My sick daughter made me so proud

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Every father and mother has felt proud of their son or daughter. You know the moment when they make your heart burst with joy and happiness because of something they’ve done.

It starts from the moment they are born, when you hold them for the first time and they look up at you. You have a mixture of emotions, but feeling protective and proud usually overpower the rest.

Then time and again they do things that bring a smile to your face.

There are the more obvious occasions such as when they make a babbly noise for the first time or when they take their first steps and land on their bottoms only to get up to do it all over again.

Those moments keep coming right up to the first day at school when they look far too young to be wearing a uniform.

But I’ve come to appreciate that most of the things my daughters do that make me proud are not that obvious.

Recently my daughter Alyssa was riding her bicycle and, inevitably, she fell off.

It wasn’t the first time and it certainly won’t be the last, but on this particular occasion, after crashing to the ground and using her hands to break her fall, she simply got up, dusted herself down and carried on, leaving one very proud dad looking on.

Then, a few weeks ago my elder daughter Caitlin picked up a sickness bug, which meant whatever food went down also came back up – but no one knew when that was going to happen.

One of my least favourite duties as a daddy is cleaning up sick, which I have had to do on many occasions.

But this time, when Caitlin knew that she was about to be ill, it didn’t end up all over her Disney Princess duvet or on her cream-coloured carpet.

Instead, she managed to get herself to the bathroom just in time.

Another proud moment for me was when I asked three-year-old Alyssa to sing a song in front of family members who had come to visit.

Usually, she’s happy to take centre stage in the living room and perform for her mum and me, but if anybody else is watching, she gets overcome with shyness.

Recently, as her great-nan and granddad watched, she sang a song she’d been taught at pre-school. I wasn’t the only proud person in that room, I think Alyssa was quite proud of herself too.

I have lots of proud moments with my daughters and I’m sure there will be plenty more to come.