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Bonding with another father

On Friday I was immersed in a marathon script-writing session with two other writers as part of the Boston 48-Hour Film Project. It’s an awesome tradition where you get to make a movie in the span of 48 hours. Always good fun, and this is my second time doing so in as many years.

One of the other movie folks – maybe a production type, or an assistant to the director, or whatever – is a fellow named Jason, and we talked a lot about kids at the end of the marathon writing session. As it happens, he has a 7.5 year old child, and I could see his eyes moisten when I showed him a photo of my little boy on my smartphone.

We joked about all kinds of things about being a father. One thing was how the kid somehow knows – just knows - where your balls are and always stomps on them with his feet, or knees them, or whatever else. It never fails. As a father your balls always take a good beating at least once or twice a day.

He told me that it was instinct – they do it because of evolution. They don’t want other kids in the picture, so they go after the source of any new kids, which of course is our balls. It’s their way of making sure they’d be the only kid in the family. That’s pretty funny.

I tell him how awesome it is to be waken up by the kid. Sometimes a gentle shake on the shoulder or a pat on the head, other days a violent nose grab or a hair pull, but one way or another your eyes open and there’s the little tyke, grinning ear to ear in your face. It’s an awesome way to wake up to the day.

“The second best way to wake up in the morning,” he tells me. It takes me a second or two to register, but then I realize it. I laugh loudly and we shake hands. It’s a real bonding moment.

Seriously, one of my favourite things about being a parent is the way we bond with other parents out there. I wrote about this in an earlier blog post – it’s like being fellow soldiers. Fellow warriors. We see each other doing our thing, and we nod at each other with a curt smile, like: “Hey buddy, I see you and I know!”

Yup, I know. And it’s awesome.

Keith MacKenzie

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