I am pleased to have the following piece appear in The Good Men Project online:
In response to the recent news that my wife’s health condition had worsened, a coworker kindly offered to babysit. “You must have mistaken me for someone else in the office,” I replied, “We don’t have kids.” Being a considerate person, I expected her to respond to my email as others had before–with apologies, saying she meant no offense. But the next part of her message took me by surprise. She said something to the effect that I seemed grounded and settled, and that this is a quality she often admires in dads.
As a child, I always thought invisibility was the best possible super power. To be able to see and know what is going on, without being seen yourself, was something I craved. So much so that I still am taken aback when others share insights about me that they have gained from observation. But the idea that I was behaving in a visibly father-like way struck me as both poignant and profound.
The death of our infant son, and our subsequent inability to have another child, cast me into not only grief, but a longing to understand what my life is about.