It is no secret amongst people who know me that I can tend to be a bit absent minded. I’m not sure if it’s a matter of just being forgetful, or more a matter of my mind wandering causing me to forget to remember things in the first place. Or more than likely, it’s a combination of the both. Being an absent-minded dad has its advantages and disadvantages.
One advantage is I tend to forget things that I probably should worry about. So I often deal with a lot less stress than some other parents. It is not uncommon for people I come into contact with to say something like, “So how is that situation with Natalie going? I know it has had the both of you pretty worried.”
This usually is followed by me simultaneously answering “Ummm, it’s going ok . . .” All the while searching my brain frantically for what it is about Natalie that I should be concerned about.
Later, when I ask my wife what it is about Natalie that I am supposed to be concerned about, I would get an answer something like, “Did you forget that she claims to be a Wildebeest and has bitten four kids in her class . . . . and the teacher?”
I would, of course, then remember my daughter’s specie identity crisis and the biting incidents, and realize that I had not worried about it as much as I maybe should have (probably because none of the victims had reported needing stitches).
So things such as my darling youngest child biting students and teachers tend to cause a lot less stress for me than perhaps the average parent.
But then I’m always reminded of the disadvantages as well.
A few days ago, I had to drop off a book that my older daughter, Hannah, had forgotten to take to school. Feeling like a responsible, caring parent, I proudly marched into the school’s office and asked the secretary if she could make sure the book would get to my daughter.
“What grade is she in?” she asked.
“Ummm . . . I’m not sure,” I said a little embarrassed.
“Well, how old is she?”
I was even more embarrassed that I couldn’t remember how old my daughter was.
“Well . . . . Uhhh . . . she’s about this tall,” I sheepishly answered, holding up my hand.
The secretary gazed at me with a look of bewilderment.
I was, however, able to provide her with my daughter’s first and last name.