“My greatest fear is that I become like my dad, or I have a son that feels like me!” It is amazing the power we as dads yield. It’s crazy what a glance from us can do, the heights our children can reach fuelled by a mere smile, a gentle touch or a simple thumbs up. It is equally amazing how many Dads take this for granted or sadder still feel they have no role to play. Over the past few months my son has started Karate and I have got such a kick from watching my little ninja go out there, learning how to do kicks, punches and all those bring-Chuck-Norris-to-his-knees moves. I’m so proud to see my typically gentle son, mixing it up with all the other deadly 5 year olds. One of the most fascinating things I have witnessed is that for karate class to hold its appeal, I need to be there. Not mom, not Granny, not Pops, ME! If anyone else takes him, the deadly warrior lurking just beneath the surface, refuses to put in an appearance. We as Dads, really do have a seriously cool place in our son’s lives. We can operate in a space oddly unique and I find it so sad when son’s don’t experience the glow of a fathers smile, but also, when Dad’s don’t experience the atmosphere changing ability they possess, simply by being present. To this end, I thought I’d encourage dad’s to increase their presence by giving 5 definitive reasons why we are cooler than super heroes.
1.) We only wear pyjamas to bed.
Let’s be honest, as cool as Superman and Batman are, in spite of the funky gadgets, the x-ray vision and obviously the bat mobile, if we are truly honest with ourselves, we would also need their bling, to justify running around town wearing undies over our ballet tights. While we are looking at the earth-shaking strength of the Mr. Muscles himself or the other worldly ability of the Dark Knight to fly using super sized fishing gear, they must be thinking to them selves, please Lord, let them miss the fact that I’m wearing a onesie in public.
2.) We can make anything out of Nothing.
So Iron Man is quite cool, but he has all those funky robots, factories, research departments and not to mention the Billions of dollars to make his life-size metal condoms. But the other day when my son beckoned me into his secret lab and requested that I make him a rocket ship using only a couple Lego pieces which would be equipped with lazor blasters and the ability to fly anywhere at the speed of light, Tony Stark would have been proud. Dad’s we have the opportunity to truly rock their worlds, just get on the floor and get stuck into their imaginations.
3.) Forget X-ray Vision.
As mentioned before, one look from a Dad can fill a son with a Lance Armstrong dose of confidence. True power is not looking through buildings, but looking into children and calling out the potential they cannot see for themselves. Every so often, I catch my boys doing something they haven’t done before, and just before they take the plunge, they tilt the heads in my direction, just to see if there is a glance of encouragement which says to them “You can do it!”
4.) No mutagen for me.
It’s so unfair! As Dad’s there’s no mutagen ooze, mutated X gene or gamma radiation to give us the get and go that we need. Granted we have coffee, but at 5 in the morning, it doesn’t quite do the job, when I am required to fix a broken toy, make a racing car or read a story as Barney the dinosaur, especially when my eyes have yet to turn on. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we had some alien inspired vitamin booster that could make us super human all day long. But as Dad’s, we are super in spite of ourselves. We can be in two places at once, even though we can’t shoot webs out of our arms or teleport because we;ve had professor X’s guidance. We have the opportunity to make the everyday chores appear like heroic acts of valour, inspiring young minds and challenging little hearts to reach deeper and further towards becoming something they can only imagine.
5.) My super identity is my only identity.
Imagine how wonderful it would be to remove your mask after an epic fail. When you’ve missed the mark, as we often do, and still be able to walk around without the shame and guilt that you didn’t live up to the expectations. No masks to take off, no glasses to put on, no secret lairs to skulk inside. When we drop the ball, when we fail, we fail publicly. So why is this cool? It’s cool because even in our failures we inspire. When we fail and still show ourselves in public, we give our little ones permission to try regardless of the chance success. We make it acceptable to fail, to get up and keep moving forward. Clark Kent never failed, Bruce Banner never crushed a city, Peter Parker never left cobwebs all over the place and Bruce Wayne never got speeding tickets. We fail, but in that failure we also have the opportunity to teach our sons and daughter that if I pick myself up one more time, even though some may judge, the next time I can be succesful. We teach them to move the full stop in their life story from after ” and they fell” to after ” and they rose again!”
Don’t discount the worth your presence holds, prioritise your kids, sacrifice your success in the boardroom for your presence in the play room and never stop telling yourself, Even though I can’t fly I can be the one allowing my children to Soar! “Is it a bird, is it a plane, No. it’s my Dad, now watch and see what I can do!”
“A Father stands in the storm of failure and calls out victory from the heart of those who can’t see beyond their reality”