Tales of a Dad with Attitude

You may recognize the name “Chris Erskine” from his columns in the Los Angeles Times. While I primarily write about “books, boys, and bodies (living with an invisible disability),” Mr. Erskine writes about “the absurdities of suburban fatherhood.”

I recently finished Daditude: The Joys and Absurdities of Modern Fatherhood. This book is a collection of columns, many of which are updated with brief comments by his wife and/or children. 

If you’re a parent and live somewhere in the vicinity of Los Angeles, you’re sure to find many of these tales relatable. But readers of any background will find sentences that make you stop, sentences where you think, “Damn; that’s good writing.”

Let me share a few with you:

“I like how, when you open an old treasured book, the binding crackles like a log fire.”

“The baby is now her obsession. Frankly, I don’t understand it. Sure, his skin is like linen. His eyes as bright as a winter sunrise. But his butt is all diaper. He constantly spits up. He has no visible means of support. All in all, he’s me twenty years ago, fresh from college.”

“Like Santa, the little guy seems to see miracles that no one else sees. He spots something, and his eyes glisten like the crystal of a watch. I worry, sometimes, that he might grow up to be a writer.”

“With each new day, a fifth grader fills more of the world. He’ll add muscles between breakfast and lunch. I see him now stretched out on the couch he outgrew this afternoon, taller than he was five breaths before.”

“Her chestnut hair is thinner now, but she still has those killer cheekbones and the cutest dimple – like an apostrophe – on just one side of her smile.”

“Half Sicilian, Posh has been cooking lasagna since she was three. Her version is seven layers deep, as thick as a good quilt and built with the same care craftsmen put into a Lamborghini.”


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