All posts tagged: finding bliss

8 Justifications for Childless Travel

Last February I frantically brain-stormed a last-minute timeshare getaway to warmer climes with the family. It would include our 2-year-old and 10-month-old. My stress over rising airline tickets and dwindling hotel availability prompted my partner to say, “You could just go on your own.” (Disclaimer #1: Getting away for an adult vacation wasn’t feasible. We don’t have family nearby on whom to foist two kids under 2 and we can’t afford 4 days of round-the-clock baby-sitting.) “What?” I sputtered. “Yeah, I mean it’s so much work to take the kids. It’s expensive, it’s a headache, and it’s not relaxing. I’m all about taking my own solo mini-vacation, later. You want to get away more than I do, right now, anyway.” (Disclaimer #2 True. I’d been very full-time daddy for the past couple months.) “So you just go for a couple days.”


I just spent a weekend on Nantucket crashing on a friend’s couch. He’s the artistic director of the Theatre Workshop of Nantucket. Hey, it’s who you know. We passed the island elementary school several times. Seeing it took me back to the summer I lived on Nantucket during college. It was my “black-and-white-Abercrombie-and-Fitch-catalog-summer-on-the-beach;” debaucherous and delectable. I worked as a camp counselor for Strong Wings. Every morning kids congregated at Nantucket Elementary at 7:45. We counselors would ride bikes with ten eight-year-olds trailing like ducklings. We’d go to various points of the island to kayak, hike or build “extreme” (really big) sand castles. My most indelible camp memory was of a kid named Clay. It’s illustrative, if boorish, to call him a “weenie”: chubby, whiny, always holding up the group, and most likely to lose the key to his bike lock on the beach. I hasten to say he was very sweet. Forgive my use of “weenie”, but I bet you’ve got a vivid picture. Clay drew the most mockery from fellow campers with his …

I Don’t Love You, Daddy

So Big E wakes from his afternoon nap (after his first day of preschool) and proclaims dispassionately, “I don’t love you, Daddy”. I knew this would come, but before he’s even potty-trained? I looked at him bemusedly (perhaps condescendingly) and responded, “Well, I love you, buddy. And I always will.” “I want some water. Not in a big-boy cup. In a sippy cup.” So I guess we’re back to normal.

Working My Gender

Walking to the playground, today, with Little C in the stroller and Big E on his scooter, I noticed an inordinate number of adoring expressions from passing women. I recognize that pursed lip, upside-down smile simultaneously showing sympathy, adoration and appreciation. I know my kids are cute. I also know that most mothers don’t receive that look from other women. It’s because I’m a man. People think it’s sooooo cute when a dude’s got two kids. We’re not supposed to be capable of such feats. So I look like a hero. I know it. I appreciate it. Sometimes I resent it. Nannies, especially, can’t believe my partner and I are raising kids without help (aside from our wonderful, regular babysitters). When I’m on the playground on a Wednesday afternoon and I’m the only man (often the only white person…a funny detail about raising kids in Manhattan), I’ve had many conversations with nannies asking, “Your nanny is off, today?” “Is your wife sick, today?” “Are you the nanny?” Heaven forbid a nearly 40-year-old man take his …


STAY INNOCENT “Take my shirt off! Take my shirt off!” Big E jumped while pleading with me. He wanted to be like the older boys running across the grass as shirtless savages of summer. Normally, he does not let it all hang out. So I took off his shirt, cursing myself for having left the sunscreen at home. It was already 4:30. Post-PTH, hopefully. (*peak tanning hours.) I knew one of the boy’s parents and we’d all met at the park for an early summer picnic. I needed adult contact since my one-year-old was near the peak of his incessant whininess. Upon arrival, the parents offered me a beer. I almost downed it in one sip. Seconds later, I noticed Big E and the older kiddos were missing. I said as much. “Oh, they’re over behind that brick wall playing in the fountain,” the mom said as she handed me a second beer. “They’re fine. Don’t worry.” I’m sorry. What part of that statement should not have made me feel apprehensive? Our kids were out …