I filled up on fuel and off we went. A 2 hour drive on a Sunday morning to Birmingham to attend the Lego Brick Live annual expo with an excited little man. They checked our tickets and stamped us for entry and the madness began. You could see his anticipation, curiosity and happiness all in one expression. I can tell you that with a lot of certainty because i felt the exact same way simply because I have taken the time to learn what he enjoys to the point that I also enjoy the very same things. I have learned to shut up & do. I shut up and watch, I shut up and run, I shut up and put him on my shoulders and most of all I shut up and listen.
The most important lesson for me this weekend was learning the power of relationship over responsibility and the need for my presence over provision. The generation before us, especially where I come from, understood fatherhood the other way round and don't get me wrong that is not a bad thing. If there is one thing I learned from my father is that for you to be a great dad, you have to raise a friend as well as a child. This is extremely important because it will lay the foundation of trust for the future. Anyway, before i digressed to mature talk, I was talking about Lego. The Lego experience taught me a very important lesson, and its this: when you love someone so much, you start to enjoy what they enjoy. This is not necessarily because you enjoy the activity itself but you see the joy it brings that person. As a father I have learned to look beyond the activity, hobby, TV show or toys, but I see my child's face, excitement, education and I know I'm doing something right.
Lastly, to all the fathers, please, and I repeat, please learn to shut up and do. Learn to shut up and listen to your child's silly stories, shut up and do the colouring in, shut up and jump in that muddy puddle and one for me (which I'm still learning) let your phone do the shutting up too.
Raise you child, also allow your child to raise you!