Arlo and I enjoyed a fun morning in the big smoke shooting with the fab brand, Grass and Air yesterday. The kids already have two of their rain macs, so I was delighted when they asked if we'd feature in their latest shoot. As well as the photos, to tie in with Father's Day this Sunday, I've been asked to write about my adventures with the kids... 'dadventures' if you will. Read it over at Grass and Air here or find it below...
Back in the day, hanging out with dad meant tagging along to B&Q to pick up some rawl plugs, trying to catch his eye whilst he watched Grandstand by doing unconvincing cartwheels round the sitting room, or running around like a wilting gundog fetching golf balls he smashed across the rabbit hole infested village green – ahh, those were the days.
More recently, there seems to have been a shift in how dads spend their time with their children – whether that’s during the week or at weekends. So many more dads now work from home or take shared parental leave, which has brilliantly, meant more time with the kids, but it’s the weekends where the real change is noticeable. As stereotypical as it is, most men still work Monday to Friday, so weekends are cherished. A generation ago, when Saturday came, dads could be seen up and down the land on misty mornings loading up the boot of their Mondeo with golf clubs, not to be seen again until nightfall. But not now, oh no.
What with the rise of the modern-day dad, adventures with dad or shall we say, ‘Dadventures’, have been taken to a whole new level – not an ankle-breaking-rabbit-hole in sight.
Dadventures are what weekends are for. Dadventures are what we live for. Whether we’re on a muddy walk and helping the kids balance across a fallen tree in winter, exploring London, its sites, museums and Insta-walls in spring, hitting the beach in summer or stomping through crunchy leaves in the autumn (this sounds idyllic but we all know we one step away from that hidden dog poo), us dads have seriously upped our game. And rightly so.
In an age when there is so much for families to do that needn’t cost the earth, and with so much inspiration (competition 😉) from social media, Dadventures are being had all the time.
But what thought needs to go into a Dadventure? Well for me, not too much and I suspect most dads are the same. A day out organised by my lovely wife will run to a sensible schedule; we’ll pack up the car with half of our household items and ensure we’re home for a certain time. Of course, we all have an amazing time and without my wife’s organisational skills and common sense, our days wouldn’t be anywhere near as successful. On the other hand, a day organised by me will be dreamt up moments before we pile out of the door. We might head to an old town I think will be interesting to explore, a glistening river I might have passed weeks ago that I think would be great for the kids and dogs to splash around in or we might finally get round to taking advantage of that National Trust membership that brazenly renews itself every year (god damn you Direct Debit). If we get lost, or the kids get tired, or we’re late home, that’s all part of the adventure – ok, tired kids isn’t ideal, but being carted around by dad in all manner of wrestling holds is all part of the fun. As long as we’ve go some basic essentials, i.e. drinks, waterproofs (we live in the UK after all), the nappy bag and our phones, we should just about survive the day and have a brilliant time along the way.
Fittingly, it’s Father’s Day this weekend, and I suppose I could put my feet up or head to the village green and get the kids to dash around collecting wayward golf balls, but that just isn’t me. And I know it’s not a lot of dads these days either. Another weekend, whether it’s Father’s Day or not means another brilliant opportunity for a Dadventure.
Photographs by Jane Looker Photography.