"I would take Elizabeth to see "Hamilton.'"

Joe Posnanski:

The thing about seeing Hamilton RIGHT NOW at its peak moment is that even before it begins, the entire theater is filled with wonder. Every single person would rather be here than anywhere else in the world. As a sportswriter, I often feel that sort of energy at the biggest events, at the Masters or the Super Bowl or the Olympics, but it’s even more pronounced in this theater. People look at each other with the same wide-eyed expression: “Can you believe we’re here?”

And then the show begins, Aaron Burr on the stage, talking about that bastard orphan Hamilton, and within about two minutes you realize the thing makes Hamilton magical is this: It’s going to be even better than you had hoped.

If you're a parent, prepare yourself for this one. If you're a father of a daughter that is a lot like you, even more so.


Is Domestic Life the Enemy of Creative Work?

Kim Brooks, writing for New York Magazine:

As I aged, married, inched closer to the world of domesticity, I’d feel reassured whenever I learned that one of the contemporary writers I admired also had a family she hadn’t abused or abandoned (at least to anyone’s knowledge). Why should it be so hard to walk this line, now that domestic burdens were distributed more evenly between men and women, now that parenthood had been stripped by machine and innovation of much of its drudgery and transformed into something more elevated and imaginative? Surely, I thought, there was no reason in the 21st century that a person like myself couldn’t be a great wife, a great mother, and also the sort of obsessive, depressive, distracted writer whose persona I’d always romanticized.

I was so confident in this conviction, in fact, that it took me almost a decade to admit to myself that I was wrong.

As per the norm (these days), this piece's conclusion isn't nearly as drastic as it's open would have you believe. That being said, the answer to the title's question is obvious—of course it is.

Nothing has impacted my ability to find time to write (or lack of time to write) like having children. As I type this, an episode of Magic School Bus is blaring in the background, competing with a baby wailing in the other room and a three year-old chomping on fruit snacks. It's not quite the environment I imagined back in grad school.

But, the life I was leading in grad school? That wasn't going to produce much in the long run, either.

At the end of the day, domestic life is only the enemy of creative work if you refuse to change how you approach your creative work. And the good news is that there is no better way to learn about adapting to change than to have a couple of kids.


‘Anyway, most parenting advice is bullshit, especially any I might produce.’

David Roberts, writing for Vox:

If any one of those things had been different, parenting would be a greater challenge, no matter my parenting style. I don't have the standing to offer any wisdom to the single mother working two jobs. I know very little about the struggles of raising children with serious mental or physical disabilities. I'll never have to have the kinds of conversations about hatred and vulnerability that every parent of minority or LGBTQ children eventually must. My kids were practically fated to be okay as long as my wife and I didn't fuck it up catastrophically.

If the David Brookses of the world were honest, their parenting advice would begin: Have a healthy kid, live in an affluent area (with low crime and good schools), be from a socially privileged demographic, and make a decent amount of money. From there on, it's pretty much coasting.

So refreshing. And the parenting advice he does wind up giving is pretty good too.


When I’m Gone

Rafael Zoehler, writing on Medium:

My mother picked me up at school and we went to the hospital. The doctor told the news with all the sensitivity that doctors lose over the years. My mother cried. She did have a tiny bit of hope. As I said before, everyone does. I felt the blow. What does it mean? Wasn’t it just a regular disease, the kind of disease doctors heal with a shot? I hated you, dad. I felt betrayed. I screamed with anger in the hospital, until I realized my father was not around to ground me. I cried.

Then, my father was once again a father to me. With a shoebox under her arm, a nurse came by to comfort me. The box was full of sealed envelopes, with sentences where the address should be. I couldn’t understand exactly what was going on. The nurse then handed me a letter. The only letter that was out of the box.

“Your dad asked me to give you this letter. He spent the whole week writing these, and he wants you read it. Be strong.” the nurse said, holding me.

The envelope read WHEN I’M GONE. I opened it.

Caution—do not read this if you’re already feeling a little emotionally prickly.


Not a Homeroom Mom

Bryan Reardon, writing for Galleys, on Medium:

In the effort to blaze a trail and smooth gender relations for generations to come, I have delved into the wisdom I gleaned from ten years of being a stay-at-home dad.

I’ve done a lot of things in my life that, at the time, I thought were important and could (and should) have an impact on The World. Never once did I imagine myself as a stay-at-home dad and certainly not as the father of a little girl. But now that I’m in the midst of it, I’m starting to imagine the next twenty years or so, and what it will be like sending my daughter out into the world, the product of a home that does not reflect most of our society, and certainly not many of our societal norms. I literally buzz with excitement when I think about it.


How Photography Bridged the Autism Gap Between Father and Son

Taylor Glascock, Vantage:

It started in 2007, when Archibald began to notice that there was something different about his son. At the time, Eli had not been diagnosed with autism. There were tantrums and odd fascinations with household objects, strange behaviors and failures to communicate. Raising a child is difficult, but this was something else. A commercial photographer, Archibald adapted by doing what he did best. He took photos.

Incredible images. And I respect/appreciate that this is a story that’s being told that doesn’t have a sweet, clean, happy ending.


Dispatches From the Baby’s Room: Luna’s First Song

St. Vincent meets William Burroughs?


Dispatches From The Baby’s Room are paragraph-long(ish) tips on how to maybe make the act of raising a child easier. Or maybe just slightly less insane. Or, in twenty years from now, a guide on how to mess a kid up real good. DFTBR are easily digestible, hand-held, and best of all, free. They are the things Joe Stracci thinks about while putting all of the Mega Bloks back in the bag, making the sound the duck makes, and changing diapers in the dark.


Stuart Scott’s Legacy


Stuart Scott, a longtime anchor at ESPN, died Sunday morning at the age of 49. He inspired his colleagues with his talent, his work ethic, his personality, and his devotion to his daughters, Taelor, 19, and Sydni, 15.

The 15-minute video ESPN put together is a must-see. Deadspin also has reactions from a bunch of his colleagues. I’m not one for over-dramatizing celebrity deaths, but this one feels—different.



Casey Liss:

Life seems to happen in stages. As someone who has had a Facebook account since 2004, I’ve seen it. All of my friends got married (we were one of the first). All of my friends got pregnant. All of my friends had kids. We started on the marriage bandwagon before nearly anyone. Erin was a couple months shy of 24 and I was 25. Yet here it is we’re on a treadmill, and can’t progress forward. At this point we’ve been married 6 years.

I stop looking at Facebook daily, like I used to. I rarely look at it anymore. I just can’t stand it; every other post is about someone’s baby. I’m happy for them… I really am. But I can’t see the constant reminder of how we’re falling short. Of how we can’t seem to conceive.

I don’t listen regularly to the podcast Casey Liss is a part of, ATP, often, but when I saw that his son was born a week ago, I downloaded the episode. After hearing about and reading the linked-to piece above, I’m glad I did.


I’m Worse At My Job: What the Former CEO of Groupon Taught Me

I listen to a lot of podcasts. One of my new favorites is StartUp, from Alex Blumberg. During episode #4, “Startups Are a Risky Business,” Andrew Mason, the former CEO of Groupon said something that made me realize that I needed to rethink everything about the way I’ve been approaching being a writer and a Stay At-Home Dad.

And how just maybe, trying to be good at both means that I’m not being great at either.