A good Father’s Day present: The Daddy Shift

Hey! My friend Jeremy from Daddy Dialectic wrote a book, The Daddy Shift! I’m buying it as a Father’s Day present. Wow, it’s good! I can tell even without having read it, because part of the book is an interview of my brother-in-law talking about his family and his approach to parenthood.

They range from working class to affluent, and they are black, white, Asian, and Latino. We meet Chien, who came to Kansas City as a refugee from the Vietnam War and today takes care of a growing family; Kent, a midwestern dad who nursed his son through life-threatening disabilities (and Kent’s wife, Misun, who has never doubted for a moment that breadwinning is the best thing she can do for her family); Ta-Nehisi, a writer in Harlem who sees involved fatherhood as “the ultimate service to black people”; Michael, a gay stay-at-home dad in Oakland who enjoys a profoundly loving and egalitarian partnership with his husband; and many others. Through their stories, we discover that as America has evolved and diversified, so has fatherhood.

“Kent” is the pseudonym for my brother-in-law, who is geekily obsessed with Legos, used to fix and tune harps for a living, can gut a house and rebuild it slowly and CORRECTLY, and who for many years of his son’s life was the dad who carried around a bajillion pound suctioning device to keep my nephew’s trach clear so he could breath. There was suctioning, I swear, like every 20 minutes. My awesome, cute nephew talked in sign and used to call me (in sign) “Auntie Lifting Truck” because it sounded like “Liz”. His trach is out now and so he talks as well as signs.

But that’s off the point. If you want to read what my brother-in-law has to say about being a stay at home dad, and parenting a kid with some health difficulties and physical impairments, go read the Daddy Dialectic blog a little bit so you see what a kick ass writer Jeremey is, and then buy his book. 😎

Rook has stayed at home for a while now, by the way. Did I mention that on this blog? He quit his job last year, just feeling that he’d had enough of being a software engineer after 8 years of it. I brought home the paycheck, we figured we didn’t need to be super rich with two incomes, he could use a break, and he wanted to investigate and apply to schools. So now he’s going to go to Stanford to get a teaching credential for high school science and physics teaching. Maybe it’s not the best time in the world to try to get a teaching job. We both figure we don’t care and everything will be okay. Meanwhile Rook has volunteered in Moomin’s classroom doing a special math program, gone to a lot of his choir practices at 7am two days a week, all his choir performances at school, taken him to swim lessons, organized playdates, the works. Sometimes it seems so unfair that I did the main parenting when Moomin was too young to remember it, and now Rook gets to be the Fun Parent most of the time while I hunch over my computer. I never would have had the patience or energy for all those swim lessons this winter (damp and cold! ow! brrr!) so it was very lucky timing for Moomin. I have to note that for at least 6 months I have almost never done the dishes.

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