It is good to be a father and even better to be the father of two excellent human beings - now all grown-up. And it's good to know that they both still love me, still respect me and look back on their childhoods with great fondness. They were loved and treated kindly and they accepted the sensible "rules" we imposed. "Rules" about manners, personal hygiene, doing your best, kindness, bedtime and mealtimes. Of course it helped enormously that they had a mother who was singing from the very same parental hymn sheet.
As a father, it was of large assistance that my own father had been a good man who, in tandem with my mother, raised me and my three brothers with wholesomeness and love. He gave me a successful model upon which to develop my own version of fatherhood.
No parent is perfect and we all make mistakes but what matters above all is that we should not love our children blindly. We should recognise and respect their individuality, not trying to mould them into new versions of ourselves and we should have fun with them. There should be laughter every day, footballs to kick, books to read, paintings to do, stories to tell.
In fatherhood, I guess you reap what you sow or to put it another way - the proof of the pudding is in the eating. When the years have flown by and your children are adults, you will discover whether or not your instinctive approach to parenting was in general the right one. You will know by seeing clearly the people before you - in whose growth you were privileged to play a vital part.
Last Sunday was Father's Day in this country but Shirley and I were away in Greece. Last night my lovely daughter gave me a late Father's Day card. As per usual she had made it herself. At first I thought the yellow thing was a pig but it's Trump's hair...