with Avi Spivack
Hi, I'm Avi, and I try to put the work and the dad together, with mild success. This is all about trying to give you a view from what it looks like on the dad-man's side of the world, and I hope you find my ruminations humorous because I try not to take myself too seriously.
I don’t subscribe to “Esquire” magazine, but perhaps I should.
I am late to the game in blogging about their “Most useful” issue, which includes a series of pieces on “How to be a Good Father.” When I noticed the issue on a friend’s coffee table, I thought it would be perfect blogging material. Well, 2 months later, here we are. Better late than never.
So, was there anything for us fathers to learn from the cornucopia of advice put forth in these snappily written essays? Much to my surprise (and yours, too, I am sure) I was touched.
From Tom Chiarella’s “A Wake-Up Call for New Dads:”
“The expectation of safety and normalcy? Forget that stuff. Put it out of your mind. To be a good father, you have to give up the expectation of a payoff. Forget trophies and medals. Forget report cards, even. You have to observe. You have to listen. You are a large figure in this person’s life. No getting around that. With each year that passes, allow yourself the possibility of becoming smaller. This both protects them and teaches you.”
I must admit, I was shocked to read these words in “Esquire” - the same magazine that carries the “Women We Love” feature. It’s definitely a magazine for men, but not men who are fathers, right? We’ve outgrown the whole Esquire thing and their poster women. And yet, when Chiarella writes that having his sons is “the most quarrelsome and deep pleasure” that he has ever known. I couldn’t agree more.
Time to score me one of those cheapo subscription cards. For a buck an issue, I can definitely find some more inspiration somewhere in those pages.
What is the most surprising source of advice you’ve ever discovered?
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