Fatherhood. It makes some men take to it like ducks to water. For some other men, it might not be a walk in the park. This December, I have the privilege of having a client who enjoys fatherhood in more ways than one.
Let's call my client Mr R. Like many working fathers with school-going children, Mr R put aside some time this December to spend together with his children. His two teenage children are enjoying their year-end holidays away from school for the whole month. During this time of the year, there is always a wide range of family-friendly activities to choose from. I'm delighted that Mr R chose Learn How To Juggle as one of the activities.
When I showed up at their home to teach the first lesson, Mr R said the juggling lesson was for him, his son and daughter. As we began, I asked Mr R why he chose "juggling". Mr R shared that he plays golf and that an acquaintance had mentioned that juggling helps to improve one's focus (during games of golf). He sees how this significant benefit of juggling can also be reaped by his school-going children who will attend Secondary One and Three classes in 2015. Mr R also sees juggling to be a fun activity!
It struck me that here is one father who somehow managed to convince his teenage children to learn how to juggle together with him. Teenagers have a million things that they could otherwise do. Some teenagers might even prefer to not learn something new together with their fathers.
As the juggling lesson progressed, I saw how Mr R and his children enthusiastically took to the lesson. They were attentive, unafraid to learn and open to new perspectives; they certainly had lots of fun and practised with determination. During the lesson, Mr R was a shining example to his children who did not seem surprised that their father became a model student. I also sensed how they were easy-going, encouraging, and open with one another, even as they were all doing something new together in front of me, a stranger amongst them. They have a distinct familial bond.
Being a father myself, I know one fundamental thing about fatherhood: it's a relationship with one's sons and/or daughters. My plain understanding is that the state of any relationship depends on the interaction between the people in that relationship.
Mr R made the concept of fatherhood come alive for me.
Postscript: Being both juggler and dad is special. Here's a previous post about dads who juggle.