25

Bridging the gap with my children's interests: Why one geeky dad is learning to love cartwheels

I'm beginning to have an understanding of what my father felt when he came home after working all day, grabbed our baseball mitts, and stepped into my room to ask if I wanted to play catch. He would usually find me on the floor of my room, in the midst of a galactic battle between good and evil, Empire and Rebellion. Now that I'm a father, I find myself with two young daughters who have the same view of their father as their grandfather once held.

34

We didn't think we wanted to know our baby's sex — then we did

I was absolutely fine with keeping the sex of our baby a surprise. Really, I was. But then something happened to me around 22 weeks. I suddenly had a deep desire to know exactly what sort of babe was moving around in there. I felt detached and found it strange to say "the baby kicked me" and "do you want to feel the baby?" I needed a pronoun. More than that, I wanted a name. (We had a short list of lovely girl names to choose from, but absolutely no boy names. Which of course meant that we were definitely having a boy. In my head at least.)

22

Sometimes I fear the closeness between mother and child

It's been an uncomfortable adjustment to motherhood, this reality that not even if I wanted to, and don't we all want to, sometimes, I can't hide myself from him. Growing a person inside you, birthing them out into the world, it was heavy stuff for me. I wanted it, without a doubt, but I had no idea how much I'd crave being alone.

22

Going from mad scientist to mother

That's when I began to realize that during the first few months of my son's life, I would not be living out any idealized role of mommy; I was a mad scientist, trying to figure out which baby soothing techniques would make him stop crying: a combination of white noise and bouncing, pretending I was at a wedding and doing The Hustle or taking him outside for some fresh air.

16

I have zero expectations about my daughter's future relationships

I think my solution is to refrain from assumptions altogether when I'm in public. I'll stop playing along with other's comments about her getting married one day, or meeting a man, or whatever. At home, I'll adopt new words into my vernacular with her. I'll illustrate differences through play — I can show her two girl Barbies kissing and two Ken dolls kissing.