• The Things Your Dad Does

    Dear Dad – a Daddy Matters Father’s Day Special

    For Father's Day, the Daddy Matters Group posted a writing challenge for us to imagine what our kids might really say to us if they were to write a letter to their father. I thought it more fitting to have the letter written here instead of The Blogfather, though I will admit it does veer away somewhat from my usual letters to Xander. Anyway, this is what I imagine Xander might say.

  • The Things Your Dad Does

    Being Good

    Dear Xander, I was speaking to a few dads in a sitdown meeting when the topic of our children’s future came up. It was a complicated and heavy discussion, delving into such sub-topics such as our local government policies, its emphasis on meritocracy, and ultimately the need for our children to work on their academic lives even harder than any child has ever done in the history of our country, just so we can compete on level ground in what is currently a country growing a majority of foreigners who are equally, if not more, driven, talented and less materialistic. As the “impassioned” discussion wore on, I studied each father…

  • The Things Your Dad Does

    Cockiness

    Dear Xander, Uncle Mark asked me over a beer had a conversation the other day. He said to me, “Bro, don’t take this the wrong way, but have you always been this cocky?” I said with a shrug, “Yeah.” “Then wouldn’t you be better off running your own business? I mean, I can’t imagine you being able to work for anyone — or for that matter — anyone who would hire you when you’re so cocky.” I replied, “Then the people you’re imagining are hiring aren’t the people I want to work for.” Uncle Mark was just being the best friend that he is to me. He’s also a worrywart,…

  • The Things Your Dad Does

    Honestly Speaking

    Dear Xander, When I was 11, through peer influence, I developed a kleptomanic streak (that means I used to steal stuff, and it became a habit). I only stole one thing in particular, though: back in my day, the large Emporium Holdings (similar to modern-day Isetan or Metro) had a display stand carrying brightly coloured button badges with rubber paint-penned slogans written on them. And I thought I was pretty good at it, too. My conquests, which grew to a good 30-40 button badges, were pinned on my schoolbag for all to see. But I was caught eventually at my neighbourhood department store, and my dad had to come bail…

  • The Things Your Dad Does

    Chasing Dreams is Hard Work

    Dear Xander, It’s been a month and a half since I switched careers to become a writer. You might have noticed it isn’t the easier of transitions; for one, I haven’t written to you or a while. Sorry about that. I took this enormous leap of faith knowing it will be an entirely new experience, but knowing it and actually experiencing it seems to be two completely different animals. There are moments where I feel like I’m very much on top of things, as a vocal contributor to the company I’m working for and a suitably experienced parent (I am, after all, hired to be a parenting writer). Then there…

  • The Things Your Dad Does

    Chasing Dreams

    It took a simple couple of sentences from your mother, repeated about 2-3 times over the course of the last 3 years (since you were born, actually) to make me get off my arse and find out exactly what was causing this rut that I had been in. She said to me, "I would rather you be well-fed and happy than hungry and angry. When you're happy, Xan and I are happy; that is the simple truth."

  • The Things Your Dad Does

    We Were All Kids Once

    Sometimes we might forget you're just a kid - you are just growing up so fast - and kids can do things that are stupid, brash, and unthinkable. Sometimes we forget that we were once kids, too. I can't quite speak for your mum (you and I both know she's always right, right?), but I know I've done stupid, brash and unthinkable things before.