Friday, January 14, 2011

Simple pleasures

It’s an incredible thing (finally, at my age) to start a new year as a father.

Our son, the apple of our eye, has introduced an entirely new perspective on what is important. Now, what I consider important may not be everyone's cup of tea, but I think I’m pretty safe in saying that with a baby in the family, the simple things in life have taken on a whole new dimension.

From the moment I walk in our front door to see the little guy crawling up to greet me, the outside world fades into, well, the outside world. I'm now immersed in the pure joy of watching him discover for the first time all those things we take for granted.

I can sit and sit and sit some more, quietly watching as Morgan plays and roams. I'm in constant amazement, watching him watch his own hands, picking up a ball, leaf or (inevitably) dry dog food; or as he pulls a new expression - a quizzically raised eyebrow, a delighted smile; especially a disdainful frown. It is all absolute gold!

We are so lucky and constantly remind ourselves of that fact, during mini-tantrums, hunger strikes and 3am dance parties in the cot. The days of allowing myself to come home and brood about work and the miniscule aggravations associated with individuals or issues at work are now, very much, a thing of the past.

As usual I welcome your thoughts, questions, comments. Are you a new or reasonably new parent? How have you adjusted to the changes?


  1. Hey Chris,

    Just watched a movie last night called "l'Age de Raison" about a successful business woman who, at age 7, wrote letters to herself to be delivered in 2010 through the local Notary.

    Some sentimental stuff in there but the overall message struck a chord, particularly from the vantage point of a 5 week break from work.

    You spend roughly a third of your life asleep, a third at work and the final third is up for grabs (want more sleep or work?).

    If the work bit is not fun, then you are wasting half of your waking life.
    Dodging buses until well into your retirement should be a priority.

    Uncle Gurrier.

  2. Uncle Gurrier, as usual your comment hits the nail on the head. And I'm loving YOUR blog, though admit to not understanding all of it (you will have to explain to me someday with a glass of ale / bubbles).

    Chris, I too may be biaised but the little things (fast growing though they are) are certainly the most important these days. And happily so!

  3. I know for certain that on our deathbeds our life's worth won't be measured by press clippings or job seniority, but by the love, time and happiness we five to those whom we love and who love us in return. Kids don't remember that mum or dad worked late to buy a new Playstation, they remember when you sat on the floor next to them and simply had the guys to play their games and just "be" in the moment with them. Pj xx

  4. there is too much emphasis on tomorrow and not enough on the here and now.

    I am guilty of this and feel just like PJ that time is a great measure of love and simple pleasures than money.

    james le

  5. Our twins turn 2 on Thursday. I am constantly amazed at how much of my pre-fatherhood life was spent focussed on issues that nowadays don't mean a thing to me.

    I find myself lost for words when I see other new fathers electing to spend more time at work and/or away from their kids for the sake of progressing their careers. The absolute highlight of my day is walking up the front steps to the cries of "Daddy!" It brings tears to my eyes just writing about it!

    The other gift which fatherhood has provided is an even greater understanding of just how lucky I was to have my Dad. I've always known he was fantatstic, but I now truly understand the effort it can take to be a good, let alone great, father. And I was the youngest of 6! I only hope I can do half as good a job with our two gorgeous, glorious, smart, funny kids.

  6. Steve, a priceless, timeless, inspiring observation. I couldn't agree more. Best, Chris

  7. I just came across the story of the Hoyt family from the US thanks to a Facebook post.

    Rick Hoyt was born in 1962 and as a result of oxygen deprivation to his brain at the time of his birth, Rick was diagnosed as a spastic quadriplegic with cerebral palsy. Rick's parents, Dick and Judy, were advised to institutionalize him because there was no chance of him recovering, and little hope for Rick to live a "normal" life.

    In 1977 Rick told his father that he wanted to participate in a 5-mile benefit run for a Lacrosse player who had been paralyzed in an accident. Dick agreed to push Rick in his wheelchair and they finished all 5 miles, coming in second last. That night, Rick told his father, "Dad, when I'm running, it feels like I'm not handicapped."

    This father and son team have continued to participate in races (including 6 Ironman events) up to the present day. You can read their story at

    A video tribute is on YouTube at

    I have to warn you though, I had tears streaming down my face watching it. Truly inspirational and very, very humbling.