What did I do yesterday? I made dinner, changed nappies, played with my kids; what can I say – I’m a wild man. The people on the RWS Ten of Cups have it easy, demonstrating the card’s energies of joy, peace and happiness with their small family. We’ve got twice as many that age, and then the teenagers.
Yesterday I found myself appreciating (once again, I’m sure) that so much of being a dad is just showing up, day after day, doing “normal” things. I don’t mean just being in the same room, with your face behind a digital newspaper or something, but being present. Sure you have to be the leader, the peacemaker, the teacher, the moral compass. But sometimes it’s just about them sitting on your lap and babbling on with them about everything and nothing. Obviously I’m not talking about the teenagers, although the main difference there is they don’t sit on your lap.
I think part of what I mean by “just showing up” is there doesn’t always need to be an agenda, a trip, a goal or a plan for the day. Especially with very young children, plans need to be very flexible anyway. Few things in life are as futile as trying to get the cooperation of a defiant four year old who just doesn’t want to. Sometimes you can get more out of Sunday if you just let it flow naturally and go with the collective energy.
As it happens, the day before we hosted a birthday party attended by up to a dozen three and four-year-olds along with some of their parents and siblings. And that went well, despite being cautioned by their teachers who suggested that perhaps we were insane for attempting such a thing, which left me with a suspicion that my daughter’s playschool class is similar in chaos to the caterpillar room from Toy Story 3. We found them very well behaved, but in fairness we only had about a third of the class.
So Sunday was a day of chilling out, watching videos, eating party leftovers and hanging out of the guy who is there all day a only a couple of days a week. That’s good for all of us, especially mammy, who never gets a break during the work week. It wasn’t a terribly exciting day, and it wasn’t a particularly noteworthy one. It was only perfect.