In short, I'm a totally normal dad. I divide most of my time between sitting around the house trying not to go insane, and rocking back and forth in a fetal position in the bathtub, or hiding in the coat closet. Nothing gets to me.
Dad, you were the first man I ever loved. You held me, played with me, supported me and let me grow. Your patience, quiet notion of complete understanding and unwavering love made me the woman I am today. You believed in me first. You danced with me first. You gave me all I could have ever needed, because you gave me love.
For generations mankind has pondered whether nature or nurture was the more important in forming who we are. Clearly DNA is vital to our physical being and health, but the debate continues because there is no one either/or answer - psychologically - when it comes to nature and nurture.
For some reason, long before Michelle was ever pregnant, I had a weird feeling I was really going to enjoy bathing my baby. But who wouldn't enjoy bathing a baby? It's basically like rinsing off a hamster, with less risk of getting bitten.
I thought I had it all figured out. I was almost smug in my insistence that when I became a parent there were so many things that I would never do. I wasn't going to let my child run my life. It would be the other way around, of course. How wrong I was!
I already long for those July mornings when all I had to worry about was getting myself fed and dressed. Or sip my coffee and read the paper in a quiet kitchen while the boys sacked in 'til noon.
This is the oft-spoken of irony of parenthood. You have taken on a job with 24-hour workdays, no pay, no vacation, no rest and it requires you to handle someone else's poo, and yet you are happier than you've ever been in your life.
No one wants to see their child struggle. Yet seeing them fall and pick themselves back up again is better than not seeing them struggle at all.
Women learn a great deal from a man's love: The most courageous act is to think for yourself; real men are in control but never controlling; "What's yours is yours;" fewer things matter; and the heaviest thing to carry is regret.
I've never lacked fathers or father figures. What matters are those great father figures who loved us, taught us, cared for us, protected us, and helped shape us into the men and women we become.
The ways in which businesses benefit from offering paternity leave are so clear and proven that corporate leadership has to dig its collective head way, way down in the sand to miss it.
Mike Tyson once said that everyone has a plan until you get punched in the face. The same might be said of having a baby. You get home, put your newborn in his carefully decorated baby room, and then the doody hits the fan. Literally.
Parenting in the era of #BlackLivesMatter means that we are prisoners of circumstance with no way of escaping. Not even our total innocence can guard us from a fog of suspicion. It means each day I kiss my son goodbye, I do so like it could be the last time.
Even when you know a baby is going to be born, nothing can prepare you for the gut punch. Tears popped out of my eyes, because this small, purplish-yellow little gerbil covered in goo was staring at me with a look in his eyes that said: "Don't just stand there you idiot, do something."
I decline any explanation for what I do other than the exercise of my own free will. That I am not always in command of those choices, that I am not even always aware that I have made a choice is irrelevant. What looks like dysfunction is only practice, another person learning how to live their life on purpose.
I lost my Dad, Jay Earle, last week after a six-month battle with cancer. Regular readers know my father's stories: The skinny 1950s teen who played s...