I have often wondered how men feel about becoming fathers. Rick Najera, in the Daddy Diaries, gives us a comedic glimpse into the world of fatherhood. The show, written and performed by Najera played at the beautiful Covina Center for the Performing Arts. He takes us from bachelorhood and how he describes himself as "Hollywood Guy" to fatherhood and how he is now "Daddy Guy".
My date for the evening was my husband. I enjoyed watching him smile, laugh and give a nod of recognition at the mention of changing diapers, of giving advice to a young son. And the moment when every father yells "Honey, help".
Daddy Diaries is about a Mexican-American Dad and an Irish-American Mom. But, really it could be any Mom and Dad in America today. We go through relationships, courting, becoming a couple and then becoming parents. There is no handbook. There is only one generation reaching out to another and the joy of self discovery as we learn to become parents.
How many times have we struggled to find the perfect tie for Dad, or golf clubs, fishing gear, or whatever Dad likes. As I was laughing and enjoying the show, I thought of Dads and the gray hairs they earn. I thought of the crinkle of their eyes, the joy in the laughter of Dads everywhere who delight in their children and their grandchildren.
It was a very simple setting. A chair, a table, a lamp, a diary and what appeared to be a martini. On the chair was draped a man's overcoat. I assume the overcoat was a metaphor for protection. Protection from the elements. Protection in the form of a man's coat to symbolize the love of a man for his child.
It could have been a symbol for my Dad or yours. What are the symbols of fatherhood? Are they his slippers, his glasses? Or perhaps a cigar gently placed in an ashtray to be enjoyed later? How often do we think of our fathers and the sacrifices they have made for us?
As I sat back listening and enjoying the show, I enjoyed getting a glimpse into how men think. I enjoyed watching the other dads in the audience and the look of fear in the eyes of the young men there who are not yet fathers.
Father's Day is around the corner, June 20th to be exact. What a wonderful gift for Dad, the chance to enjoy "Daddy Diaries." If this show is coming to a city near you, be sure to catch it. Oh, and bring your Dad. You'll love hearing his laughter. Enjoy it while you can.