finding the right tool with morgan freeman in daddyland

I know that men can nurture.  I know that fathers can parent small children just as well as mothers.  In this blog I spend a fair amount of space on practical reasons why this is so and why this has not been so.

But, really, it’s all in my gut, my intuition.  I just know.

And this comes from my life.  We were watching a rerun of Inside the Actor’s Studio the other day.  It was a 2005 show with Morgan Freeman, who talked about his first time acting as an 8-year-old in the deep south.  I can’t find a clip or a transcript, but what he said something like this:

“You know when you pick up the right tool?  And it just feels right?  Well, that was me and acting.”

Well, that is me and parenting.  Not that we are going to produce superstar kids.  Not that I am better than anyone else.  But from the moment my daughter was born, caring for her, playing with her, disciplining her just felt right.  I have not felt that before.  I like to write, yes, and photography comes maybe easier than anything else.  But you should hear me agonize over my writing life.  No, actually, you should never hear me agonize over my writing life.   I bore myself to tears just thinking about it.

There is a certain creative process in that, of course, the struggle to find one’s way.  But there is also something to finding what comes natural and simply going for the ride.

I got to do that in Daddyland, over 18 months of paternity leave in Sweden (and three months in the U.S.).

But I am not that special of a case.  I feel that also.  Men are ready for this, and I hope women are ready for this.

And I cannot wait to get home and play “dead fish” with my daughter (the game is way cooler than it sounds) and fight to get pajamas on my son.

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One thought on “finding the right tool with morgan freeman in daddyland

  1. I totally agree with you. I am in the middle of my second pappa leave. I’ll be off now for six months with my son Herman.

    I was thinking those same thoughts today when I visited the nurse for his 8-month control. It just felt natural talking to her, and caring for him. I notice I love him more each day and the more time I spend with him.

    My brothers and sisters in the states are all jealous. Sometimes I feel like I can’t even talk about it with them because they thinkg I’m bragging.

    In the end, I think one of the best investments a society can make is to nurture the bonds between parents and children. I’m so happy that my family has the opportunity here to enjoy that.

    After my first pappa leave, I found myself regretting not being more in the moment. This time around I’m trying harder, as un-Zen as that sounds, to be more in the here and now.

    Speaking of the present, now I need to run and change a diaper:-)

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