A Day in the Life of… Sean Guthrie (Associate Director)
The Mad Hatter and the ‘Parenting Time Paradox’.
I was reminded recently about a management article written by David Sedaris in the New Yorker, where he refers to a symbolic stove with four burners. The first burner represented family, the second your friends, the third your work and the fourth your health. The metaphor being that in order to be successful, you had to cut off at least one or two of these burners.
I like to refer to these burners as hats and last Saturday – as demonstrated by our 7 month old Ciaran – was most definitely a ‘Family Hat’ day.
It should have started with the usual Saturday morning Groundhog Day ritual which all parents of young children become accustomed to. Unfortunately, we forgot to apply the Law of the ‘Parenting Time Paradox’ – you know, when you plan to leave the house early but for some reason you still manage to leave half an hour late.
So we set off, eventually, to spend the day with my father-in-law. For Christmas, we had bought him some matinee tickets to the West End show Motown. The performance was taking place today – I would be taking him – and a wave of excitement was slowly beginning to build.
The Musical, written by Berry Gordy himself – the man behind the Detroit Motown movement – interweaves the inspiration, the struggles, highs and the lows of this cultural phenomenon against the backdrop of intense cultural and political change that affected America in the 60’s & 70’s (with the enduring hits of Diana Ross & the Supremes, Smokey Robinson, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder & The Jackson Five).
As smash hit after smash hit reverberated around the theatre, you couldn’t help but sing along and get carried away. My father-in-law and I, along with many others I imagine, left the theatre on a high.
I arrived back home to find my 10 year old daughter’s tooth had finally fallen out – note to self, don’t forget the tooth fairy – which made two of us with grins as wide as Cheshire Cats.