My family and I decided to go to the playground this hot summer morning. It was a relatively quiet start to the day, all of us somewhat sluggish from yesterday’s marathon July 4th celebration activities. After quickly devouring breakfast in anticipation of their adventures at the playground, my children waited for my wife and I at the door like two coiled springs waiting to be sprung. I took my wife’s hand as we both chuckled at the sight of our little cute monsters also known as our little angels. An unspoken whimsical moment we shared reaffirming our lovingly crazy existence as parents.
Upon arrival to the playground, my 3 year old son spotted another child his age, smiled, and was off to the races. My 1 year old daughter, still requiring Mommy and Daddy in close proximity, opted for the swings as she barked out the order “swings now!” sounding like a cross between a princess fairy and Mussolini. For some reason I felt more father like this day then in the recent past. When I had a moment on the park bench for introspection, I realized the catalyst to my stream of consciousness, my own Dad.
As I mentioned previously, my family participated in day long July 4th celebration the day before. We spent the afternoon at my brother’s place. His children are for the most part fully grown. My parents are grandparents for the second time around with my young children. Watching my Dad interact with them triggered memories of my own childhood. The way he joked with the children, the facial expressions, the tone of his voice, was all too familiar. It was as though I had a first row seat to witness my own childhood as a spectator coupled with the realization that I was all grown up. The transition from child to man became internalized in my mind. A bittersweet recognition of the passage of time manifest in the acceptance of fatherhood. It’s my turn.
My son careened into me breaking my train of thought. “Water Daddy!…I want water please, please, pleaaase!” I smiled. I gave him a quick hug to which he half heartedly complied as his eyes darted around eagerly searching for his bottle of water. He took a few gulps as to not waste a moment of play time and rocketed back to his adventures. I noticed my wife on the other side of the playground engaged in conversation with a grandmother as my daredevil daughter navigated her way down the slide. Me? I took the moment to look around and listen to the sounds of the playground. I am Dad.
Vincent Daly aka CuteMonsterDad is a graphic designer, writer, actor, artist and most importantly a husband and father. He is the founder of CuteMonster.com, a resource for Dads.