C’Mon Papa

This book is amazing.   C’mon Papa: Dispatches from a Dad in the Dark by Ryan Knighton (published by Random House) is a really fascinating read. Knighton discovered at age 18 that he suffered from a condition called retinitis pigmentosa. This meant that slowly, very slowly, he would go blind. This book is about him and his newborn daughter Tess. How he coped, or didn’t, and how he learned to bond with his daughter without being able to see her. In otherwords, how he learned to be a Dad. There was a huge amount of trial and error, and a huge dose of creativity too. Imagine trying to put a diaper on a baby when you don’t know what’s where and most importantly, what you’re going to find where! Imagine trying to stick a soother into a wailing baby’s mouth without sticking it in her eye. Try crossing the street with her in the baby carrier strapped to your chest with just your white cane. It’s a story full of humour, love, courage, exasperation, and frustration. The best line in the book for me was when Ryan went to a convention for stay-at-home Dads and some guy asked him if he had a picture of his daughter with him and he thought to himself  that he barely had one in his mind, let alone in his wallet. He said “Sorry, blind guy thing. I forgot.” This book isn’t meant to be a pity-party. Knighton is a wonderful writer. His one-liners are fantastic (he teaches English at Capilano University). If you’re looking for something different to read this summer, this is a good choice.

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