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The Dad I Want to Be

Every Friday evening between the years of 1986 and 1989, I was home alone with my Dad…


My Mum and older brother went out somewhere – Boys Brigade I think. To be honest, I didn’t care where they went. All I cared about was that I got to have time alone with my Dad and that meant balloon cricket.

We pushed the sofas around to make one the wicket end. The bowling end was marked by a plant. Both the ‘bat’ and the ‘ball’ were balloons. One a long kind and the other a regular ballon. My Dad would do the most ridiculous run ups, which started in the kitchen. He’d tell me to ‘watch out for the spin on this one’ and he’d make extravagant dives for the ball balloon as it moved in slow motion towards him. And I remember laughing. A lot. I loved Friday nights and almost 30 years later I can remember the look on my Dad’s face as he emerged from the kitchen preparing to bowl.

In the days of Netflix and iPhone apps, and when I’ve been working all week and just want to sit down, I find it hard to be the dad I want to be. I don’t remember much about being four, but I do remember balloon cricket and I do remember laughing so hard my belly hurt. I do remember loving Friday nights with my Dad. I was lucky.

I want to be a balloon cricket kind of Dad. It’s okay if my boys forget the detail. If they remember laughing so hard their bellies hurt, that will do just fine. So I’m resolving to be the balloon cricket, end-of-week high-energy kind of Dad my boys deserve.


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