Change happens. It sometimes comes unexpectedly and in the blink of an eye and at other times, with considerable notice and more than a little planning. As I write this, Middle is on the cusp of leaving for his freshman year in college; when I began writing this website, he was in the fifth grade. Eldest is working two summer jobs to squirrel away money for her final year of college and she was in middle school when the first article ran in 2008. Last night, I realized that Youngest has continued his persistent growth spurt as I now have to slightly incline my face to look into my eighth-grader’s eyes. When I began this project, he was just entering kindergarten.
Some years ago, my better half suggested that I write a book. I personally enjoy writing although it’s sometimes been frustrating because being the stay-at-home parent with active kids doesn’t always lend itself to long periods of time for reflection and composition. Activities, errands, meals, laundry, paperwork and all of the things that make a household run means that the traditional model of sitting down for hours to compose an essay or article isn’t always operative. Never having written a book and knowing that the fatherhood is cool but look at the funny things that happen when Dad is in the household meme was well covered, I opted to start with a website instead with the notion of moving on to a book.
That hasn’t yet happened. But after more than 740 articles and essays to date, I’ve learned a few things. The first is that the writer that I’ve become is not the writer that I was at the inception of this site. I believe that a writer has to have a voice and what I write now is nothing like what I wrote at first because I simply didn’t yet have one. My voice is that of a father who sees massive change ahead and who wants desperately to raise his children to be productive and moral adults in an America that’s going to be truly different from the one in which I was raised. I am a late Boomer, now in my mid-fifties, and believe that my generation has done a poor job of parenting, most especially in letting their children become wrapped into an electronic cocoon and devoid of the guidance and information that kids need in a complicated culture. I do not believe that a person raised as part of the Me generation – who truly embraces that notion – is the best fit for a role that is as far removed from Me as being a parent. It is personally galling to talk to a young person and hear the phrase I wish that someone had told me and my personal vow has been that my own children never be able to say that about me.
The second is that I’m not the kind of writer who can just sit and write a quick article in response to one thing or another. A publicist told me years ago – yeah, I tried that – that I was what was referred to as a source writer, someone who wrote in the background and frequently provided materials for others but never engendered an avid following that left a lengthy comment thread. She was correct because I find it difficult to write quickly and can indeed spend hours – and on a few occasion, days – to find the right information and words for a particular article or idea. It’s honestly a bit lonely since I hear so little in response yet it’s immensely gratifying to know that over the years, so many have taken the time to place me on their Syndication Feed