Here’s looking at you, kid
Here’s looking at you, kid
Scott Dunlop

On Saturday I was the luckiest man on the planet when I got to marry Karen, surrounded by my children, her children and grandchildren and friends and family.

Having children around was such fun. The fact that we got married at Karen’s pre-school with a complete play area in the back garden seemed fitting for us. After all, what’s most important to us is our family.

The little ones brought some impromptu hilarity into the event and made certain that it wasn’t a stuffy, serious affair. Like almost any occasion, in fact.

Some of the wedding was spent watching the knee-high people dashing about; they brought a special kind of tenderness to the moment. Some of it was spent looking up at the amazing decorations our friend had created. Some was spent looking inward as we celebrated this awesome day.

When you have small kids around, you don’t realise how much time you spend looking down. There are several reasons for this. When they’re still crawling, it’s to avoid smooshing their fingers or toes. Once they’re older, it’s so that you won’t crush their bottles, toys and other random household artefacts that kids tend to distribute across the floor. The medical term “Lego foot” describes an ailment which will keep you looking at the floor for years.

You end up looking down so much that it has the converse impact of you banging your head. Open kitchen cupboards become a source of slapstick hilarity when dad is looking at the floor and slams his unprotected bald head into a cupboard. No matter how much blood is dripping from your scalp, it’s bound to provoke plenty of laughter.

So you can’t look down all the time and you can’t look up all the time. Short of placing mirrors all around the house you’re forced to have eyes in the back of your head. Parents are skilled this way. We become super-sensory, alert to the slightest change in the room, able to interpret silences and rustling noises. We know that non-noise as a child picks up an ornament and we’re able to fly across the room to prevent it being smashed. We know the future…
Right now, my future is looking especially happy.

There will be times when your super-parent senses fail you, of course, and you feel especially mortal, but those moments help to keep you humble. Otherwise we’d all be claiming to be parenting experts. I know I’ll always be a novice.

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