Now James is four and a half, he’s at school, and this is the time of year when all parents take an hour or two off work to watch their children in the school christmas play. So today I went to watch James sing and dance with others in his class. As I watched him confidently walk onto the stage, perform his dance moves and sing along, concentrating and trying so hard, then looking so proud, I unaccountably developed something in my eyes that caused them to water, requiring a surreptitious wipe with a tissue. I noticed a similar effect on Nongyaw and many surrounding mothers.
When I was single, I was a hard-hearted bastard. I could watch weepy movies and snort with derision; songs like “Seasons in the sun” made me laugh with scorn. But now I’m a father, it’s with alarmingly frequency that I get something in my eye. I physically cannot watch news items that involve desperately ill children in Niger. God help me – I even find cloyingly sentimental Disney films like Dumbo and Bambi heartbreaking.
And a warning to single punk rockers: If you have children and attend their school Christmas shows, you might as well trade in your Dr Martens for ballet shoes and your black leather jackets for pink frilly tu-tus, as you will turn into a watery-eyed girlies, too. It’s guaranteed. Any other fathers enough in touch with their feminine side to confirm this?