Babahood: Adventures of a Saudi Dad

Destination Sharqiya
Magazine Writing
Publish Date
February 25, 2016

I’m Online! Hi Online, I’m Dad.

If you ask my wife, she’ll tell you that my life purpose has always been to be a dad. Not that I disagree with it, but it’s not something that ever occurred to me before. I’m 36, so coming in late to fatherhood, especially in our neck of the woods. Heck, I’m the last of my group of friends to join the club; notwithstanding our resident bachelor (every group has one).

You know what happens when you search Saudi dads on Google? Nothing happy. All I wanted was advice on where to go to buy stuff, doctors, schools, commiseration and so on. I crave that camaraderie and fellowship in a community of dads sharing their experiences, trials and adventures through fatherhood here.

Well, since I’ve got this outlet, I’m putting my stake in the ground. Dads of Sharqiya, dads of Saudi, let’s talk! I have no idea what this will look like, but I’m going to share what happens, the lessons I learn and hopefully even tips on how to maneuver fatherhood in Sharqiya.

Here’s my first piece of realization and it’s to the non-dads out there. There’s so little that we’re told about and no one can really prepare you for that sense of responsibility. Once that little one shows up, you will feel this overwhelming desire to escape because you realize that you can no longer ever escape again. You are inexorably and completely tied to this new being.

But, here’s the yang to that yin of a note: that first time he looks at your face, squints as if he’s processing something and then smiles and laughs in recognition of his dad; it’s a straight-up dose of euphoria right to your heart and you’ll realize that there’s nowhere else you will ever want to be. Unconditional love is the best drug.

By the way, best part about all of this? Dad jokes, man. Full unadulterated clearance to say the silliest, stupidest and most corny jokes and puns (let’s share plenty of those here as well). Ah, I’m home.

Hmm, maybe my wife was right after all.