I don’t have Snapchat. I don’t know what ‘on fleek’ means, and I haven’t the foggiest about dabbing. I’m also fairly certain I’ve never heard a track by Drake.
Is it even called a track these days?
I certainly don’t, most of the time.
The transition from man in his 30’s to middle aged Dad has been so quick it can barely even be called a transition, more of a snap, which you only start to become aware of when you find yourself stood at the thermostat ranting about the cost of central heating again. And the scary thing is I didn’t even see it coming, a bit like all this ear hair.
Life can have some surreal moments at times. I often find myself staring into the mirror, wondering who this tired looking 35 year old man is that’s staring back at me, then a small child I’m responsible for will run past or cry from another room. “How did any of this happen?!” I’ll mutter to my open mouthed reflection, which is then often coupled with a minor twinge of panic – “I don’t know how to look after children, I can barely look after myself!!” Thankfully these moments are fleeting but surreal nonetheless. The truth of the matter is that I have been becoming a responsible adult over the last 20 years without even realising, and I am also more than capable of keeping little people alive, in fact (in my own humble opinion) I’m really rather good at it.
Somehow, and mostly under the radar, I became more Mark than Jez, with 48 hour benders toned down to a couple of bottles of wine on the sofa with my best friend Aims, night clubs being replaced with dinner parties, and daytime sessions with the lads being substituted for nice family walks in the countryside. The days of watching reality TV have long been replaced (which means I’ll never need to know what a Kardashian is) with keeping up to date with the implications of Brexit or whichever latest humanitarian atrocity is getting the worlds momentary attention on the news.
The plan of living fast and dying young has been revised to living for as long as possible and surviving on my sensible pension pot. I still have the same immortal feeling that being a young person gives, I just can’t listen to Radio One without saying “what the bloody hell is this racket” anymore. Believe me I’m fine with that. One thing that is becoming more of a concern is the very real threat that I could become an embarrassing Dad. I was cool, but cool has changed dramatically, just as I’m sure it changed for my Dad in the early 1990’s. So now I have choices to make;
- Make an effort to stay current
- Embrace the embarrassing Dad
- Run off and start a new life in Panama
Option 1: The knee jerk decision. Everyone wants to be a cool Dad, that Dad that all your kids friends idolise at school. But you’ve got to look at the long term, as none of this will really come into effect until the kids start to care about this kind of crap – my guess is around their 8th birthday. That’s 5 and a bit years of listening to music in the charts, 5 years of keeping up with trends and and fads on Pinterest & Twitter. Can I really be arsed with that? Is the reward equal to the effort?
Option 2: Let’s face it, I like a drink so there’s bound to be Dad dancing – that can’t be helped, so this one seems the most logical. Also, I don’t really have to do anything which I am a HUGE fan of. Sure there’ll be times when the kids will wish I’d get attacked by a bear as I stand there saying “pull my finger” to their cool teenage mates, but I’ll only have to ride this period of heartfelt loathing until they’re in their early 20’s. It’ll also save me a fortune in yoga classes (I think cool dads of the future will be big on yoga).
Option 3: is always at the back of my mind, but we’ll save that for when the shit really hits the fan.
I guess time will tell on this, all we can do is hope for the best. In the meantime, I’ve got years of playing, pretending and general silliness to enjoy.