I must admit to you that I think I'm a pretty good Dad, not perfect, not crap, just somewhere in the "good" ranks.
There are people who would say that a father who leaves his kids isn't good, there are others who might say the opposite and I've faced them all in the last couple of years. It's okay, I know what's in my heart and I bumble my way through life, fatherhood and blogdom with a clear, maybe slightly misty at times, conscience.
But, deep stuff aside, I also admit there are times when I wish I had one of those really smart brains, the kind that can understand science, maths and other complex subjects. Perhaps, as Bertram would have said of Jeeves, had I eaten more fish as a child, I would have become the brainbox I often yearn to be. This would also explain why I don't like fish now.
If any child of mine wants to know how to get her right foot powerful and strong on the bass drum then I'll step up and be able to help. If a child wants to know how to play the drum intro to Smells Like Teen Spirit then I reckon I'm in with a shout. And, if a child wants to know how to look at things with a smile and a chuckle then I also think I'm well placed to help.
Then we have the, ahem, cough cough, areas that require improvement. If a child wanted to know about how to start up and run a blog aggregator thing or how to write some really good hard hitting journalism I'd send it in Indi's direction. Dinidu would be a consideration too, but naturally, as I have daughters, I'd worry for them. Come to think of it I'd worry for Dinidu too. I think I'm not allowed to link to his new blog but you know where it is!
If an offspring wanted to know about advertising (God forbid) I have a whole agency's worth of people to choose from. There's DD, TMS and David Blacker from the Lankanosphere alone and I have four of the creative advertising fellows in my band as well.
The list goes on, I'm sure you get the idea. I've got Academic Bro for whatever it is he does and Musicbiz Bro for advice on the latest sunglasses. In general I'm lucky to have this huge list of people who I'd happily send my kids off to for learning. I think I'm quite secure with all this stuff.
On Saturday K and I were walking through Kingston. By now she needs little introduction and I think it's probably fair to say you understand her better than I do. We'd had an eventful morning already. I'd bought her a jumper, that one that was essential for her to maintain her quality of life, but I'd also done something that I feel was very positively educational for her, more about that in another post. I'd bought myself that new red polo shirt that I told you about, so we were merrily content with things.
One of the great things about watching your kids grow is to also observe how the conversations progress through the years. These days the chats I have with both daughters are often lively, funny and stimulating. It's nice, though sometimes I get caught out.
"Dad" she said.
"Yes K" I replied
"So what do you think is the next thing that Apple will invent then?"
It may surprise you but I'm not an inventor. I once won first prize in the Petersham Flower Show for the under ten handicraft section with my balsa wood model ship, but even then I hadn't really invented the idea of ships or balsa wood models. There was only one other entrant, my friend Greg, but he'd tried to paint his model and made a mess of it. I cunningly observed his poor execution of the painting idea and opted to leave mine unpainted.
Other than that I don't think I've ever been the inventing kind, which I realised very abruptly is quite a barrier to being able to answer such a question. I wracked my brain, thinking about the things that chaps have invented in the past. This was part of my problem; all those things have already been invented and knowing about them doesn't really help in trying to predict the future.
I spluttered a bit and attempted to give some kind of response, one that said nothing and also left K feeling that her Dad was still that fount of all wisdom, the one that she probably never thought existed in the first place. It seemed like a good plan, only it wasn't. K pushed me further and I felt like I was stuck in quicksand. The more she pushed the more I struggled, the more I struggled the deeper I sank.
Finally I came up with a spurious answer that she accepted. I said that Apple would make something more seamless and more all in one than they had already, that they'd come up with a product that would blend the music player, phone, camera and all in a package that was of great quality.
My plan worked. I'd basically told K what we've all been reading for a few years anyway, what all the techno companies claim to have launched anyway. Or maybe she just got bored with my faffing about and her mind moved onto other things.
I still don't know the real answer either.