What Draws a Father Home?
An article in the latest issue of The FatherLife, an online magazine, has both Amy and me cheering. Tim Myers writes eloquently and passionately about the reasons why a man would want to spend more time at home with his kids. In a era where we hear so much about the drudgery of parents trying to balance their lives and the huge amount of time and effort it takes to raise kids, this article is like a blast of fresh air.
Mr. Myers lists his reasons, which I won't regurgitate here because I want you to click over and savor the whole article. I'll simply add a few more I think he could have included:
1. Being home with your kids, at least in an equally-shared-parenting way, increases intimacy with your partner. The two of you are in step with the little rhythms of your family life and appreciate each other for your equal involvement.
2. Being home with your kids elevates you from stand-in to full partner status in childraising.
Bravo, Tim Myers. Your words don't judge or attack, they stay authentically poignant rather than Hallmark sappy, and I hope they inspire men to see all there is to gain by carving out lots of time with their children.
Thanks for the link to this amazing little essay on fatherhood. Wow. Worth several reads -- this was just my first.
This passage is the one that really jumped out at me, given where I am now with our 14 month old, and the way it's reviving all sorts of memories of my own earlier wonder at the world, and the sense of having closed off interests and ambitions on the road to adulthood:
Being home with a child is a magnificent opportunity for adults to reconnect themselves to a whole set of abilities we seem to leave behind in childhood. Emerson says bluntly that most adults take on a kind of blindness: "To speak truly, few adult persons can see nature. Most persons do not see the sun." A fundamental ability to look at the world with wonder, to really see what's before us, lies sleeping through many people's lives, a distant memory they've all but forgotten. But this orientation is still available to adults. And what a banquet of "direct experience" being home can set before you! With your child's behavior as a model, you can set about really looking at things, really tasting food, smelling smells, hearing sounds. With the continual example of your child's wonder-driven heart, you can actually re-learn how to be a human animal in the sensual flow of the natural world. You might even discover again how to see the sun.
Thanks for your comments. I think I'll read the piece again myself.
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