Parental Anxiety And Its True Subject

In ‘What The Childless Fathers of Existentialism Teach Real Dads‘ John Kaag and Clancy Martin write: Why do we put limits on our children? Why is a daughter not allowed to climb that tree or jump across a river?…Why are neither daughters nor sons allowed to run away? Father knows best….virtually all fathers think thatContinue reading “Parental Anxiety And Its True Subject”

Broadchurch’s Grieving Mother And Our Reactions To ‘Victims’

Viewers of the BBC’s Broadchurch are subjected to a trial of sorts: we have to watch, in some excruciating detail, the reactions of parents, and in particular, a mother, to the violent death of a beloved child–at the hands of a malevolent, unknown actor. Paying close attention to our reactions to what we see andContinue reading “Broadchurch’s Grieving Mother And Our Reactions To ‘Victims’”

Gabriel Rockhill On Never Dying

Over at the New York Times’ The Stone, in ‘Why We Never Die‘ Gabriel Rockhill writes: Our existence has numerous dimensions, and they each live according to different times. The biological stratum…is in certain ways a long process of demise — we are all dying all the time, just at different rhythms. Far from being anContinue reading “Gabriel Rockhill On Never Dying”

Standing Back And Letting The World And The Child Do Their Thing

Last summer, I met an old graduate school friend after several years. We chatted and exchanged notes about the intervening years and all the issues that had consumed us in that interim: finding an academic position, the dreaded tenure and promotion process, writing, and of course, bringing up children. Because I came to fatherhood late,Continue reading “Standing Back And Letting The World And The Child Do Their Thing”

Some Parental Wisdom, Easily Dispensed

I’ve been a parent now for some 1281 days. In that time, I’ve learned a few things and been disabused of many misconceptions. Here is a potted summary: Parents are important, but they aren’t the only game in town. Your child is being exposed to a great deal else: other children (the dread ‘peer group’);Continue reading “Some Parental Wisdom, Easily Dispensed”

‘The Spring is The Autumn’

In ‘Henriette Wyeth: Scenes from a painter’s life’ (from A Certain Climate, Wesleyan University Press, Middletown, 1988, pp. 164) Paul Horgan makes  note of, and subsequently quotes Wyeth on, the wellsprings of her work: Ideas added to feeling, then, inform both her still lifes and portraits, and the most constant impulse is the desire to recordContinue reading “‘The Spring is The Autumn’”

Cancer, Medical Marijuana, And A Personal Account

This page at the website of the National Cancer Institute, which describes some of the medicinal effects of cannabis and cannabinoids in cancer treatment regimes serves two salutary purposes for me today. First, it confirms for me, yet again, that opposition to the War on Drugs and advocacy for the legalization of marijuana are AContinue reading “Cancer, Medical Marijuana, And A Personal Account”

My First Nightmares

There are times when my almost-three-year-old daughter will wake up in the middle of the night, crying inconsolably. Calming her down and putting her back to sleep is a trying business at best. We have been reliably informed that this age sees the child experience her first nightmares; perhaps those nocturnal visitors are responsible forContinue reading “My First Nightmares”

On Learning The Meaning Of ‘Delirium’

I learned the meaning of the words ‘delirium’ and ‘delirious’ when I was nine. The spring of that year, I came down with a viral fever of an unknown variety. My body temperature rose sharply, and my mother responded with the usual battery of treatments: antipyretics and cold cotton wraps for my forehead. But theContinue reading “On Learning The Meaning Of ‘Delirium’”

Biological And Adoptive Parents

There was a time when I did not understand how adoption worked. Didn’t you have to have a biological tie with your offspring to be truly, deeply, emotionally bound to it? Over the years, I came to think not–at an intellectual level. But like many other theses, I became convinced of its truth only afterContinue reading “Biological And Adoptive Parents”