What is a Dad?
As a kid, I had this misguided picture in my head about Dad’s, they had to dress a certain way, act like a grown up (whatever that meant) and tell us kids to stop doing what we are doing (usually something destructive, so justified). I recall some of my close mates Dad’s being, well, on edge, or angry, maybe moody is a better description, probably because they didn’t subscribe to my motto (Happy wife, happy life).
I’ll tell you what I do know, I see a lot of dudes, my age, bearded, cap, sunnies, shorts and plakkies, pushing prams around the block, followed by a kid on a bicycle. Regular looking okes, that if I saw them without their prams, I’d just think, ‘oh, there’s some dude, walking around the block, my dogs barking at him, that dog is a nutbag’, and carry on with my day. This is the modern Dad, and that’s me I guess. So, what does it mean to be a Dad? We will get to that, but I gotta get to sleep, cause the boy 1 wakes up at the crack of dawn, like clockwork, and I gotta make sure that Management gets her coffee once he wakes up, because Happy wife, happy life.
Brief interlude, que elevator music.
Where did we leave off, Dads, what are our responsabilities? I had an ever-present Grandfather. He had a considerable influence on me. He taught me how to treat a woman. He taught me that your word is your bond, and how to braai, important lessons, but there was always a piece missing. I had a Stepdad, and it was super kak. I was not stoked when he pulled in, and I didn’t shed a tear when he left. I suppose that does give me a frame of reference. He was short tempered, had zero patience, you couldn’t approach him with anything really. I don’t want to be like that with my kids. What I do know is that I love my kids, I tell them that every day. I hug them, I kiss them, lips, face, head, arm, leg, even stinky feet. I tickle them, I tease them, in a playful way. I’m a jungle gym, a trampoline, a pillow, the guy that can fix anything. They know that I am a nutcase, and that’s good, I want them to know its ok to be your own, special kinda crazy.
You can’t just be the fun loving good guy all the time though, balance, for the sake of your kids and your wife. I’m also a big booming voice when a line is crossed. The world has enough little arseholes, so raise your kids right (we will get into that). They will push your buttons, test you, repeatedly, on a Sunday morning, early bru. You’ll get up, you’ll go and watch cartoons at 6:30am, cause she wants YOU too, even though you are still knackered, but you will feel like the most special person in the world, in that magic little moment.
So, what is a Dad? Don’t let our preconceived ideas define what a Dad should be. Get a tattoo, wear what you want, skate, play sport, Game, do your thing, be yourself, just love your kids. Make sure they feel safe, loved, raise them with the confidence to express who they are, so that they can change the world in their own special way one day. Do that, and you are winning at DAD.