He was just a small kid. I noticed he was tired at the start of the karate class, his punches were lacklustre. Throughout the Satory Dragon creed, through the warm-ups, even through the highly energetic high-kick lesson the kid was tired and thirsty much like the rest of them. Karate lessons can be hard going that way.
Ten minutes before the end of the class however, his father walked in. I could tell that this random man sitting suddenly beside me was the kid’s father, because out of the blue the kid’s attention was sidetracked from his Sensei, he kept a special reserve of backward glances for this stranger who somehow didn’t seem to notice the admiration. The kid’s activity miraculously transformed. His Katas were sharp, precise and well-timed, he was a pleasure to watch all of a sudden… child certainly knew his stuff. I donated a corner of my eye to the bloke beside me who was nose-deep in his smart phone and felt sad for said child. (What if it wasn’t his Dad?! Maybe was child’s first childhood crush??? (Ew.)) Turns out it was indeed his dad, pops had the velcro shoe straps pre-unwrapped, ready for exit sharpish. Burger-time, perhaps.
How strange is that though? That a kid will suddenly perform amazingly in the presence of a parent who doesn’t seem all that bothered… maybe the kid’s obnoxious and this guy is used to it, I don’t know… I just wish he could’ve seen that transformation!
It was like Puppychild’s Christmas play. I and her Daddy were (slightly(!)) late, the concert had already started and as I mooched a spot just inside the main door of the crammed hall, I spotted her searching randomly through the faces in the audience. I saw it straight away, the fact that she felt alone. When she spotted her Daddy’s dodgy haircut through the crowd however, I saw an amazing transformation – she sand loud and proud, her beaming smile did her Angel costume great justice. She pulled faces mid-song and elbowed her buddy beside her…
…’That’s my Daddy.’
There are some parents out there that can’t see that magic and it kills me. It’s an ultimate sort of love and it’s far greater than any salary or smartphone, greater than anything I’ve ever known. It’s a sort of power, maybe. To leave a superpower untapped is criminal, if you ask me. It’s another thing about parent-hood that they never tell you about, the power to inspire greatness in a random dude. How do they not see it, those random few?