Talking point: What kind of Dad (or Mum) are you?
It was just a passing comment on the way home from school, but it obviously said something about how she sees me as a Dad. Which got me wondering about what kind of Dad I really am? So, come on kids, spill the beans…
He’s not that kind of Dad
“Can you carry these for me?” asks Hannah’s friend, pushing his lunchbox, coat and bookbag in my direction as we leave the playground.
Hannah looks at him and laughs, then scolds him. “He’s not that kind of Dad you know.”
I’m not quite sure what she means but I like that she thinks I am not that kind of Dad.
Although it makes me wonder what kind of Dad I am. I know what kind of Dad I want to be. But wanting, trying and being are not the same thing.
I am not that kind of Dad
I didn’t intend to have a handful of extra kids around for a fancy dress party that afternoon. I didn’t intend to wear a wig, make a party tea, dance, play musical chairs and hand out party bags; it wasn’t even anyone’s birthday and it makes no sense to have an impromptu party, not when Kirstie’s gone out in the car, Cameron has to be at a piano lesson in an hour and I have a stack of work to complete. No, I am not that kind of Dad.
But boy we did have fun that afternoon. Unexpected fun. And I liked it.
Not like trainspotting. I’ve never liked that. I only ever went once. Long ago, during Matthew’s Thomas the Tank Engine obsession; we only stayed for one train. I am that kind of Dad.
Are you sure?
Hmmm, so why did I just spend two hours with train spotters at Carnforth station? I only went to put Kirstie on a train, but when I saw them all waiting, curiosity got the better of me. So I stood watching them, as they stood watching and waiting for something. Until I’d been watching so long I felt I couldn’t leave until I’d seen for myself whatever it was they were waiting for. Is that how trainspotting begins? I am not that kind of Dad.
Am I that kind of Dad?
I watched and waited for ever until with a whistle, clatter and clank a shiny old steam locomotive hissed past, sputting smoke from blackened funnel. It was but a fleeting moment, of shutter clicks, video whip pans and soot in the eye. And then it was gone. Over. And soon the trainspotters too. Disappeared.
Who are these people that spend their time studying timetables, travelling cross-country to stand around, watch and wait, just to capture a fleeting moment with a click?
I may not be a trainspotter. But I think I am that kind of Dad.
What kind of Dad or Mum are you? Are you sure?
Join the Conversation
Talking Point is our series of short Photo Friday posts. Each week we pick a photo and post a talking point and invite you to join the conversation. Do leave a comment with your thoughts.