Fatherhood Anvil: who's getting shaped, you or your kid?

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All dads are scared of failing as a dad, scared about being on the wrong side of an adolescent who has the right to resent us. And make no bones about it: we’re very capable of ruining our relationships, of acting selfishly for long enough to keep us from connecting in any real way with our kids. But all dads also, at one point or another, feel pangs of that deep love, those real, sincere shots of care and hope for our kids that make us feel like we may be able to do this dad thing well after all.

That’s a snippet from the upcoming book. I don’t think it’s making the final cut, but I thought it important enough to share.

Interview With A One-Year-Old

During the first couple years of parenting it can be damn near impossible to understand what our kids are thinking, feeling and dealing with. In this video a skilled dad draws out complex emotions and truths about the toddler’s everyday experience. Let me tell you how I feel about this one in a haiku: continue »

Fatherhood Tips From Darth Vader

It’s no secret: being a dad is hard. Even big-time evil leaders like Lord Vader have a hard time.

In this candid and heart-warming video we hear a little about what the dark “man” has learned during his time as a father.

“Despite my mistakes, both my kids turned out great.” continue »

A Couple Trucker Songs About Fatherhood

There’s a band called The Drive By Truckers that I like. They’re like home-grown Americana wisdom – cigarettes, fried steak and extra helpings of grease and scars and sorrow and a kind of wisdom.

Below are two of their songs that hit me on a gut-level about who I am and can be as a dad, followed by a video of the guys talking about how these tracks came about. continue »

Conquer The In-Between State

It is 3:45 pm. I’m at work.

There are a few ways I can think about the rest of the day.

Here’s what typically comes spilling out of my brain:

“So much stuff to do… what with the kettle bell swings, the cooking, the doing of the works and the writing of the blog posts. How can I keep Aiden busy when I get home?”

That is the status quo of my brain in all things: 1.) here’s this thing I want to do, and 2.) oh crap, I have a kid/wife/relationship/responsibility.

continue »

When Kids Start Noticing

I have a four-month-old son, named Levi. He’s our first, which means I’m learning everything on the fly. I try to keep up with each stage he’s in so I know what he’s supposed to be learning, gauge how he’s progressing, and finally do the normal new dad evaluation, inevitably ending up believing my kid is at least a little “advanced.”

OK, maybe he’s not, but what dad hasn’t thought that?

The thing I’ve noticed most about Levi over the past few months is his new-found understanding of my wife and I. He recognizes us now. He watches us walk in and out the room. He laughs when I do something goofy (like dance and make fart noises). He sees what we’re doing. continue »