Father’s Day

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So here it is, my first Father’s day as a father.

It was grand! Pancakes for breakfast! A long, loud screaming, failed attempt at a nap! A trip to the museum! Chinese food for dinner! Blog writing whilst chocolate cookies bake right now! Could life be finer? Well, reading that agenda you could probably identify exactly what would make the day finer, but that’s the new life I lead. Gratefully, I might add.

And I am grateful. I love that littly guy. The time I spend with my family is the most important time for me these days. Today is Father’s day. It’s the day of all days to appreciate that. So I’ve been thinking about fatherhood, and that’s had me thinking about my father.

My brother and I know my dad like no-one else in this world does. We know him as a father. In fact, I know that Mr. Lathrop in ways that he doesn’t know himself. I’ve been watching how he does things carefully for the last 36 years. Sounds weird, as I write it, but it’s true. I’m his son. I can’t help it. It’s what I am meant to do. In case you’re reading this, Dad, and I know you are, I think you have done and are doing a great job. Happy Father’s day!

Now I’ve got a son. Know what? I am on to him. He is watching my every move. I can already tell, he knows me in ways I don’t know myself. Like I said, though, I am on to him. I get to know him, too, as my son. That’s something new that I now I have in common with my Dad, I know what it’s like to have a kid. It’s a trip. It’s big to think about. It makes me feel like part of a bigger chain of parents and children in time. I’ve got a new place on that chain, and it isn’t at the end anymore – there’s a link on both sides now.

Big stuff to think about, but I need to stop writing now and answer the cookies that are calling me. I am indeed a very lucky man.

Far Too Long

I haven’t been blogging so much lately. I promised a monthly picture. I guess I fell off that wagon pretty quick. It might be the advent of Cooper that’s caused this, but I think it’s more likely Twitter.

Twitter allows me let off steam a bit at a time, rather than all at once in a big blog entry. It’s a shame though, because when I read my tweets, I can’t say I really feel that they are anything to be proud of. Not so with the blog entries – when I look back and read them I see a record of the headspace I was in and the person I was when I wrote it. All I get out of the tweets is a record of what kind of lunch I had on a given day, or something equally as banal.

And, dare I say it, this is a trend in the way human communication has been affected by technology. We go from fewer, more intimate connections to impersonal ones in a greater quantity. It used to be we connected face to face. The telephone let us connect from afar but only from voice to ear. Then email came along, and while easy to write, the inflection of speech is lost in binary text. It’s less personal than a written letter, too, we lose the flourish one can give a written word with their unique penmanship.

It used to be a blog entry seemed a little impersonal to me. Compared to a tweet or a facebook status, however, a blog entry is hardly impersonal. It seems that the more social platforms are invented, the more we are encouraged to communicate in quantity, not quality. It shouldn’t come as a surprise, but I just can’t sum up most of the experiences that count in my life in 140 character packages.

All that said, I like Twitter. I like the immediacy of it. If I know what so-and-so had to say 20 minutes ago, doesn’t that imply a connection, regardless of the content of the communication? I like feeling that connection. I also like that I can contribute to my followers in less than 60 seconds by writing a quick tweet. Not much thinking is involved, so it is very convenient. I can still concentrate on the other 10 things I am doing at the same time.

But something gets lost. I have friends I read tweets from regularly that I haven’t spoken to or heard from otherwise in months. I start to assume we’re in touch, and I guess we are in a way, but I don’t really know what’s going on any more than I do the guy I saw in the elevator this morning. (I said, “hey”. So did he. I said “How’s it going?” He said, “Good and you?”, and I said “Good.”).

If that guy read this blog entry, I think he’d know me a little better. I guess that’s why it’s important for me to make time for blogging.