They say you can't choose your family but in my case that's not strictly true.
I met my dad before he met my mum. In fact if it wasn't for me, they might never have met. My dad is technically my stepdad and once upon a time he was my primary school teacher. My dad was Mr Barnet.
My parents met on the school trips to the zoo and the museum. I of course was completely unaware that Mr Barnet fancied my mum. I've been asked if I thought it was weird when they started seeing each other and to be honest, it really wasn't. My mum was happy and that's all that mattered.
As time went on he became part of our family. My mum has since told me that right from the start she made it clear she was not 1 she was 3, meaning she, my brother and I came as one package.
So he chose to be my dad and I'm so glad he did. He might not have changed my nappies or been around to see my first steps but he has been there through school, exams, university, ill health, god awful side effects of medication, broken relationships and my worries about well all sorts of things really.
He's particularly great when it comes to filling in forms, oh he loves a good form and these days he is a dab hand at the DIY but of course while all that is fantastic, it's the fact that he chose to have me in his life, particularly when my biological dad chose not to, that has made the biggest impact on my life.
Knowing someone accepts you as you are and takes on a commitment to be part of your life for ever as a parent is incredible. I don't know if I fully understood or appreciated his decision at the time but looking back I know how lucky I am.
When my folks married I took the name Barnet. He didn't ask me to, it was something I suggested, wanting to be part of the new family in name.
As you can tell from the title of this blog, being a Barnet has become a pretty big part of who I am. I am Barnet! hehehe
Before I finish I do want to share one piece of advice he gave me. He told me it's better to regret doing something than to regret doing nothing. I know I haven't taken this on board as much as I should have and do know now how right he is about this. It is however something I tell myself every now and then and it still encourages me to try and be that little bit braver than I would otherwise be.
Thanks for making me be brave, thanks for always being there for me, thanks for being my dad.
Love Barnet (jnr) x