Glad to be Dad

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The kids are getting older
And a little wiser.
But not much.

Bigger limbed,
Larger but still largely children
Both in impulse and action.

I see younger Dads,
Babes in arms,
Pushchairs and scooters.

I’m through that now.
Less needed for physical support,
More for moral.

The seasons change,
And the ask
But I’m always glad to be Dad.

Walking about a cafe-lined street – waiting for my boy to finish his latest activity – I notice lots of younger dads. Some tired faces, lots of kit and caboodle; prams, scooters and constant distraction and vigilance for trips, tears and tantrums.

Phew, I’m glad we’re through that. So far through it, that I’ve rejoined the adult majority – mildly irritated a set of young parents couldn’t stop their toddler screaming – as me and the boy ate a breakfast muffin. Shame on me.

The ‘ask’ is changing. Not physically fetching and carrying but constantly ferrying and permanently travelling: to netball, skating, rugby, dance and school fêtes and events. And there’s a growing need for encouragement and some tough love, in enforcing ‘sticking at’ stuff.

The job is changing with the seasons but there’s no need to be sad. There’s plenty of demand for Dad.

ProductiviDad

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Working in South America nearly 20 years ago, I made a breakthrough discovery: if you know an English word ending in ‘ity’, you know the Spanish word if you replace it with ‘dad’.

This increased the variedad and utilidad of my conversations 100%. Sometimes the necessidad to find an opportunidad to use a ‘dad’ made esponteneidad a dificultad. But new vocabulary had opened a new world of possibilidades.

Now I am a Dad, the combination of children, work and life makes productividad an absolute necessidad. And blimey I’ve been productive this week. School runs, presentations, objectives, appraisals, cooking, cleaning, mowing the lawn. Phew. But with hindsight not enough time for thinking, reading and friends.

It’s all very well being ‘ProductiviDad’ but the good life needs a bit of ‘contemplación’ too. All work and no play makes Juanito a dull boy.