FATHER ALONG: Nobody knows how to be a parent. When people enter adulthood and see the rest of life yawning ahead, they look at this parenthood thing and cringe. How the fuck am I supposed to do that? A young friend once said he thought he might not be a good parent because wasnt very good with his dog. I didnt say anything, but I thought, Dude trust me. Its different.
Im a father of seven and Im still trying to figure out this shit. No. 7 is just as perplexing as No. 1. What worked for No. 2 doesnt faze No. 5 at all.
But one thing Im pretty sure about: You only begin to understand the profound depth of love when you become a parent. At least, it was that way for me.
And it seems like it was that way for Michael Lewis too, based on Home Game (W.W. Norton, $23.95). Lewis sees himself as a Yuppie curmudgeon and was dragged kicking and screaming by his wife former MTVer Tabitha Soren into life as a daddy. Once he joined the club, there was anger, resentment and self-pity. But then he seemed to get it.
That ideal family of television situation comedies does not exist. Families are complex organisms and parenthood aint pretty. The best we can do is try and certainly its a parents duty to protect children and let them be children as long as they can.
Lewis has the usual neuroses and then some. The majority of parents probably fall in love with their child at first sight (if they havent already loved the idea of the child in utero).
In Lewiss case, the first baby arrived and . . . nothing. Or, at least, next to nothing. He doesnt feel the overwhelming wallop of emotion hes been told to expect.
So Home Game is sort of a running diary of growing into love. No one will accuse Lewis of being overly sentimental, but he does achieve a cumulative, deep resonance of love in this book.
Theres a holiday coming up on June 21 that honors fathers. This might be a great gift for the old man. If he isnt much of a reader, its cool; Home Game clocks in at just under 200 pages, and it has pictures. Oh and did we mention that Michael Lewis is a brilliant writer? Hell get pop over the hump.