plus my mother's day gift to my wife -- I love you babe thanks for being the best mom ever (2 gifts, both inside this newsletter ❤😚🎁🎁)
UPDATE: Here are my ramble bamble thoughts I have to go and do some day job work now so they're not polished at all they're scuffed up who cares its just a comment lol
it's crazy how different I feel from the person who wrote this. I'm taller, now, and more handsome. And taller did I say taller?
Also, I just don’t really think about a lot of this stuff anymore. Which doesn't mean it's gone away, more that it's been subsumed into my 'this is water' of reality such that I don't much notice it, maybe?
I guess, and this truly feels insane to say, I no longer doubt my role as a dad. Like, I’ve woken up enough mornings and had to be a dad that now I’m like, ‘ok this is who I am.’ And with that identity solid, there’s less of the ‘I am not who they think I am’ doubt that used to pervade my every moment.
Plus Wilder is just way cooler now. I like him at least 50% of the time now. I love him like he’s my own son. Also - he really likes me. He treats me like I’m Michael Jordan or something. It’s so nice. Note to self: get more little kids around who idolize you so as to never lose this feeling of wholeness.
So yea, I guess that’s the big thing - my fears have morphed from ‘I can’t do this I’m awful at this’ to ‘ok I have to do it, so how do I fit in all the other stuff I feel like I need to do without which I believe I can’t be happy.’
I write it that way purposefully, because I think that’s a mirage too, but I’m addicted to work and writing I love them almost as much as I love my kid.
I do think ol Georgie boy was right - I am becoming less selfish, though not by choice. In fact, I'm fighting it at every turn. But it does seem to still be happening, like a skin I'm shedding against my will. Because my will is still very much the one it's always been, calculating how to maximize the time I have to do work (post dumb shit online), wailing and moaning about how there just isn't enough time to get everything done.
It's the part of me that feels sorry for the tragic fate that’s befallen me: look at this loser, he had a family and now he’s….happy? God forbid.
I do fear that so much - just…being a normal happy person. Makes me sick just thinking about it. Having dinner with the family and then going to bed feeling like “ah, life is good.” Feels weird to even write down on paper, like I’m cursing myself to such a fate.
Idk if I’m making much sense right now, but that’s ok — I’ve got a bunch of essays coming up that are all about this stuff AND SO MUCH MORE. Till then, I guess it’s like they say - be careful what you fish for, you might just get it (then you’d have to cook it , etc).
DIE HARD BAT LIFERS unite!!
I had to go to the gym cuz publishing this made my brain hurt so I’ll be back later with a “where is he now” update 1 yr later in the comments here
OK, in tears here. Lauren and George are right, your passion, even about your self-doubt- is wonderful and you sound like an amazing Dad. Now imagine what it was like for me when my 40 year old daughter, about who I have so many regrets regarding my parenting, and who I see as doing a much better job of parenting than I did, and who at one point I thought I might have no relationship with at all as an adult, instead, in one of her periodic phone calls asking for my advice! is the one who tells me about this concept she's learned, about the second arrow. She says, shit happens, and it hurts, and most of it is out of our control., but the pain we inflict with that second arrow is the worst, and it is actually something we do something about. Talk about a gift from a child, best present ever.
I’m writing to you guys from the future and it’s hilarious! Your child will grow up to be somewhat like each of you in ways you cannot now imagine, but mostly he will be his very own unique wonderful self, and he will remember everything his way, and at some point he will tell these stories to you. In them, you will be the hero.
As a father who also struggles with perfectionism and feelings of not being great at being a father I can relate. You clearly love your family and want to do better, that's what's up.
Also, I looked up Polo y Pan and Nana slaps so thank you for that.
“It often feels like my favorite parts about having him are when he’s asleep and me and Lauren can look at photos of him.”
Love you Alex!
Mama Lauren needs to guest star more often. Her words jerked my tears. Love your honesty, Al. This piece is a wonderful gift. Happy mother's day!
*Shakes Fist in the Air*
Alex: Liked this post, but please pay attention to grammar - it still matters. “Lauren and I’s conversation”; “Me and Lauren”. No, no, NO!! Careful or grammatically correct AI will replace you. 🧐
I don't like babies either! I did not love being the parent of an infant. You know what I did love? Watching it develop into an entire person over the years with their own hopes, ideas, and loves. Every age is better than the one before it. Seven year olds are the best humans. Twelve year olds are hilarious. Teenagers are so freaking competent you'll be humbled by them. If parenting is guiding a person into their best self, looking after babies isn't parenting. Not being that into it doesn't reflect either way on your ability to be a good parenting, but
You all might enjoy this conversation with George. https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-one-you-feed/id792555885?i=1000604215060 He seems pretty harmless Alex. ;)
Also, I posted a note on this- I’m still convinced those get lost in space.
This made me laugh out loud this morning, it's so precious. Happy Mother's Day to Lauren, you both seem like fantastic parents!
Love the audio and your dedication to one take. I told my daughter I was only going to do one take on audios because I didn’t want to slip into perfectionism and she pointed out that two takes wasn’t exactly a perfectionism problem. Gotta love our kids. I think you hit on something powerful with kindness starting with ourselves. I think sometimes my impatience with my kids has to do with my own lack of generosity and kindness towards myself. Thanks for putting the mess on paper- it’s not a about not being a mess, or at least I sure hope it’s not cause if it is I am also screwed, I think it’s being someone who strives to make the most with that mess and then accepts being loved all the same. And Lauren’s words were really beautiful. Save that audio!
Seriously got weepy when I got to Lauren's contribution! 😭 Alex, to be able to be as brutally honest as you were in this post with yourself and all your subscribers is nothing less than a super-power. A super-power that helps others just by them witnessing it. Please don't call yourself a piece of shit. That's just wrong.
Funny how being a parent is simultaneously the most amazing and demoralizing thing at the same time. Who knew being a good parent meant feeling like a shitty parent. Worse, I often still think it’s just me. Excellent read! And feels!