Here is a collection of memories from my childhood.
I am in kindergarten, it is story time, I am wearing a turtleneck that itches at my neck and I am not feeling well. I throw up on the rug, in front of everyone, sobbing hysterically, and my father leaves the campus where he’s teaching to come pick me up, taking me straight to class with him because it was easier than taking me to the babysitter. I fall asleep in the corner of his classroom to the sound of his voice lecturing disenchanted freshmen about the Yangtze river.
My sister and I spend a hazy, humid summer in Taiwan with our mother, running amok in the streets, eating food at the night market and listening to my mother’s sisters babble over our heads in Chinese. My uncle takes me for a ride on his scooter and I wear no helmet as we careen around the corners and dart in and out of traffic near my ah-ma’s apartment. My mother brings me to the salon to get a perm, and I return to the United States nut-brown and curly haired. When I run to my father at the airport, he holds me at arm’s length. “Who is this?!” he jokes. “You’re not my daughter!”
Countless nights, my father falls asleep in the living room with the television on, our dog Maggie curled up on the floor near the couch. I remove his glasses and wake him up, telling him to go to bed.
My parents divorced when I was very young. The courts granted my father primary custody of my sister and myself because they ruled that my mother’s new relationship with my stepfather was her priority. I have no memory of a family other than the tiny unit that existed — myself, my sister and my father.
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We’re always running to our moms for advice and wise words, but you know what? Despite their mysterious, often silent presences, our dads possess loads of wisdom too. We rounded up some of our most pressing existential queries and asked our dads to give us their takes. First, let’s meet the dads:
- Megan’s dad DAVID raised two lovely, relatively capable daughters by himself. When he’s not consulting on corporate training, he spends his days reading quietly, misplacing his glasses and going for contemplative swims in the lake.
- Julie’s dad STU is a retired nuclear engineer, which yes, makes him basically Homer Simpson. He enjoys gardening, sitting by the pool and offending Red Sox fans.
- Ami’s dad ZAC is the most intellectual jock from Brooklyn you’ll ever meet. A former college basketball player turned successful business man, enjoys taking the dog to Starbucks and spending time with his wife and two kids. He can still dunk.
- Jessica’s dad RUSSELL is a retired father of five and grandfather of four, who lives, feeds the dog, and mows the lawn in suburban Connecticut. He emails Jess regularly to tell her funny jokes he heard on “Red Eye” and is really into being a Republican.
- Winona’s dad DON is a retired monkey wrangler who lives in rural Oregon, and is on an endless quest to find the world’s best chocolate malt.
What they had to say surprised us. Check out their answers to our most crucial queries after the jump. Keep reading »
Our wish this Father’s Day is that we can make it through an entire 24-hour period without our dads looking at us with that perplexed face they make sometimes. Like when you say, “I need to run to the drugstore because we’re out of lotion.” Then he’ll be like, “But we have four bottles Lubriderm from Costco.” And you’ll be like, “I can only use that on my lower legs, but I have to use the firming lotion on my thighs. Also, I hate the way it smells.” Then he’ll look at you like you just tried to explain the Higgs boson to him and skulk away. Oh dad, you have so much to learn about us. Starting with: Keep reading »
I’ve written before about why my dad is awesome, but looking back at my childhood, he definitely wasn’t the only father figure in my life. Being the imaginative weirdo that I was, most of my alternate dads were completely and totally fictional, but that didn’t make them any less integral to my emotional development. It was actually pretty hard to pare down this list, but here are 7 fictional characters — from a Jedi Master to a clumsy handyman — who were my imaginary dads, and taught me a lot about life in their own unique ways… Keep reading »
This piece is crossposted with permission from Role/Reboot.
My dad grew up a poor boy from a small fishing village, just minutes away from the site of Shakespeare’s “Othello.” He spent his childhood playing along the walls of the great Venetian fortress. His village dates back to antiquity, his childhood colonialism, and his youth decolonization. He fled his country to get educated and build a better life in New York City. And he did. With graduate degrees from an elite institution under his belt, he rose up the corporate ladder and married two times to American women. Despite all his economic progress, he held fast to tradition.
I grew up a middle class girl in a suburban town just minutes away from New York City. I spent my childhood playing soccer and hanging out at the mall. My town dates back to the postwar era, my childhood consumerism, and my youth social justice. I fled my country to get a more affordable education and build a global dream of equity in Montreal. And I did. With graduate degrees from elite institutions under my belt, I moved through the social justice industry living and working in Latin America, Africa, Europe, and the South Pacific. Despite all my cultural development, I fought to change my father. Keep reading »
The Wall Street Journal published an article this week about “a new model of at-home fatherhood,” spawned by the rise of stay-at-home dads and inclusiveness of fathers in the day-to-day parenting. While the WSJ wasn’t quite arguing that parenting is all duded up and bro-ed out, it did argue that stay-at-home dads have put a “distinctly masculine stamp on child rearing and home life.”
Yes, there is research to back up the claim that the relatively small amount of stay-at-home dads — who comprise only 3.6 percent of all SAH parents — do rear children differently than the larger sample of stay-at-home mothers (an elite 18 percent of male-female couples). SAHDs allow their children to take more safety risks and also plan more spontaneous trips.
But I just don’t see how those traits are being ascribed as “masculine.” Surely there are mothers who don’t hover over their child’s every move? Surely there are mothers who are spontaneous? The WSJ interviewed fathers who do things like take their kids to the park and on errands to Home Depot (where a toddler “studied different kinds of hammers”) … because moms don’t take their kids to the park and run errands, I guess? Keep reading »
Most would probably agree that the sight of a dad holding a baby in one of those swaddle things is basically the hottest thing ever because it touches on two primal urges — the desire to f**k and the desire to procreate. I’m not saying all women want kids, but a glimpse of a hot dude holding a ridiculously cute baby is enough to make even the biggest kid hater go “hmm…” Said effect was evidenced when we first saw Jay-Z holding that little bundle of Ivy Blue. Seriously. Come on. In honor of Father’s Day, we’ve rounded up DILFS holding babies. Keep clicking for more proof.
Whenever Father’s Day rolls around I’m reminded, once again, that I don’t have a “typical” dad. He doesn’t own a tie. He’s never worked in an office. As far as I know he’s never touched a golf club (except maybe to use it as a weapon?). My dad, in a nutshell, is weird. He spent his career taking care of research monkeys. He spent his spare time turning our house into a fortress and collecting skulls. With the exception of guinea pigs, he likes animals way more than he likes people (that’s him in the picture, holding a water moccasin he caught in a Florida swamp). And guess what? He’s the best dad I could ever ask for. Here’s why… Keep reading »
Yesterday, we heard from real dads about teaching their daughters that they are smart and beautiful. Today, real dads tell us how they teach their daughters that girls can do anything boys can do.
For advice, I turned to Tony, the father of three girls under the age of nine; Adam, the father of two daughters under the age of four; Jim, the father of a nine-year-old girl; Joe (AKA Frisky commenter _JSW_), the father of two girls under the age of twelve; and Jesse, the father of three girls under eight. Over the next several days, I’ll be sharing with you some of their fab (and adorable) advice.
How a dad can teach his daughter that “girls rule!” after the jump: Keep reading »
Stumped on what to get your dad for Father’s Day this year? Why not give him the gift that every man dreams of: gourmet foods and beverages delivered to his door every month! Here are six food-of-the-month clubs your dad is sure to love, whether he’s a connoisseur of beer, bacon, pasta, or hot sauce. The best part? All you have to do is make your order online and send Dad the gift voucher. Easy shmeasy! Click through to check ‘em out…