When doing nothing is doing everything

Yesterday was a day spent with my son. We played a closely fought set of table tennis, went for a swim during which we threw a football back and forth, duelled with with water pistols, and experimented with lying on the bottom of the pool. In the late afternoon we went to the cinema, picked up pizza on the way home, and watched Terminator 3 on DVD.

All simple things that were really just an excuse to spend time together, for a son to know that his dad not only loves him, he likes him. And for a dad to know his son not only loves him, he likes him. A time to do nothing more and nothing less than simply enjoy each other’s company and in the process to affirm one another’s humanity at some inexplicably profound level.

This is what my dad did for me, and now it is my turn to do the same for my children. I think it created in me a deep sense of belonging and “okayness”. I hope I am doing the same for my children.

It’s funny. If you asked what we did yesterday we’d both probably say “nothing much” but it seems to be that in doing nothing much we were doing something of incalculable importance.

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