Closer Than They Appear

reflections from life as a dad

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Episode Five: I’d Rather Dance With You Than Talk With You

The best place to see different parenting styles on display is at the grocery store. I find the parent that most impresses me is one I’m sure we’ve all seen before. She’s the mom who is in the produce section, and she talks pretty much non-stop to her baby. Like this.

“Honey, this here is an onion. Mommy needs to get onions for the soup she’s making daddy tonight. It’s his favorite soup and it’s supposed to rain later so I thought it would be a good idea to make the soup for him. Will you help mommy make the soup? We need to get three onions for the soup, let’s count them, 1, 2, 3. Good job! We also need peppers, one red one, and one green one. Here’s the green one. What else do we know is green?”

and so on and so forth, and I’m standing there with Jonas and a bag of carrots thinking, “Goddamn that is one good parent.”

Listen to the fully story by clicking play.



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Episode Four: Everyone Likes Baseball

I took Jonas to his first baseball game on August 15, 2012. It was a day game at AT&T Park in San Francisco, with the home team Giants pitted against the unexpectedly dominant Washington Nationals.

I can easily recall the exact date of the game because we were given a certificate to commemorate it. When we first got to our seats, I told the usher who greeted us that I was here, with my son, for his first baseball game. The usher beamed with pride and excitement, “well then, you have to go get his certificate!”

In AT&T Park, near section 119 on the promenade level, there is a guest services office where you can stand in line with a bunch of other kids who are there for their first game. They are there with their parents (mostly dads, I should clarify) and when it’s your turn, you give the kindly old lady your child’s name, and she prints out a certificate, welcoming your son or daughter to life as a fan of the San Francisco Giants. It’s pretty cool.

Listen to the full story by clicking play.

A few extras that I mention in the episode….

The New Yorker profile on Joe Girardi (subscription required to read the full article)

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Episode Three: Fly By Nursing

Do yourself a favor. When you are up in the middle of the night, with your new baby crying because he wants to eat, even though he just ate 90 minutes ago, and two hours before that, and you’re at the peak of sleep-deprived frustration, do not go on the internet. Do not go on the internet to google phrases like “4 month old up every 2 hours at night” because you will find your way to discussion boards, hosted at websites like and, and you will read the comments on these discussion boards, and you will want to kill someone.

Listen to the full story by clicking play.

Here it is, the notorious “fly by nursing” gif. Feel free to save it for use later.

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Episode Two: Nostalgia

My favorite time of day is the morning. It’s been this way for a while. I like to be up before everyone else is. Not that I actually enjoy waking up, because no one likes that, but when I can coax myself out of bed, I love to observe the stillness of a world that is otherwise bustling the rest of the day.

Now I have new reasons to love the morning. I wake up to the gentle cooing of our son, who is wedged between me and my wife in our bed. We tend to bring him to bed some time in the wee hours of the night, and while I’m vaguely aware of that happening when it does, it’s not until morning that I really appreciate that he’s there.

Listen to the full story by clicking play.