Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Help a Brother Out

IMG_6884By Brandon Garcia

I reached out recently to a fellow father I met through the NYC Dads Group to see if he and his kid wanted to hang out with us at a local playground. The reply I received knocked me on my ass.

He told me he  hadmoved out of NYC and that his wife and he were now separated.

DAMN!

The reason I decided to participate in the NYC Dads Group was to feel like I wasn’t alone and, all of the sudden, I now felt like I let a fellow father down.

If only I had reached out more. If only I had felt comfortable in my own skin as a new father, and as a stay-at-home just like my fellow brother, maybe ... just maybe ... he would have been able to work things out with his wife.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Aussie Ex-Pat on the High Line with NYC Dads

Editor’s Note: Australian at-home dad Rory Chambers moved to Manhattan earlier this year and quickly discovered a new band of brothers to hang with: Our NYC Dads Group. He recently posted a version of this tale on his blog Rory’s Stories about finding his community and his experience participating in a recent International Babywearing Week event. Enjoy.

Upon arriving in a brand new city with no significant opportunity for “natural” community that might otherwise be found at a workplace, I did what any self-respecting digital native would do and Googled “stay at home dads NYC.” Thank you, internet: NYC Dad’s Group, take a bow.

Meetup.com has pretty much become my go-to for finding people to hang out with. Being a (sort of) housebound extrovert has its challenges and I’m increasingly thankful that we moved here in the summer before I got really housebound.

Turns out there’s a whole swag of dads groups around the country … (that are) really passionate about seeing dads get a bit more exposure as part of the public face of full-time parenting other than just “the backup parent,” “Mr. Mum” or, most patronizingly, “the babysitter today.” I appreciate that a lot.

I’ve only been to a couple of events, but I just got home from one that turned a lot of heads: a small flotilla of dads with their kids in Britax baby carriers all cruising the High Line together. It was great! Britax sent us all a free carrier so long as we all promised to get out during International Babywearing Week and share the love.

Honestly, I took a while to get comfortable wearing Ele (both physically and socially) but I’m all over it now. I love it. For a start, it makes getting around the city so much easier than using a stroller and it’s really nice to have her right there in front of me to play with, talk to and make faces at. When we first got here and I would take her out in the stroller, I’d feel kinda disconnected from her as we cruised along with her facing away from me. Today, I discovered that she’ll bust a gut laughing if I chew on her fingers.

I did feel pretty conspicuous at first and to some extent I still do, but really it’s just another thing that I could choose to feel conspicuous about, or I could just decide not to care. Choosing the latter has been lots more freeing and fun. She makes for great conversation at stoplights and on the subway, she’s fun to play with when she’s right there in front of me and every now and then – if I’m really lucky – she’ll fall asleep on my chest and there are few greater feelings than that.

As for the event itself – it was a perfect day for it: Beautiful sun, blue skies and enough other people cruising the park to make for a really great photo op. Or two. Or twelve. I met a bunch of guys and their kids, got a few tips on some great NYC stuff to check out, got stopped by several tourists (all of them Australian, strangely enough) asking what was going on:

Her: “Why are there so many dads carrying their babies around?”

Me: “Because it’s a good thing to do.”

That particular woman also reminded me about that Aussie show House Husbands, which I’ve never watched but apparently it’s good. It’s got Gary Sweet in it, so hopefully there’s some rappelling down a skyscraper with a kid in a carrier somewhere in there. Anyway, we got a lot of “aww”s and “oh, cuuute”s as we walked along, so I’d say the event was pretty successful at raising the profile of dads being dads.

So, way to go NYC Dad’s group, Britax for your generosity and all you dads who do a kick arse job at being parents. I’m glad to be among you.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Gunshots Prompt School Lockdown

By Dave Lesser

My wife and I didn’t hear the gunshots.

We were picking Penny up from school when suddenly people were running back inside. What’s happening? Should we go? To the car? Inside? Is there danger? Get the kids!

Penny and Simon were walking toward the car, against the wave of parents, students and teachers, like two tiny salmon swimming upstream, without a care in the world. We were soon among the last people still outside. Penny! Simon! Over here! Stay right next to us.

“MOVE NOW!” a teacher shouted. “Someone is shooting. Get in the building NOW!”

Thursday, October 16, 2014

John Franco: Being Away from Family Hardest Part of Playing in the Big Leagues

By Jason Greene

Franco interview 1

John Franco was one of the most reliable relief pitchers of his time, or any time, for that matter. He began his baseball career with the Cincinnati Reds in 1984, but spent the majority of his 21-year career playing for his hometown team, the New York Mets.

The Mets also happen to be the hometown team of our household and it would be difficult to find a bigger fan than my 10-year-old son.

My son recently interviewed Mr. Franco and considering the Mets legend that he is, my son was expectedly nervous. But soon after meeting Mr. Franco, all of my son’s nervousness was gone:

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

NYC Dads, Babies Roam the High Line

Fifteen of our NYC dads took their kids and their Britax Baby Carriers to the High Line Park to “share the adventure” this past Thursday as part of City Dads Group’s nationwide celebration of International Babywearing Week.

City Dads from all 13 of our active groups across the United States took part in these treks through places as family-friendly as the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium in Ohio, as unexpected as the historic Las Vegas downtown, and as potentially exhausting as hiking through Mariposa Basin Park in Albuquerque – all to promote the many advantages and benefits of wearing your baby.

You’ll find more photos of our NYC High Line adventure online. Also, visit City Dads Group for photos of our adventures around the country last week.

*Disclosure: City Dads Group received free Brtiax baby carriers as well as compensation for this sponsored event.  We only work with brands that create products or services that we believe in and use ourselves.  The opinions expressed in this blog entry are authentic and our own.

Monday, October 13, 2014

I Want My Daughter To Curse

By Lorne Jaffe

While I’m not ready for my 2 1/2-year-old to go all Richard Pryor or George Carlin on me (though, it’d be pretty cool if Sienna started dissecting language the way the great Carlin did), I don’t want her to become like me: a person so scared of being judged that he’s unable to say the four-letter words that comfortably fill the public lexicon.

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