I met Richard exactly one hundred years ago at a Rapid Fire Theatre improv course. The class, taught by a conscientiousness Donovan Workun, was very insightful. Richard was a funny down to earth guy and I appreciated that. After the course was over we all promised to keep in touch and so forth and so on. Through Facebook I was able to keep this promise with Richard.
Richard is a videographer for City TV. I recently ran into him at the John Jensen Nature Centre while he was filming some segments with Bridget Ryan and Little Hell was running amok. Last I heard from Richard, before our chance encounter, was that he was writing a fun blog about fatherhood called The World of Dadcraft. He hasn’t updated it in a bit, but with his last entry happening a year ago on my birthday I’ll cal this entry serendipitous at least.
Richard is the father to two awesome little n00bs and was nice enough to answer a few questions.
UnDad: “For as long as you can remember, did you always want to be a father?”
Richard Bohn: “Before I met my wife, I had basically resigned myself to being single forever. I had friends and family who were having children, and was totally happy being Uncle Richard to all of the little rugrats. There was some hope deep in my heart that one day I would have children of my own, but until then, all my nieces and nephews would be my pretend kids.
UnDad: “Has it changed how you see the world?”
RB: “I have alway had a bit of a goofy side, and having kids allows me to keep in touch with that part of my personality. I will always admit that I can be responsible, but I will never be
mature. Having said that, I sometimes feel like I’m a secret service agent guarding the president. My head is always on a swivel spotting potential dangers and opportunities for disaster. I feel like my biggest job is to just keep both kids as safe as possible without turning them into bubble people, and also balancing the fun factor without breaking limbs. There’s also the cliched saying that as a parent, we get to re-experience the world through a new fresh of eyes, and that’s completely and unequivocally true. It is amazing to me that something as simple as the first ladybug of spring can elicit such emotion.”
UnDad: “What is one of the biggest surprises you’ve come across?”
RB: “I am in awe every day at how much my kids are changing. Some mornings when I gather my daughter up for a diaper change and bottle, she will surprise me with a new facial expression, a new look, a new action. My son will tell me something new that he learned, or about something he saw. It feels like time is rapidly advancing day by day, but I don’t feel the passage of it. I think one morning I’m going to wake up and my kids will be 18 and 14 and I will have no recollection of when the hell that happened.”
UnDad: “Do you have an anecdote that (sort of) sums up your dad experience thus far?”
RB: “The other day, my son and I were watching Transformers. At one point in my life, I could have told you all their names and what vehicle they transformed into, but I have long since lost that knowledge. On this day, (my son) really really needed to know who everyone is. After exhausting my limited transformer name supply, I added to turn to the periodic table of elements to stave off the continued barrage of questions every time a new guy came on screen. Yeah, I’m never going to have all the answers. I’m never going to be right all the time. I’m pretty sure that I’m just faking it till I make it. As long as my kids grow up to be good people, all the Autobots will be named after noble gases and household appliances.”
UnDad: “What advice would you give other dads?”
RB: “I touched on this earlier, but the pace but which of children grow and change is staggering, and I’ve definitely noticed it more with my daughter. Knowing that she will likely be the last child for my wife and I has given me pause, and the fact that every day she will never be as little as she is at this moment. My son will eventually not want to play Hot Wheels with me.
“We all know that there is no magic formula to being a parent. My only advice from what I’ve learned in my relatively short time being a dad is to just be in the moment. Worry about the things you can control, and don’t sweat the things out of your sphere of influence. Be patient, breathe, and enjoy being the coolest person in your kids life (for a few years, anyway).
Undad: “Anything else you’d like to add?”
RB: “Being a dad will forever be the best thing in my life, and I am grateful for the chance to share my thoughts.”