Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Just Bragging!

I remember after becoming a new dad, how every little phase seemed to be the greatest.

First, just holding my newborn and feeling his little body rise up and down as he slept on my chest was miraculous (well, I guess it still is.)

Various stages in his development—smiling, walking, learning to fetch me a beer—all elicited this same, “This stage is just the best” response from me.

So you think I would have learned by now.

Last night my son read his first book all by himself (never mind that he is now 37.)

Tired of reading him more Pokemon books (cartoon cock fighting if you aren’t familiar with it), I grabbed something a little more "calming."  

When we turned to the title page, he read it aloud. I wondered if that was from memory or from actually reading, but either way, it sparked an idea.

“Why don’t you read it to me?” I asked.  He’s been playing and sounding with words for some time with varying degrees of success.

He grabbed the book, took a deep breath and sounded “To-day…”

And just like that, he was off.

I will shamelessly admit that I am proud of my son often for the most trivial of thing—like taking his plate in to the kitchen after a meal, or wiping up the blood without being told after he’s flattened his little brother again—but I have never, ever seen him more proud of himself.

With each turning page, his grin got bigger and bigger.  By the end of the book, he was beaming so that I thought he would burst.

My inner response: “This stage is just the best!”

His outer response: “I’m really proud of myself, daddy!”

Oh, and what was the book that he read? 

You certainly will, my love. You certainly will.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

A Sacred Moment

It is as sacred a moment as any father and son can share.   It rivals the first game of catch, the first tree house, or even the first beer ….and it was with giddy anticipation that I shared this moment with my 6 year old son.

“Connor,” I said, barely able to hold it in, “pull my finger.”

The ensuing flatulence which shook the foundation of my home brought an equally loud clap of laughter from my son.  Behind the laugher I could see him trying to figure out if he was somehow responsible for what had just happened.   But mainly he was giggling so uncontrollably because, well, let’s face it, farts are funny.

These are the sorts of “dad activities” which have elicited groans and looks (or sniffs?) of derision since human kind has had fingers.   This sort of activity is often frowned upon as being both base and crass—which it probably is.  But it is also warm, funny, endearing, silly and in a very obtuse sort of way, loving.  It is time spent with my child where he comes away feeling like he is the centre of my attention. 

Unless you are robbing banks or beating up old people, don’t let anyone’s pre conceived ideas of what “quality time” is for you and your child.  Want to wrestle with your four year old daughter?   Want to teach your son how to dial a stranger and ask them if their refrigerator is running?  Knock yourself out.  Your child will love it, and you, forever.