's pictureHenry Cavanaugh

First Xmas As A Father

Updated: Dec 15, 2018

When I was a kid by daddy always told me that I should enjoy Christmas as much as possible because it just wasn’t as fun when you were an adult. He lamented the seemingly never-ending stresses that came with the holiday season and confessed that if it wasn’t for me he probably would have stopped celebrating the festivities a long time ago. Of course this was quite a shocking thing for a child of six years old to hear and I simply wasn’t prepared to accept that what he had told me was true at all.

I was a big believer in the mystical powers of shooting stars so when I witnessed one passing by in the sky above our house just a few days before Christmas, I made my wish. I wished to prove my father wrong, that adults really could have an enjoyable Christmas and that he could too! I loved my daddy and I wanted him to have as much fun as me so the wish was made with all good intentions, only I had no idea at the time just how fateful it would prove to be.

My belief in the powers of shooting stars turned out to be rather well-founded as the next morning I awoke in a world where there had been quite distinct changes to my family life. The biggest change - and this was in a literal and physical sense - was that I now owned a body that was much older than my own six years. It wasn’t my father’s body either, something I quickly identified thanks to the presence of a tattoo sleeve up my left arm. The beard was thicker than my father’s usual stubble and there was more hair on my bare chest than he had too. I was now a fully grown adult!

Rushing to show my daddy what had become of my wish, I was instead greeted by the news that my wish hadn’t just transformed me. My father was nowhere to be found and instead I found my six year old son, Robbie. He stared up at me with tears in his eyes, croaking about a bad dream he had just woken from. A part of me knew that the dream must have been but I felt no compulsion to tell him the truth. Instead I got down onto my knees and pulled him into a hug, comforting him with my warmth.

Over the next few days I slowly became accustomed to this new reality I had woken in. My son seemed to have no memory of his previous life as my father, nor did anybody else realize that our roles had been reversed. Guys and girls who had once been friends of my father were now my friends and my former mother was now my ex-wife. Every passing minute made me more at ease with the responsibility that come from being an adult, but there was just one important factor that kept me smiling.

Despite the stress of adapting to such a different world in a short space of time, there was no hesitation about getting into the Christmas spirit. After all, the festive season was always my favorite time of year and just because I was an adult didn’t mean things had to change! Sure, it had been stressful making sure my son was prepared for the best Christmas ever and got all the gifts he had asked for but I’m really just a big kid at heart and can’t help myself from loving it.

Besides, when I tuck my son into bed at the end of the day I’m planning to settle down with a cigar and beer that were gifted to me by my boss. There’s nobody to stop me from having fun, not when I’m the only man of the house now! 

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