Only Some Men Are Islands

 

I’m not sure if loneliness is universal to stay-at-home parents or not. I don’t talk to enough of them to form a concrete answer.

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Welcome to Your Trophy Room

You have a small child. You stay home to take care of that child. There’s nothing selfish about that, not even a little.

The opposite of selfishness, you say, is parenting. You are sacrificing yourself – parts of yourself, anyway – in order to be around your child. That’s what you tell yourself. But if that’s not enough, you can tell the world, too.

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An Ode to Hardwood

I spend more time lying face down on my living room floor than I’d like to admit.

The world looks much different down here – neatly striated like the narrow wood planks. The floor seems to get me. It is a solid foundation, unconcerned with its own blemishes and unflinching in the face of its collection of cat hair and graham cracker crumbs.

It doesn’t offer any false comfort, and it refuses to bend to my weight. It just goes on about its business, no matter what gets stacked on top of it.

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Then Comes Baby…

It’s one of those nights where I am more than willing to push off the things I want and need to do for another night. I climb into bed, in my usual clumsy fashion, and wake up my wife.

As if on cue, my son begins his late-night whining through the monitor. We both peer into the darkness together, trying to decide if it warrants a response.

I turn to my wife, “we’re going to regret this, aren’t we?”

“Yeah,” she tells me, a hand on her forehead, “probably.”

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The Stories We Tell

My parents like to tell a story about me. If you’ve ever spent any significant time around my mom and dad, you’ve heard it. They’ll look over at me, smile, and they’ll say “let me tell you something about my son.”

It’s one of those stories that, in the retelling, became less about who I was as a child and more about the way they see me as a person. The truth of it is lost – like so many oral histories – but this is the nearest version to true I can remember.

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