Home Game: An Accidental Guide to Fatherhood
By the time you read this review, I will be 3 days away from being a father all over again. We are having a little boy and the doctor has decided that he has incubated long enough. Our only other child is a 15 year-old girl and so needless to say, it has been quite awhile since we did this whole “baby” thing. I must say that technology has changed quite a bit in 15 years. A wind up swing has been replaced with a never ending, wall powered, iPod compatible, flashing lights and massage contraption. I am sure that junior will be hammering out differential equations in a week with all that stimulation. One of the other things that I remember from our first baby was reading a book by Paul Reiser named “Babyhood”. It injected a sorely needed bit of humor into some anxious times. New babies call for new books and so I found this one on Amazon that promised some good laughs. What I found was a very different yet still humorous look into the life and expectations of one dad.
Michael Lewis is an accomplished writer; however, his other books have absolutely nothing to do with the subject of fatherhood. Michael normally writes about money, investing and other topics related to finance and monetary systems. During the birth of his three children, lucky for us, Michael kept a journal. This book is the essence of that journal and the thoughts that accompany what seems to be a wild ride in his early years of fatherhood. Michael has a very unique way of relating stories that really hit home with me. These gentle lessons in his life are told through a series of humorous stories. I am amazed that his wife let him publish them to be quite honest. In one of the stories he tells of how his 3-year-old daughter unleashes a string of profanities at a group of older kids who were picking on her younger brother. As the bullies return she tells them she peed in the pool to keep them away! Michael, who is watching this unfold from across the pool is too embarrassed to intervene. Part of him wants to scold her, but deep down inside all he can do is admire her courage and laugh.. and so can the rest of us.
As a father, Michael struggles to find his place in the family and to decide what kind of a father he should be. He struggles with the notion of being the hard nosed disciplinarian yet at the same time secretly yearns for the comfort of abandonment and humor. Michael gives away guy secrets (man code) in some of the rationalizations because he expresses what guys think yet seldom say out loud. Or should I say would NEVER say out loud. Sometimes we feel like we play second fiddle to mom and kids and that we really are just go-fors. Although we understand that our role is much bigger, we never loose the fear of being the dreaded “Mr. Irrelevant”. It is our ego that defends us and makes for great stories!
This book is about fatherhood, but is written in a way that anyone.. man or woman, baby or no baby can get something from. It is truly a well written funny collection of stories designed to entertain and educate. Maybe you are a woman who wants some insight or maybe you just need a last minute father’s day gift for that special dad… In either case, I recommend this book.