Help! I just bought a lawn edger. I blame the pandemic, which has resulted in so many of us spending more time at home and in our yard. I’m requesting help because I’ve always associated lawn power tools with old-timey dads. Specifically, one of my childhood neighbor dads who would regularly spend hours perfecting his yard with a host of noisy contraptions. Am I becoming that dad? But I’m a new-timey dad who spent many years as an at-home caregiver! Maybe that doesn’t matter when it comes to yard work. Granted, I have seen a growing number of moms who mow their lawn. But dads seem to … [Read more...]
“I’m not going to lie to him,” my wife said, turning to me on an evening that now seems so long ago. “He should know what’s going on.” She seemed to expect a different reaction from me but I wasn’t going to argue. It was better for my son to be told the truth. I didn’t want to cover it up and have him start wondering what we were hiding. He didn’t need every detail but he deserved enough information to understand. “I agree with you,” I said. “He should know where we are going.” Our family's destination that evening wasn’t exactly a secret. We were paying a shiva call to a relative whose … [Read more...]
Your son or daughter is having a birthday next week? Well, my twins are. I've been hesitant to mention it because a child's birthday party amid a coronavirus "shelter in place" order would be frowned up by the governor and most of my neighbors. Explaining the need to cancel or postpone a birthday party to a 5-year-old, let alone two, can be both difficult and fruitless. Your child may not understand the why, but if you're in a situation like mine you owe it to him or her to try. Delaying such an event, even in the light of the current social isolation thing, actually may be harder than … [Read more...]
I sit watching my daughter struggle to put her shoes on. Why must she always pick the most difficult shoes to put on when we are in a hurry? “I can do it myself, Daddy!” Yes, you can do it yourself, but it will take forever and once forever is finally over, I will be horribly late for my meeting at school. Just let me put the damn shoes on for you so we can get out of the house! “Take your time, dear," I say, "I know you can do it.” I continue to work on deep breathing. I continue reminding myself that this very moment will be forgotten in time and life will continue. I have … [Read more...]
On the day this piece will be published, I’ll turn 40. I have a 5-year-old, 3-year-old, and, wait for it, a post-vasectomy 4-month-old.
Yeah, it’s been that kind of year.
Or maybe it’s just been that kind of life?
I have no career. I have published zero novels, and despite having spent tens of thousands of dollars on college, I have zero college degrees. As far as banks are concerned, I own nothing. As far history is concerned, I’ve accomplished nothing.