It was a close one but I’m very pleased that I ended up here.
PRAGUE, Czech Republic- My daughter freaked out last night when I told her that I was going to get up early and head out to work. She said that she was planning on doing something with me.
In the morning I was woken up by my kids wearing their matching “Dad is rad” t-shirts wishing me a happy Father’s Day. I had no idea.
I generally don’t know what day it is and have no idea when the holidays are. On a regular basis I fear the day when I wake up in the morning with my wife eye-balling me.
“Do you know what today is?”
“It’s our anniversary!”
It’s happened more times than I like to admit. By now she’s getting used to it and it’s kind of a joke.
It was decided that we would go to this ice cream festival. It was what it said it was: a festival of ice cream. I don’t really care for sweets and for some reason I’m going through a period where they seem revolting, but my kids and wife love ice cream so I figured it would be a good idea.
They had some strange ice creams: mojito-shot gelato, this flat rolled up strawberry ice cream, and my wife got a black ice cream cone. Yes, it was really black ice cream — made of charcoal or something.
We didn’t really do the event right. Other people were gorging themselves on ice cream as they stood in line to buy another ice cream. It seems as if you were supposed to eat as much ice cream as you could stand — celebrate the stuff or something.
The highlight: Petra gave me a banana that she tattooed “Daddy’s the best” on.
For dinner my wife took me and the kids out for gourmet pizza.
I spent the day marveling over how much different things could have been. Missing the opportunity for my wife was so incredibly close. This story could have gone off in a very different direction.
I hate Father’s Day. It’s cool to tell my dad how much he means to me and all that, but now there is another facet to it: I must evaluate my standing as a father myself.
In exchange for the perpetual travel lifestyle I’ve stripped my kids of their community, their extended family — their tribe. Kids are made to socially evolve within a community, and I scattered that to the waves from the start.
Many people commend me for raising my daughters on the road. They say that it’s so great for them to experience so many different places, cultures, and languages. I don’t cut them short but always find myself thinking: travel is a great learning experience for … adults who’ve had a solid upbringing in a community and know the basics of how to function in a group. For children … that’s a very different story.
While we did stay for a few years in China where Petra went to school, I can’t say that was an ideal society for her to emulate. I scold her when her dog-eat-dog tendencies come out but then I need to turn around and punch myself in the face for raising her in a place where people have the tendency to be horrible to each other.
Too late now.
But we are looking for other ways. I imagine there little communities of digital nomad kids popping up around the trendy stops of the world. I don’t know if that’s what we will go for but we need something more for them.
The card that Petra made me. It’s a pop-up of me. Matching dad is rad shirts (yeah, I bought those for them).
Hannah eating mojito-spiked ice cream. Girls eating ice cream or something. Petra tattooing the banana. Petra tattooing “Daddy’s the best” on a banana.