Dad’s Diary

Being perpetually busy is a strange state of being. Like most working parents, there is always an epically long to-do list lurking somewhere at the back of my mind. The etymology of the word busy reveals something about the state of being busy. The word ‘busy’ comes from the Middle English word ‘bisig’, which at…

Dad’s Diary

My son sat in the front seat next to me as we drove westward. The silence was deafening as drove through the rolling hills of southern England. The reason things were so quiet was that we boys were on solo mission to bring a busload of our stuff from the Isle of Wight back to…

Dad’s Diary

My wife came in to my office with a sheepish look on her face. She said that my son’s friend had just called to the door, and had asked if he could go to the park to play. She confessed that she had said “yes” and that he was now gone – out into the…

Dad’s Diary

“But marshmallows are a St Patrick’s Day tradition!” my eldest daughter righteously insisted, aghast at my ignorance on the subject. “Don’t you remember, we all had giant marshmallows last year?” she asked in total incredulity. It was as though I had suddenly announced that I’d never heard that people bring little pine trees indoors and…

Dad’s Diary

“You’ve got your hands full.”  That phrase is apparently the new “hello”. At least, that is what random strangers typically say to me on the street by way of greeting. I suppose it’s not an altogether inaccurate statement of the obvious. Particularly as I rush down the road – late for school again – with…

Dad’s Diary

One of the great contradictions of parenthood is that you, at once, want your children to acquire knowledge, and you want to protect them from knowledge. After all, protecting children’s innocence means deliberately keeping certain types of knowledge from them. Ever since the Garden of Eden, we have equated increased knowledge with paradise lost. We…

Dad’s Diary

My heart melts when I look into my own baby’s eyes, and see her radiate love and joy towards me. Our six-month old now reaches out to touch my face as she smiles at me. She beams when I enter a room – and I dare not do so without going over to say hello.…

Dad’s Diary

My wife and I are like ships in the night –weary ships, that need a long spell in dry dock for repairs. We are incessantly commanded on strange, but urgent, midnight missions by capricious miniature admirals: babies, small children and viruses. From the deepest dream, each night I might awaken to find the bedroom door…

Dad’s Diary

The strangest things happen when you find yourself without Internet connection for weeks on end. That is the situation I recently found myself in thanks to the incompetence of my broadband supplier, and the fact that our old farmhouse in west Cork is down in a valley, and has two-foot thick stone walls which serve…

Dad’s Diary

The lorry groaned as the enormous skip landed with a metallic thud on my driveway. This was going to be spring-cleaning on an industrial scale. Five years ago, a sudden job offer precipitated a hasty move to Dublin from our old farmhouse in West Cork. We had far too much stuff to take with us,…