I always knew, of course, that this day would come. And now it has, it’s greeted with excitement tinged with regret.
A mere fifteen-hundred-odd days on from my daughter’s birth, and my own rebirth of sorts into a more purposeful form, it’s time to hand over the reins. I’ve been a stay-at-home dad, the highest calling I’ve ever mustered, for the best part of those hundreds of days but tomorrow I become obsolete. Redundant. No longer of need. My tour of duty has run its course (with, I’m relieved to say, no fatalities). Tomorrow is ‘B-Day’.. aka ‘Big School’ Day.
So it’s time to let go. Bow out gracefully and trust in the skilled, enthusiastic educators in our local Educate Together. And that’s not to say that there won’t be some relief in the handover. I’m happy for someone more qualified to field some of the tangential questions that a four-year-old’s mind throws out – my answers to which have probably not been perfect. The “how do babies get out of a bagina?” one being a recent example.
Fear not, when Mimi starts her educational career I shan’t be left aimlessly at home, staring at the eerily quiet space that she would normally nosily occupy with play doh and ukulele. I did see this coming and have slowly been re-acclimatising myself to the adult world of work. Not that it compares, give me a morning examining creepy-crawlies in a rain-soaked park over a spreadsheet at a desk any day. But if she’s growing up, I suppose I must too.
I’ll make the most of these initially-short schooldays, but must keep in mind that, sooner than I want, they’ll give way to full days, after-school activities, class trips, and frankly sub-standard amateur theatrical productions. I know I’m being phased out, but have arrived at a place of acceptance. Soon I won’t be the dippy stay-at-home dad anymore, I’ll just be a dad like all the others, but still rearranging the fridge magnets to accommodate another masterpiece and over-enthusiastically applauding an off-key rendition of ‘It’s A Hard-Knock Life’.
So let’s go, Big School. I’m not worried, she’s got this.
It’s me I’m not so sure about.
A part of this piece was first published on image.ie