OKAY, let's get one thing straight: I do not like cats.
I don't hate them or wish them poorly. I just don't like them.
So no matter how bad things get, even when the kids have left home, the dogs have wandered off and it's just me, my books and a drinking habit, those who know me (and love me regardless) can rest assured that I will never be the Cat Lady.
Even if I wanted to. Like being a lesbian. I can hand-on-heart look the likes of Kevin Andrews (ugh!) or Vladimir Putin in the eye - along with all the other do-good, know-all naysayers - and confirm that being a lesbian is NOT a choice.
As Lady Gaga says: "You're born that way, baby."
I know this to be a truth, because after the crap I have been through with the not-so-fairer sex - that's men, just so you know - gee whiz, if it were a matter of choice, it would be tempting ... but … it's not. I'm not.
Anyway. I digress.
In all seriousness, sometimes you go through life wondering just what is to become of all of this - of you!
And if you're not destined to become the Cat Lady, then what?
From sick dogs to painful exes, family dramas to a son's appendicitis or daughter's broken toe, bills mounting up to on-again off-again romances ... it's all so bloody hard.
There isn't even enough time in the day to lament the crap, much less find someone to share it with. Ha! You know, because it is all so appealing!
But, at the end of the day, one thing keeps your going: the kids are fine and you can rest assured you are equipping them to grow up, leave home and duly cut the apron strings.
And not because you want to be rid of them - far from it. In fact, the thought of letting them go is a physical hurt.
But because even on your own (with back-up from an awesome village) you have nurtured, shaped and given life to the most outstanding of individuals. That's what makes the tough stuff worth it, and the darkest hours pass.
And to hold on with white knuckles is as great an insult to the kids as it is your own capacity as a parent.
Finally, happy Fathers' Day. Enjoy it. Love it.