If you stand at the right Canberra street corner on a
Wednesday or Thursday morning you might just catch me as I make my transition.
That’s the transition from Goofy Hands-On Dad to Serious Salaryman that is a
regular part of my morning routine as I venture the half-kilometre or so from
where I drop off my 11-month-old daughter at childcare to the corporate office
where I ply my trade.
The day starts pleasantly enough on these days. After the
usual morning activities at home, my daughter and I jump on the suburban bus
that putters down our street. I carry my daughter on board – no room for a pram
on a peak-hour service, anyhow – and position her on my lap so we can both sit
comfortably. No doubt to the annoyance of many of our fellow passengers I can’t
help but play up each little thing that happens as I whisper in my daughter’s
“We’re going around a cornerrrrrr,” I say, swaying sharply to
one side far beyond anything justified by centrifugal force. “Look, there’s a
man on a bi…
Last Sunday was my birthday. The plan was to spend a fair
chunk of it at a picnic in leafy-green Yarralumla, getting some sun on my face
as I ate imported cheese, quaffed sparkling white and threw soft toys at my
baby daughter in the naïve hope that she might make some motion to catch them.
It didn’t quite go to plan (a public yoga presentation and a
howling gale put paid to that) but it was still a whole lot better than last
year’s birthday. That was spent in the cardio-thoracic ward of The Canberra
Hospital, awaiting the results of the biopsy on the huge mass that had been
found in my chest.
There was a small part of me that feared that last year’s
here) might in fact be my last one. Or at least my last one in the carefree
happy-go-lucky life to which I had become accustomed.
But a year on, I remain largely free of care (perhaps
sometimes too free of it for my own good), still chugging along much as I was
before my cancer struck. The biggest change by far in th…