My son sleeps beside me, while I write these words. It is morning, 6am, the sun has risen. The approach to time is different when he is around, – there are two kind of tasks in the world, those that he can join, and those he cannot join. I try mostly to do the latter while he sleeps, or is not here. Having a child really restructures your life.
I was not sure what to write about today, so I decide to write about being a father. I also know that I could find it inspiring to hear about how others approach this part of life.
A way I spend time with him, is to do things that he can be a part of. This takes preparation, but it can be a lot of fun and inspiring too. The other day after we had mopped the floor, I mentioned that I ought to fix one of the shelves someday. “Let’s fix it…”, he says, “… with tools”. His eyes was glowing with anticipation. He is almost 3 years old, and loves working with tools. You do not play with tools, they can be dangerous, you work with them. And when you use tools, there is no fooling around, but it also feels more meaningful. We fixed the shelf in the living room, – and today we are reorganising the kitchen, emptying the cabinets, replacing the adhesive foil on the shelves, etc. – probably wearing paper hats, and making silly games meanwhile.
Of course we also just play, using lego and other toys, going out, reading stories, dancing and using our bodies.
Contact Improvisation is a fantastic inspiration for dancing with your child. In some way CI is just a way for grownups to practise and relearn to play like children. So he rolls over me, and I become a horse he rides, a rocket, and a tree that he climbs, and we dance to music, and swing around until I get too dizzy.
Sometimes we draw together, and make stories at the same time, – and I feel that I am learning as much to about drawing as he is. The talking also puts more awareness on language, rhyming and making fun with words, and we even end up reading poetry.
For bedtime story we are currently reading children stories from the bible, – these are actually wild adventures which at the same time is the foundation of much of our culture. Having a child is a perfect excuse for rediscovering your culture, – the greek heroes, and arabian nights, fairy tales, and norse mythology, and your own ancient culture are also fantastic for story telling and reminding you of your roots, in addition to the usual children books.