Trying to make sense of being a father, husband and a malcontent

Fatherview with Chris Craddock

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The family wild

Fatherview is a conversation about or with a notable dad about fatherhood. What makes a dad notable? The willingness to do this interview.
If you know of someone, or are that someone, or would like to talk about a someone, let me know. This is about fathers, but the person talking doesn’t have to be male or female. Hell, even if you want to be interviewed about a made up father, or the father you want to be, that would work too. Insight is priceless.

One of the first plays I saw when I moved to Edmonton was Faithless by Chris Craddock and Steve Pirot. This was around ten years ago and it made me an admirer of both of their work. I got to work with Pirot at Nextfest in a conductorial manner, and as time would have it, had several chances to work with Craddock (see below).

One thing I’ve learned about Craddock is that he is his writing. He lives and breathes it instinctually. There is very little subterfuge.

To list his literary and theatrical accomplishments would take too fucking long. Thank jeebus for hyperlinks.

It is with this post I wish Craddock a happy birthday, and from one father to another, I hope you get some well deserved sleep.

The questions:

For as long as you can remember, did you always want to be a father?

Chris Craddock: Not at all. I once bet a man a car that I would never marry. It was a crappy car, but I did pay up. Now that I am a Dad, I wish I had been one sooner. But whatever time you do it is the right time.

Has it changed how you see the world?

CC: It’s made me worry about the world more, where as before I watched with an almost amused air. But now I’m leaving someone I truly love here, I no longer hope for a world of true justice that I once dreamed of. With climate disaster looming, I just hope the world stays the world, enough that Cal can have a satisfying life, with some or all of the opportunities I had.

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Photo by Dylan Pearce

What is one of the biggest surprises you’ve come across?

CC: One of the biggest surprises to me and everyone around me is that I have wellsprings of patience. I’ve always been kind of a quick tempered guy and I worried I’d be short with my boy. But I’m pretty chill. Maybe it’s because I’m older, or maybe love is a salve that makes me a better man.

Do you have an anecdote that (sort of) sums up your dad experience thus far?

CC: It seems impossible to think of one single thing or time. My boy is constantly hilarious. A playful and consummate pretender. Anything can become a character, and it’s happened when he addresses an object by name. “Hey chicken, do you want to be in my belly?” My challenge is to spot the potential game and start to play it with him. If criticized, he becomes emotional. He’s quick to turn sad, and then tears come on a slow burn, as he contemplates his failure. He’s just like me, and just like my wife, but also so much himself. He’s already such a whole world, and he’s only 3 and a half.

What advice would you give other dads?

CC: I am no wise sage, but I guess I’d advise putting time and fun over money. The time is the thing that you don’t have enough of. That sweet creature is going away, disappearing into the fine young man or woman you are raising, and then, he or she is gone forever. Short of safety, is that extra money worth missing that?

Mostly Water Theatre and Chris at Christmas:

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