While dropping off some paperwork last week at the offices of the Greater New York Council of the Boy Scouts of America, my cell phone alerted me to a breaking news story: The Boy Scouts soon would allow girls to join and create a path for them to earn the coveted rank of Eagle. For a moment I was stunned. Then I texted my friend Gary. “A great day for our organization,” I typed. “Wow it is. Thank you,” he replied. I reached out to Gary before any of my other friends because his 16-year-old daughter, Sydney, has become a face of her gender’s struggle to join the Boy … [Read more...]
“You’re taking my arms?” This question confronted me at a recent yard sale as I walked toward the puzzled seller holding his creepy mannequin arms in my normal human ones. My answer raised his eyebrows further. “Yes," I said, "they’re for my daughter.” Then I explained that my 14-year-old daughter, Lindsay, is a filmmaker who specializes in short horror films with a touch of humor. She loves creating these films, and I’ve learned that I love to find scary props to support her vision. Filmmaking has become an unlikely source of father-daughter bonding for us. As the stay-at-home dad … [Read more...]
A mom at preschool was admiring my daughter's short hair the other day. She complimented the adorable style and turned to her own preschooler -- a girl with shoulder length hair -- to encourage her to get the same cut. "It's so cute and so easy and comfortable," the mom said. "Don't you want to cut your hair into a pixie cut like that?" Her daughter resisted a bit. "Yes, it is all that," I told her. "But are you prepared for it?" I think I genuinely shocked them with my brief warning. My daughter wanted short hair. We were encouraging and the kids' salon we use has a stylist who … [Read more...]
My 15-year-old daughter had her first experience with a new species over the weekend: The North American Drunken Asshole. I wasn't present for the encounter, which was probably a good thing. My girl was visiting her mom in San Diego for the weekend, a couple hours south. Here's the situation: They were out for an evening stroll in a funky-but-fun beach neighborhood, a place they've been many times. They'd just emerged from a restaurant, and were just enjoying the fresh, salt-tinged evening air. As they walked down the block, they passed a group of young guys. I'm told they looked like … [Read more...]
I'm a poser. I, at times, gracefully fake being a fully present father.
+ + +From my vantage point on the nearby playground, I could see a golfer on the tee box in the distance. He looked like a legitimate professional – wearing a white belt, a bright-colored, neatly pressed shirt with matching shorts and sparkling clean, glowing white spikes. My daughter attempted to interrupt my staring, “Dad? Dad? DAD?” “Hold on, Vivi! I want to see this guy tee off,” shushing my 8-year-old as if I were a patron at the Masters. “SHHH? What? It’s a … [Read more...]