Thursday, September 17, 2009

Let's Come Clean About Housework

Okay, time to come clean. When I was filming Dr. Michael Kimmel recently about men and housework, what he said is basically what my wife has been saying for years about me and housework. Guess I'm not alone in this. (Deb, I promise to do better.)

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Evolution of Dad on "A Conversation With Men Radio Show"

Last night I had the pleasure of being the guest on a blog talk radio show called "A Conversation With Men" with host Michael Taylor. Click here to listen to the broadcast. Enjoy!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

The Evolutionary Paternity Test?

A friend recently asked me if I was aware of a NYTimes article from a few years back that discusses how babies are more likely to resemble their fathers and that this is an 'evolutionary' way of getting dads more connected with their babies. Pretty wild stuff. If you have an opinion about this, please chime in...

The Continuum of Dad

This past weekend Charlie and I went camping up in the Catskills with some family friends. For my son it was a weekend of first times. First time in a canoe. First time sleeping in a tent. First time climbing over a mountain. For me the time we spent together was one long, joyful echo of a camping trip I took with my dad long ago (minus the rain, gratefully) as well as stories he had told me about a boy scout camping trip he had done with his dad years before that.

In the middle of the first night, Charlie awoke to take a pee and I accompanied him out of the tent with a flashlight. Standing there beside him, I couldn't help but think about the true meaning of leaving one's mark on this world, of legacy, of immortality. Like the constellations in the night sky that night, the continuum of time was so incredibly evident to me. I pondered the beginning of the latest Star Trek movie that had James T. Kirk being born at the moment of his father's passing or of a baby Superman being jettisoned from Krypton as his parents perish. I considered how, no matter all the achievements one can do in this world - no matter how much money, power, or monuments a person accrues to be remembered, there is nothing that leaves ones mark or (dare I say) touches immortality as our children, who will (G-d willing) continue beyond our time here.

Like you, I occasionally ponder the meaning of life. I observe how, no matter the success one achieves in life, if a dad (and this doesn't exclude moms, of course) isn't connected with his children - if he doesn't take the time to pass on his values, his dreams, his love and his time, then in some larger way this sense of meaning, of continuum is greatly lessened.

Driving away from our campsite, Charlie chimed in from the backseat, "Daddy, I really love being with you." Thanks, Charlie. Thanks for being my continuum.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Custodial Bias - A Double Edged Sword

One of the things I've been grappling with in the film is to what extent is there bias against dads when it comes to custodial battles. It seems to me a complex picture, having more to do with the prejudices of individual judges, different states and how overloaded the courts are - and there's definitely can be a bias as a result.

But here's a different perspective. A few days ago, the NYtimes published a very intriguing article about a custodial suit involving a military mom and a civilian father. The article focuses on the bias that military moms in particular face when dealing with divorce proceedings:

"Some advocates say an unspoken bias against mothers who leave their young children has heightened both legal barriers and social stigma when these women try to resume their role as active parents," the article shares.

So, there you have it. When a mother puts aside her maternal responsibilities to go and be involved in what is most typically considered the ultimate male pre-occupation and then seeks custodial rights, she is punished in much the same way as would more typically a father who wants equal custodial access with a regular mom.

The sword cuts both ways.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Nozzle Toh-mato Cinderella

My family and I were having dinner tonight and Jamie pointed across the table to the giant bowl of heirloom tomatoes with basil and mozzarella and asked for 'Nozzle Toh-mato Cinderella, please."

We all nearly fell off our chairs in laughter.

Upon thinking about it, "Nozzle To-mato Cinderella" is probably the best way to describe today - a day in which all things old somehow became again. Maybe it was because of the perfect early Fall weather. Maybe it was escorting Charlie up the street to his very first day of Kindergarten. Maybe it was the car ride with my wife this afternoon in which we discussed plans for Charlie's birthday party. Maybe it was flying along the highway with the windows down and the radio blasting John Mellencamp's "Paper In Fire" and remembering doing the exact same thing when I had just turned Seventeen. Maybe it was sharing a pumpkin/peppermint ice cream sundae with Charlie to celebrate his big day. Maybe it was the excitement of editing the "Evolution of Dad" project this afternoon.

Whatever it was, it was a special day. As much as I love the summer, it's great to be back in September, which to me is always the true beginning of the year. Anyway, thanks for reading and I hope you are having a Nozzle To-mato Cinderella day - if not now then sometime soon. Peace.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Job Description: Parents

For a hoot and a holler (and maybe even a sob) check out this job description for parents courtesy of DIY Father. Great stuff.