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My Dad is Different

My Dad is different was penned for World Parkinsons Day in 2022. I attempted to take a look at PD from the outside (for a change) and through the eyes of a child.

My Dad is not like the other Dads

who wait outside my school

All wearing shorts and sunglasses

and trying to look cool

My Dad likes to stay at home

and waits to greet me there

With a smile a hug, and a kiss

from his favourite armchair

Before his shakes got really bad

he used to meet me at the door

But when he gets excited

he shakes even more

He moves oh so slowly

like a tiger on the prowl

It takes ages to get anywhere

as he shuffles with a scowl

We used to play in the garden

doing tumbles and throwing ball

But that was before the Parkinson’s

when he was strong and tall

Now we play board games

like Monopoly and Chess

And watch natural geographic

we like Attenborough the best

Mummy says that Dad’s not well

and that’s why he doesn’t work

He used to be a fireman

but had to give it up

He has a room he calls his ‘man cave’

where he sketches, draws and paints

The most beautiful pictures

of birds, animals, and plants

He has a massive box of tablets

that he calls his magic beans

All shapes, size, and colours

the likes you’ve never seen

He gets tired really easy

and falls asleep all the time

Granny says he could easily sleep

hanging on her washing line

You know he’s in the kitchen

when there’s a crash and bang of plates

There’s juice spilled on the worktops

and stuff all over the place!

We go on day trips to the hospital

and always go by train

The doctors and nurses smile

and know us by our names

Some people think he’s drunk

as he staggers round the town

My daddy’s not a drinker

but he still keeps falling down

He helps me with my homework

and is really good at maths

But sometimes gets forgetful

and can’t remember where he was

He reads a bedtime story

and we both laugh out loud

As the words they come out back to front

the odd sentence the wrong way round

Early in the morning my mum

helps my dad get dressed

Putting on his socks

and pulling on his vest

Doing up his buttons

and putting on his braces

I help him with his trainers

he thought me how to tie the laces

Sometimes when he’s really bad

Mum has to cut his food.

And instead of using a knife and fork

he eats it with a spoon

We go swimming Saturday mornings

at the local leisure centre

Once my dad is in the water

there’s few that can swim better

He says he’s always happy

but sometimes I know he’s sad

I heard him crying in the bathroom

one day when mum got mad

Sure, my dad is different

and people often stare

But to me he’s still my Daddy

who loves, laughs and cares

48 views7 comments


Debbie Dalton
Debbie Dalton
Jan 26, 2023

wonderfully expressed Dawson. I wrote a poem called Grandmas cardigan, based on my 5yr old granddaughters view, i'll have to find it.


Julie Walker
Julie Walker
Jan 16, 2023

Great, honest poem about how things change with PD.


Alison Blevins
Alison Blevins
Jan 16, 2023

Fabulously honest a brave account of life with Parkinson's whilst raising a family, great writing. Thank you


Jes Derry
Jes Derry
Jan 15, 2023

“He moves oh so slowly

like a tiger on the prowl “. A very strong image.


Jon Best
Jon Best
Jan 14, 2023

What an interesting exercise. Children often report observation with clarity and untainted by judgement. What I like most is it shows a Dad still engaged despite changed circumstances

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