Tears of laughter and tears from the damn humanity of it all
I'm reading a fantastic new anthology which you guys would all love, called When I First Held You, edited by Brian Gresko. The book features essays penned by 22 A-list literary superstars, all of whom also happen to be dads and who happen to have some really funny, poignant, keenly insightful stuff to say about the experience. There's Lev Grossman, Ben Greenman, Andre Dubus III, and Rick Moody, just to name a few.
It's interesting; I find I'm relating to these essays about fatherhood even more than I typically relate to writing about motherhood, and I'm not sure why exactly. Maybe it's because anything any mother writes feels really charged, and really close, so that I feel compelled to compare myself and my parenting choices, with ones she's made and that's always a very stressful, very stupid fool's errand. Whatever the reason, I'm finding so much in these pages that deeply resonates with me, right from the start, from the Introduction, in which Brian describes, in lovely lyrical detail, the birth of his son, and the first electric, life-altering, cataclysmic jolt of connection he had with the baby. There's tons of laugh-out-loud moments as well, like when Lev Grossman describes how he'd TOTALLY have joined a new dads group, were it not for the fact that he'd rather die first. I've still got a few essays still to go, but as soon as I'm done with it, I"m handing it over to David, who I know will love it, and likely read it in one sitting (he doesn't mess around, that husband of mine).
So, go buy the book and you'll get it just in time for Father's Day. Yes, I just made your life a helluva lot easier, no need to thank me, it's just what I do.
And if you want a little live, sneak peek into the hook (and into my own memoir, Now I See You, which comes out in a little over a month), come see Brian and I read at Pete's Candy Store tomorrow. As Brian promised, "There will be tears of laughter and tears from the damn humanity of it all."
Nicole is a parenting writer who contributes essays and articles for magazines like Parenting, Parents, American Baby and Babble. She lives in Brooklyn with three children, one husband and a morbidly obese goldfish.