House dad - Still Alive
Yes, I’m still alive! After 10 weeks of school holidays, that is my daughter’s school holidays... which I have somehow become accustomed to going into my own holiday funk for the entire time, hence the lack of columns.
It is curious thing how we start to live life all over again – through our children. Well maybe it’s not so curious, more like obvious; but some of us more than others are making up for lost time, or simply do not want to grow up.
According to my wife, I most definitely fall into the category of ‘not wanting to grow up’ although she also believes it’s not simply a case of juvenile delinquency, but a whole process of re-education.
The fact is I was never really, well, brought up – conventionally - having fended for myself from a very early age. It’s hardly the stuff of Dickens but there’s a definite streak of recalcitrance and a complete disregard for the aging process, as in wanting to become an adult, or grasping the relevance.
Plausibly this could pose a problem, in the real world, however as I am “Not on the planet,, according to several sources, my current occupation seems all the more relevant. Indeed, it is intriguing the responses one get’s from Immigration Officials all over this planet when they look at the box – occupation “House dad”
It becomes more perplexing when these (officious) officials ask (inanely), “What does a House dad do?” Realizing there is completely no sense of humor here (as at Chep Lak Kok Hong Kong, Paris-Charles de Gaule, Malpensa Milan, Melbourne Tullamarine), my usual response is, “It’s all about growing up, again and my daughter is re-educating me in the ways of the modern world and teaching me how to be an adult and a dad growing up with Generation Z.”
Then there’s the clearly less-travelled immigration officials, as they leaf through the pages of our passports and begin to comprehend we have traversed the planet numerous times and sometimes in the same week.
Eyebrows raised and with a glimmer of humor, our (Australian Immigration) official comments, “Obviously geography is part of this ‘educational’ process”, only to realize this smirk has us heading for a long conversation and thorough search with the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry and Biosecurity.
You know, you can tell a lot about a country from your first impressions with customs officials, some of them as miserable as an acutely depressed drill sergeant, which I will be writing on at length shortly... But if only every airport functioned as well and its officials were as friendly as Wellington, New Zealand and Changi, Singapore.
And in this day and technological age, how can airports such as Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane possibly be worse than Frankfurt and so completely dysfunctional and staffed with a prison warder mentality?
So, there’s a lot to tell, of ‘Travels with Hayley’ and I have been taking English lessons from her so hopefully my writing will improve – once I get over the writer’s block.
Meanwhile, my re-education as a new-age Generation Z dad continues; it’s like the International Baccalaureate (IB) for parenthood where I am learning to be an inquirer, thinker, communicator, and risk taker, knowledgeable, principled, caring, open-minded, well-balanced, and reflective.
But above all, if it is not on YouTube – it does NOT exist.