Here we are, on the calendar’s edge, with a new year just a page away. Trying to sum up any year is a tall task–especially a year like this, which feels like it began around 20 years ago. As always, then, our touchstone through the chaos was the stories that dads told about their lives.
- Remember that time 007 wore 007½? That was awesome.
- Or when Jason Bourne spoke about the traditions he shared with his late father? We laughed. We cried.
- Aquadad was pretty cool, too, if not a little extra.
- The Camp Kesem chapter at the University of Maryland opened, bringing four years of work to a triumphant conclusion.
- Meanwhile, we celebrated Sam’s fingernails, discussed animated gender roles, confronted parenting with depression, and coveted festive leisure wear.
There were dad stories everywhere, more numerous and variegated and straight-up bona fide than ever. These are the real reviews of 2018 that we hold dear.
And so, in the season of drummers drumming and lords a-leaping, we offer up our summary of 2018 in the voices of 28 bloggers blogging.
From all of us at Dad 2.0 Summit, as we transition into 2019: “Be at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let every new year find you a better man.”
PORCHLIGHT POSTS OF THE YEAR
- “The nurse sucked the last of his water world out of him. And then the cry, a goodbye to that wet planet.” – Ira Sukrungruang, Up and Under: On Water, Fatherhood, and the Perils of Both
- “Over this past year I’ve had to completely deconstruct what it means to be a man and what it means to be a mom.” – Dean Rasmussen, Gender Discovery is a Treacherous Journey
- “The journey is not about comparison.” – Glen Henry, Watching My Son Conquer His Fears
- “A reminder that in all of our wisdom and maturity, it is important to remember the times that we were anything but adult.” – Creed Anthony, Remembering Being a Child Can Help You be a Better Parent
- “You had better believe I would choose to err on the side of integrity, sportsmanship, and character when it comes to my kids.” – Carter Gaddis, Integrity, Sportsmanship, and Character & the Baseball Hall of Fame
- “Here is a simple way to support and advocate for overall parental leave – as a father, let people know you are on paternity leave – from posting on Facebook to a conversation with other family members.” – Roberto Santiago, Paternity Leave is for Every Father
- “There’s a freneticism to addition that is exhausting, but such is the power it has over you that you dare not stop. If you rest for even a second, your mind may replay all of the awfulness you’ve inflicted on others.” – Doug Zeigler, An Unexpected Revisiting
- “Luckily, the kids had picked up a couple sticks somewhere along the way so they could pass the time fighting to the death over them.” – Andrew Knott, Sometimes Parenting Is A Train Wreck
- “When our firstborn was still being carried around in a car seat, we realized gender is one of the first things strangers ask about a baby before they dare say something about the child.” – Robbie Samuels, “Oh, He’s A Girl.” Talking To Kids About Gender Experience, Identity
- “At the end of the day, we all owe someone something, be it money, helping hand, or apology.” – Whit Honea, Mental Health, Masculinity, Hearings and Cookies
- “I am thrilled that our national, collective toxic bro culture is being nationally reexamined and scrutinized and punished for centuries of entitled douchebaggery.” – Gavin Lodge, Opening My Male Mouth…
- “I want to be able to play outside. I want to take my kids hiking. I want to be alive. Just. Be. Alive.” – Justin Connors, My Fat Picture Hit the Front Page Of Reddit
- “We haven’t had batting practice in the backyard for a couple of years now. I’d have liked to have known that they were the last. I’d have savored them more, remembered them better.” – Bill Peebles, Backyard Baseball Field Fading Fast, Memories Staying Strong
- “We just need to keep reminding Hollywood that we want to have more diverse stories with more diverse characters. Our cultural mosaic would be all the richer for it.” – Michael Kwan, Asian and Pacific Islander Representation in Disney/Pixar Animation
- “They aren’t ever going to be in strollers again. I’ve lived long enough to learn that parents are needed for a lifetime, but the need that they had before is gone. They need other things.” – Joe Medler, Playing Catch and Enjoying the Show
- “Seeing commercials for an action-filled adventure full of characters that have the same skin color really resonated, even if he didn’t know it consciously.” – Cool Minivan Dad, An Open Letter to Black Panther
- “A good dad, a woke dad, alive in the late stages of a most foul year would (should?) be holding frank conversations with his daughters on the regular. I am, however, for the most part, not.” – Jeff Bogle, Kind Of Avoiding It
- “She has calmly and graciously moved from treatment to this decision. Not without tears, but with an unimaginable amount of strength. I am in awe of it, honestly.” – Rob Ainbinder, Attention Diverted. Decision Made.
- “There is never a time when memory forgets its childish beginnings, for how can a soul forget or fail to reference innocence not wholly lost? The danger isn’t the loss of a thing, the horror is in the forgetting of having ever had it.” – D. Durand Worthey, Reflection : A Walking Tour of San Diego
- “Fatherhood isn’t about fairness.” – Shannon Carpenter, Fatherhood Isn’t Fair (Part 1)
- “My son saw a boy sitting alone at one of the picnic tables. He looked at his mother and said, ‘I’m going to go over and sit next to him, so he doesn’t have to sit alone.’” – Brandon Billinger, How To Teach Your Kids Empathy and Compassion
- “I vowed not to reveal too much sadness in front of my daughter. It’s always important to try to be strong for the person experiencing the most transition.” – Vincent O’Keefe, College Drop-Off of Firstborn Leaves Parents Wondering, Worrying
- “Suppose you had an opportunity to do something really cool with your kids. Not just cool, but something that was an unforgettable experience, the likes of which would create memories which would last forever. Now suppose that you weren’t allowed to partake in this opportunity because of your gender.” – Mike Armstrong, No Father’s Day
- “There is a very real possibility that a woman you know, perhaps even one that you love, has a story that you have never heard.” – Jeremy Barnes, This Isn’t Political
- “As a parent, you know there are going to be days that just pull the carpet out from under your feet. The thing you do not know is when that day is going to happen, and how you are going to react.” – Victor Aragon, I Have Never Felt So Helpless In All My Life!
- “Dad, did you feel weird in Africa? You know, because you were white?” – Tobin Walsh, Black Son Helps White Dad Reflect On Being A Minority
- “Starlings in the slipstream. Starlings like a daydream. We can all exist and subsist and all at once. Love each other. Be thieves of love and murmurating participants in a bustle of wings. Love, and love.” – Thom Hofman, Starlings in the Slipstream
- “It’s my job as their father to teach them the fight for equality should not rest solely on the shoulders of women. It’s a man’s job, too.” – Jason Greene, Raising Boys in the #MeToo Era
‘GRAMS OF THE YEAR
For us, the best summary of our Year In Pictures manifested brilliantly in our Top Nine. Such a perfect cross-section of humor, heartbreak, and (tortured) hamstrings. Many thanks once again to everyone mentioned below who allowed us to share their work.
Recently, we’ve announced a new Sponsor, two rounds of Speakers, and our Scholarship winners! And there are a lot of big announcements on deck, including Speakers Round 3, our second Suite Upgrade giveaway, and the next five inductees into the fraternity of Dad Blogger Spotlight readers. And stay tuned for our new podcast!
San Antonio is just eight weeks away. Will we see you there?
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