When it comes to emotions, I think that parental pride could be the heavyweight champion of the world!
One thing I know for sure is that in the five years since becoming a dad, I’ve been a lot more tearful than before.
I blame it on one of a few factors, or maybe a combination of them all.
Maybe its six years of broken sleep; scrambling around on the floor naked at 2.49am, trying to placate a wailing child whilst looking for a dummy that has fallen from the cot, but is somehow camouflaged from my bleary eyes.
Maybe it’s because I’m having a mid-life crisis. No-one has told me whether this is the start, middle or end but at 38, I’d imagine I’m in the right age bracket.
It doesn’t take much to set me off at the moment. I was watching the film Up a few nights ago with my daughter.
It’s a great film but there’s a reflective scene at the start that just sets me off.
Five years ago I wouldn’t have dreamt of watching a kids’ animated movie. Now I’m rolling around on the sofa blubbering, wiping the tears from my eyes and feeling like I’ve got a pineapple lodged in my throat.
Also this week, Molly reduced me to a gibbering wreck with her athletic prowess.
I’m a competitive person (painfully competitive, according to my wife), and sadly it’s a trait I’ve passed down to my children. So when Molly came tumbling through the door from school, holding her cross country running medal aloft, I was over the moon.
‘I was the fastest in my year Daddy, I beat all the boys too,’ she said. For me, she may as well have been holding an Olympic gold.
But finishing off her statement with ‘I did my best, I wanted to make you proud’ reduced me to a snivelling, heaving, mess.
Sadly, I couldn’t be there to see her sprint across the finishing line but in my mind I picture her with arms hoisted high, her face beaming and her T-shirt tucked into her pants.
About an hour later, after I’d pulled myself together, I started wondering why I became so overwhelmed.
Was it the fact that she had been inspired by my many tales of my athletic brilliance? Probably not, there aren’t any.
Was it the fact that she knew what it meant to me and that she was starting to apply my own competitive virtues to her own life? Possibly.
It seems all those games of, who can eat an ice cream the quickest, who can touch their nose the quickest, who can be the quickest, the quickest, have paid off.
The 2024 Olympics could throw up a golden moment for the Bunkers.
I’m just hoping we can negotiate a sponsorship deal with Kleenex.