PARENTING COLUMN: Happy Father’s Day Daddy – this week’s column is for you

By Louise Flanagan

Father’s Day is coming up on Sunday. A day to celebrate the men that make a positive difference in the lives of their children.

It goes without saying that a good daddy is truly one of life’s blessings.


My own dad, Martin Kelly, has always been a really great daddy.

Childhood memories of him revolve around feelings of fun, adventure, safety and comfort.

When he worked in the garden, he’d always let me know if he found a nest in the hedge and he’d hold me up high so that I could get a quick look at the baby birds; scaldies, as he called them.

And when he turned clay in the flower beds, he would call me outside if he came across any gigantic worms that were worth examining.

He’d take me to Gartan to collect frogspawn in a bucket (while it was still legal to do so!) and he’d find a long stick to knock all the best conkers out of the trees.

He taught me how to skim stones on the lake – sourcing a good flat stone was the secret, he’d say.

He rubbed balloons on his head and stuck them on the wall by some means of Daddy magic.


He taught me how to whistle and wink – at the same time. It was quite the party trick for a little girl.

He was the resident toenail clipper and the master of a neat, high ponytail. I’m not sure how he fell into those specific jobs, but they were very much Daddy’s duties in our house.

I’m acutely aware of all Mum did and continues to do for us, but I remember Dad pitching in with the practicalities of childrearing too.

He always had a great knack for cheering me up.

Once when I fell and came in crying, he got an empty container that a roll of Kodak camera film had been stored in and held it up gently to my cheeks.

The tears rolled into it, and at this point I was well and truly distracted, wondering what Dad was up to.

Then he swished the tears around in the container and swallowed them down!

He remarked on their delicious saltiness and I was in stitches laughing, the pain and shock of the fall long forgotten. Did anyone else’s daddy drink their tears?! I highly doubt it.

I recently mentioned this memory to Dad and he was baffled; he couldn’t remember doing it.

But I remember it well. Children cherish memories of fun, love and daftness – all of which are key components of a wonderful Daddy.

My children are lucky to have a lovely daddy too.

He reminds me of my own father in many ways.

He’s good natured with the kids, he makes them laugh and is involved in every aspect of their lives.

They see him much as I saw my own father as a child – a strong but gentle man who would do anything for them. Yes, definitely one of life’s blessings.

My dad has been buying the Donegal News for as long as I can remember, but since I started writing this column, he buys the paper with an extra sense of diligence bright and early on Thursday mornings.

He had no idea that he’d be the subject of this week’s article. Surprise, Daddy, this one’s for you. Xxx

Louise Flanagan is an admin of Letterkenny Babies Facebook page and the author of the children’s book series, Dragonterra and Dream Beasts.

Her Parenting column runs every Thursday in the Donegal News.

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