Ally (4) and Hamish (32)
Ally (12) and Hamish (40) @ 2018 Lennox G2W Festival
As a mother and professional working with young people, Sarah Broome is an enthusiastic supporter of the G2W festival because of how it celebrates and supports girls and young women. In this blog, Sarah shares with us the beauty of the bond between her husband and daughter, and how this relationship supports the whole family to grow.
Over the years I have observed the relationship my husband has with my daughter who is now coming into her teens. It has a unique quality, different to the relationship I have with her, however equally powerful. They speak about different things, hug in their own way, laugh about things that they find funny together, and have differences between them that offer learning opportunities that she can’t get with me.
I remember one time that ol’ dreaded morning came when there were no clean school tops for our daughter (they were still dirty under her bed) and my husband just said ‘well you needed to put them in the dirty wash basket’ and without an ounce of sympathy continued on with his morning routine. This was a far cry from my chasing after the kids and doing their work for them – always ending up nagging and complaining how I wasn’t appreciated. What I realised in this example was the message my husband was actually giving to our daughter. He was saying ‘you are capable’, ‘you are responsible’. This invited my daughter to step up and feel her power and responsibility in that situation, an experience she could then take into other areas of life – which she did.
I feel that my husband's innate essence as a man has always offered my daughter this space to feel who she truly is on the inside, to connect with this amazing quality, and moreover to bring it out into the world. When my husband is connected with his own steadiness, he naturally offers this to her and communicates a settlement that doesn’t need lots of words. It is like a knowing that they have between each other. I am inspired by this, and learn a lot from their relationship.
I didn’t have a father who was really around that much – even when he was around he wasn’t really there if you know what I mean. He was either working super hard or hitting the grog when he was home – I understand now that it was a tough gig for him to be the provider and not have any relationships in his life which nurtured him and helped him express what was going on for him. I didn’t find much care or inspiration from him but I did get it from my God-father. My Uncle Charlie was a Scotsman of few words – but he observed everything. He was the kind of guy who in the midst of a long running argument or debate in a group would, after being silent the whole time, make a statement that would stop everyone in their tracks, and usually end the argument. One day he said to me out of the blue, “Sarah, you have always known what’s right for you.” I was stopped in my tracks. This felt like the best gift I had ever been given – like someone had seen me and been seeing me for a long time. It was confirmation of what I knew on the inside but didn’t feel much confidence in as no one had supported me to claim it or feel it much.
Every girl is worth that kind of space, someone who observes and appreciates who they are on the inside, someone who holds them to that, and someone who in that beholding love, supports them to know and trust deeply who they are.
And this relationship is not just one way. Just as I know my Uncle Charlie appreciated what I brought to his life, I have observed how my husband has grown as a result of being a father inspired by the beautiful qualities my daughter brings. He has blossomed in his warmth, care and dedication. It has been a joy to see unfold.
By Sarah Broome
By Sarah Broome