In all sorts of ways, dads are just kids with driving licenses and facial hair.
It doesn’t matter that they might spend 40 hours each week in a boring office or that they play the voice of reason in sibling arguments. Their inner child is never far from the surface.
If there’s a “keep off the grass” sign to be ignored, dads will be leading the charge.
With Father’s Day coming up, I’ve been thinking about some of the things kids and dads have a in common.
The (real) art of comedy
Kids and Dads also know that the secret to perfecting comedy isn’t to painstakingly study the greats and work hard at writing while rehearsing your own side splitting punchlines. It isn’t about timing and observation.
It’s about knowing that sometimes there’s nothing funnier than making yourself chuckle by saying “pull my finger” or telling a toe-curlingly unfunny joke over and over. And over. Regardless of the resigned sighs that come in response.
It’s why kids are the only other creatures in nature that actually enjoy #dadjokes.
When I was a kid, a highlight of every summer holiday was the den I would make with my friends in the local woods.
It’s where we’d meet every morning, and where our parents knew they’d find us when it was time to go home for dinner. It was our own little kingdom away from the real world.
Dads are living proof that getting older doesn’t mean giving up on childhood dreams of creating the perfect hideaway. Dads don’t abandon the dens they built with their friends as kids. No way! They just move them indoors and fill them with comfortable furniture. And a mini fridge. And a gigantic TV.
I was genuinely inspired by my friend Jamie’s dad recently when he proudly showed off the ‘pub’ he’d made in his garden shed. Whilst it didn’t have the muddy-kneed charm of a childhood den, it did have pork scratchings, a wood fire, and a dart board.
It’s just as much of a den as anything my mates and I had spent our summers in.
Don’t exaggerate, do spin yarns
You don’t have to listen to kids talking for long to realise they are masters in the art of using poetic license. Climbing frames that are as tall as a mountain, pet dogs that are so clever they are soon to be recruited by NASA… No story is complete without a healthy dose of embellishment.
And if that reminds you of anyone, I’d bet 100 trillion dollars that it’s a dad.
Although Dads might tell you with a straight face that it’s important not to tell white lies, they do understand the importance of creating a bit of wonder with a small whopper. It’s why they can’t go fishing without catching a carp “at LEAST the size of a car ”.
And it’s why mums so often greet the dramatic climax of another dad story with a weary roll of their eyes.
The power of being daft
Lastly, when dads and kids get together their combined genius for being a bit daft can have some entertaining results.
Take for example The Book Of Everyone’s own Steve and his son Saul. When Saul was younger he and Steve often found themselves hanging out at home on a weekend whilst Kate (Steve’s wife and Saul’s mum) was busy in town.
Naturally, they did what any father and son would do and set to dressing Saul up as a series of characters. So there was Business Saul complete with shirt, tie, and drawn-on moustache, and Joker Saul who bore an alarmingly good likeness to the Heath Ledger’s portrayal.
You can imagine Kate’s bafflement and the boys’ amusement as she arrived home each time to see what madness they’d cooked up.
When I asked Steve and Saul what started it off and why they did it they answered, “We don’t really know why it began but it was good fun.”
So why not?
Dads are kids. Dads are great.
Happy Father’s Day dads.