Closer Than They Appear

reflections from life as a dad


Episode Ten: Why Start Now

Back in September I read an article in the New York Times called “Pot for Parents.” It’s written by a dad from San Francisco. Here’s the opening line:

“The youngest of my three daughters was born around the same time I became a card-carrying medical cannabis parent.”

The article continues to explain his history with medical marijuana to help his stress, anxiety, and lower back pain…and then how it has made him into a better parent. Let me quote the article further.

“Here’s what a typical weekday evening exchange between me and my oldest daughter once looked like:
Child: Daddy, can you how me how to make a Q?
Father: sipping bourbon and soda, not looking up from iPad–just make a circle and put a little squiggle at the bottom.
Child: No, show me!
Father: Sweetie, not now, ok? Daddy’s tired.

It’s different now:

Child: Daddy, can you show me how to make a Q?
Father: (getting down on the floor) Here, I’ll hold your hand while you hold the pen and we’ll make one together. There! We made a Q! Isn’t it fantastic?
Child: Thanks, Daddy!
Father: Don’t you just love the shape of this pen?

It’s the same with my middle child:

Child: Can I watch a video?
Father: Of Course!

Child: Can I watch a video?
Father: Why don’t we read a story and then pretend we’re in our own video! Go pick out a book, and I’ll go get the finger puppets.”

It’s a very funny article–the guy wittily writes that pot is associated with short term memory loss, and the writes the exact same thing a second time–but it hasn’t stuck with me for 6 months because of its humor. It has stuck with me because it is is the first time I’ve ever heard someone claim that smoking pot makes them a better parent.

Listen to the full story by pressing play.

Read the full New York Times article Pot for Parents.


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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)



Welcome to Closer Than They Appear, a podcast created by Mark Lukach about his life as an at-home dad. The podcast features original essays about his varied experience as a dad to a young son.

Here’s what you should know about the show:

  • The first episode will be released on Thursday, September 27.
  • There will be a new episode each week. At least, that’s the hope.
  • Each episode will be somewhere between 5 and 10 minutes.
  • Once the show is live, you can subscribe to it through iTunes.
  • If you want to learn more, go check out the About and FAQ sections.

See you real soon.