David Moseley

Well done, dads

2014-01-15 12:48

David Moseley

As I sit here writing this my colleague is beaming from ear to ear after dropping his boy off for his first day at "real school". My Facebook page is plastered with grinning dads as they wave their sons towards 12 (they hope) years at their alma maters.

My regular cycling chum asked to start our morning ride earlier than usual so he could drop his daughter off on her first day. It's all very endearing, and a nice change from the bitterness and uncertainty regarding education when 2013's matric results were announced.

Mike, another friend I cycle with, whose son matriculated with five As and B and subsequently signed up for an engineering degree at UCT, is probably the proudest father I've ever known.

His son is also a gifted mountain biker, and when we all rode together last week I thought my friend was going to burst into tears, such was the pride he had in his son becoming a fine young man with wonderful future prospects ahead of him.

I must note too that Mike's boy is unfailingly polite and was sincerely respectful towards the elder, more unhurried cyclists in the group (that is, me). So well done, Westville Boys' High in Durban, your efforts do not go unnoticed.

As a kid it's not something you ever think about, the effort that your parents go through in getting you from A to B throughout your schooling, or that they might be taking pride in what you're achieving between 8am and 5pm during the week. Certainly, I can't imagine my father ever rushing to work in the morning boasting about my effortless 11 not out (two boundaries through the 'keepers legs, you know) for the midweek cricket team.

But after hearing Mike enthuse about the considerable talents of his son, and then actually seeing him interact with his boy with nothing but love and affection in his eyes, it's all starting to make sense.

Even though my father was a footballer, sprinter and all round sporting talent in his youth (he'd agree now that those days are long gone), he never missed a chance to watch my hapless under-16 hockey team in action.

He hadn’t a clue what was happening, but was supportive of our feeble efforts nonetheless. His perseverance was rewarded one day when he witnessed my team’s greatest ever achievement on a muddy field that was more famous for receiving the elegant cover drives off Jacques Kallis’s bat in the summer.

After a 10-nil thumping from Bishops in the early season, I (like to imagine) that my inspirational leadership was responsible for a barnstorming 2-1 turnaround in the return leg. My dad - and my granddad, in fact - were both present to witness my “Rudy” moment.

On the cricket field (always late in the day, during the week, where the rejects who couldn’t get into the first six under-19 teams would play) I would often spot my old man approaching out the corner of my eye, just in time to watch me drop an absolute sitter of a caught-and-bowled, or waft at a ball that was en route to second slip and somehow top-ending a catch to square leg.

You don’t think about then, because it’s part of your job as a kid to just expect your parents to be there. But I see it now, and I appreciate it more than ever.

Dads all over, well done. Take heart that deep down, even if it never seems like it, your sons and daughters appreciate your support.

- Follow @david_moseley on Twitter.

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