I love my work.
In fact, at the airport this morning a stranger approached me and said, “Excuse me. Are you the guy who writes about fatherhood stuff? I appreciate that so much. But really, how do you do it? Your kids, so well adjusted. Your wife, so remarkably hot. You, always on the mark. You’re one lucky dude!”
It’s only December but my thin bones already long for summer. For light. For warmth. Where’s Africa? It’s over the ocean. And I’m on this side, often chilled when I stand at the large window behind my bedroom desk. I look into the darkness, so deep and wide and without form.
My own view is that winter fathers and their kids should get free movie tickets on weekends. For Sunday matinees, free popcorn should be added. Yes, free movies for the winter fathers of the world. Someone should start a petition. Winter fathers are fathers who are separated or divorced
Today’s rumination is about the art of writing. Cursive.
For the children out there, you’ll want to ask your parents or grandparents what this is, and how it all works, and why on God’s good earth anyone would involve themselves in it.
I feel like a Neanderthal for even mentioning it, but since I’m older than I look I’ll tell you that when I
The young lady was my heart’s desire. She was my long-time prayer. This, when I was a much younger version of myself. It was on the 11th day of the 11th month when her letter arrived. She wrote briefly and dispassionately. Her words drained the room of colour.
I walked through the cemetery today. I often do. It was me and the cold and the wet and my old umbrella.
The umbrella is covered in deco of old newspaper headlines: the Jays won the World Series; Gorbachev was dismantling the USSR. My umbrella and I blew around like the news
It was a recent evening at the University of Toronto when I was reminded of it all, that hope is better than skepticism, that faith is better than doubt, that love (in the abiding sense of charitable love) is better than fear. I was reminded, too, how I’ve always felt more kinship
I don’t believe in war. In name and in family heritage, I’m Mennonite. In spirit, I’m pacifist.
But children, it seems to me, should have a working knowledge of war. Because in war there’s not only darkness and fear, there’s light and courage. There’s humanity. There’s humility.
So, my children, like children everywhere, are about to return to school.
This brings some uncertainties. It’s my children’s first-ever September back-to-school in Canada.
More so, I’ll need to work at having more JFKs again.
Before I explain what a JFK is, let me say that in
So, the children’s mother and I bought a house.
“Let’s not tell the children,” she said.
“Okay,” I replied.
So we didn’t.
Now before I share why, let me say that we all have a relationship with our houses, and in my family I’m the one with a sort of longsuffering in this union.
This is the story.
Today we’re going to talk about the boy. Child #2. My son.
You may have a boy also. And if he hasn’t yet put his head inside the open mouth of an alligator, then, well, congratulations.
My boy announced recently that he’s going to jump from a plane.
I’m a white Canadian. But I easily imagine myself as a dark Arabian. A Muslim.
There, on the streets with a kufiya on my head. Or there, I’m a Muslim woman with a beautiful, but hidden, face, walking along the beach.
I’m just telling you.
I mean, what if I was born in, say, Yemen.
She's the Ugandan girl who we left behind in a part of the world where, this weekend, there is no Father's Day. And even if there was, this girl, our friend, has no father to honour on it.
So while it's only suitable that so many fathers and children
He’s a friend. A doctor. His name is Stuart. I stood at the front door of his home, my son beside me.
Stuart is the keeper of the children’s bicycles while we’re abroad. We swung by to make arrangements to get them. That’s all it was, an ordinary May evening. But the world was somehow different. Its axis had shifted. At least for Stuart.
He’d just returned from Queen’s Park, he informed me, with other doctors lobbying for a
Long before the children’s mother came along, I wanted to marry Queen Elizabeth. Or Mrs. Clark. Or Dianne Blouin. Dianne was an angelic presence and the sister of my classmate Michael. She was 12, older by two full years and clearly out of reach. The best I could do was get a photo of Dianne.
A bus hits a semi on a highway. A van drives along a busy walkway. Death arrives as casually as one day following another. And all the pain with it. Humboldt. Toronto. And the next one? Healing will come. But much of it will come later. First it’s been time to cry with those who cry.
It’s the painters and the writers, the sculptors and the musicians, who tell us, the rest of us, to stop and look and listen. To pay attention. To see the holiness in the ordinary. This is the heart of the matter, the nub of it, the core of life. The times when we manage to get ourselves
Today’s rumination is about the flags of the world and the hope of the world and the fears of the world, (or at least some fears in Canada), even as it’s about how the children’s mother helped me get over some of my own fears. We live in a world that’s somehow naturally saddled with fear