Friday, 6 December 2013

I wanna be like you

A couple of weeks ago, my hubby took our boys along with him to his new shared studio space. He was keen to get his section of the shared space up and running and because I could see that look in his eye that I know only too well means that he wasn't really going to be 'present', I suggested that we all head to the space to do what he had to do. One of the things that I've noticed along the way is that the kids love tagging along with their dad, doing his jobs and chores right alongside him. It's not something that I do naturally, taking them along with me to do my stuff. I suspect that it may be a bit of a dad thing to do. I certainly remember that wherever my dad went he took my older brother with him and us three girls were pretty jealous, left wondering what they were going to get up to. My dad always had something to pick up, someone to see, medicine to deliver to a patient he'd treated or something like that and culturally in west africa it's just what's done. When hubby and I were visiting family in Ghana, we would often end up in random places because we were accompanying my cousins on their day to day forays. It's what I find so charming about many of my favourite gangster films, that culturally embedded stuff. Like in Goodfellas when Henry has to pick up his brother whose in a wheelchair and take him back to the house, he's got to drop off the guns at Jimmy's and all the time he's leaving instructions for his brother to keep stirring the sauce that's on the hob that he's making for the family get together later that day! The point I guess I'm trying to make, is that my kids seem to just get this stuff. That unspoken stuff. Watching hubby showing the eldest one how to measure up, then jumping in the car to go and get wood cut to specified measurements and taking it to the space, then drilling and screwing and knocking up boxes to house pieces of equipment. Well, I could just see the excitement spilling out of them. And if there was a soundtrack to accompany what was taking place, it would have sounded like this! I don't have a list of what it is that makes a dad or what it is that makes a good dad but watching these three hanging out just doing …. this stuff, I realised it's this. The hanging out stuff. The witnessing your dad doing stuff he loves, the being a part of it instead of apart from it. That stuff. And even though their dad drives me a little crazy with never sitting still and always being on the go and always having a project, I love his energy, imagination and his ambition and I love that he is their dad. 

The great view of the city from dad's shared studio space aka 'the cave'.

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