04 March 2007

Fatherhood v. Cool

I recently read a book called Alternadad. A memoir of sorts by Neal Pollack. The primary question addressed by the book was how does a guy hold on to some semblance of individuality and personality when a kid enters the picture. A lot of the book was silly, but I found myself resonating with a lot of it and laughing quite a bit. The foreword is worth the read--he talks about his 18 month old son ripping off his diaper and throwing poo all over his crib--something that could only be funny to a parent.

So is this obsession with holding onto cool new? Somehow I can't see my dad sitting down at 30 thinking that he should start a band because he's only got a few more young years left. I can't see him thinking for even a second about fashion or any of the cultural stuff I spend time thinking about.

But I can't let it go. Something in me rebels against getting older. I want youth. I love it. But the simple truth is that there's tons that's just not cool about parenting. I ran around a slide today for about 20 minutes screaming like a crazy person with my son. There's no way it looked cool at all, but it was perfect. I often have the choice of doing cool things, or staying home with my kids reading books about caterpillars and playing peek-a-boo, and i have yet to choose cool.

I guess this is my way of saying that I'm making a decision: fatherhood will beat cool.