What’s the First Sentence Of Your #StayHome Story?

Doug FrenchFatherhood on Friday

Last night, writer Bill Grueskin tweeted out a really interesting writing prompt:

The thousands of responses, from voices big and small, have been all over the map, reflecting how we’re coping with this weird, sad, scary, exasperating (and yes, sometimes funny) reality of Quarantine Life. When you think about it, we’re living one of the most extraordinary stories ever: It comprises all Seven Stories all at once, and it’s affecting everybody everywhere all of the time.

It’s the kind of story you can’t put down, even if you’d desperately like to. So as long as we’re confined in this engrossing “science faction” that is taking our minds to all sorts of surreal places, take advantage of whatever extra time you can marshal and write it all down.

We’re all about to live out an experience we won’t forget as long as we live. We’re going to recalibrate our priorities, purge our superfluity, tell that person we love them (or we don’t). Timelines will be accelerated. Careers will be destroyed and rebuilt, or supplanted entirely in favor of that thing you’ve always wanted to try. Whatever form your journaling takes—blog posts, podcasts, TikTok videos—these will be the home movies your family will look back on for decades to come.

It’s sobering to think these times of teleconferences and homeschooling are only just starting, but that also means we still have time to start chronicling our quarantine stories. When they end, and the full narrative arc takes shape, we’ll see that these homebound times weren’t as inert as we thought.


April is Testicular Cancer Awareness Month. While COVIDー19 has you looking after your children, take the time to look after your boys.

As you develop your new homeschooling routine, Ned Johnson offers some useful advice: Develop the plan with your kids, try your best to stick to it, and lower expectations.

A rabbi reflects on the extreme emotion of becoming a dad during a pandemic: “So many acts of creation are preceded by turmoil.

Quarantine Life has thrust families into uncharted territory, and early childhood researchers at Oregon State are offering guidance for how to make the best of these challenging times.

If you’re a co-parent, what happens when you and your ex disagree about how to keep up the custody schedule?

Sure, memes are stupid. But in some respects, they can be the only way men can admit and share their fear, grief, and vulnerability.

In Kentucky, one of two states rated “A” by the National Parents Organization for shared parenting laws, parents need to maintain custody arrangements while they Stay Home.

The ways your kids may be acting out under Quarantine Life are attempts to feel secure, gain a sense of control, and manage emotions in the face of a very difficult situation for everyone.

A quarantined Pittsburgh Dad has a special message for Deb and the kids: “Everybody stay healthy, stay safe, and I love yinz.”


“Sooner or later, we’ll need to educate our children about things they may find scary, even when those same things scare us right now.” — Johnathon Briggs, Why I’m Delaying Talking To My Daughter About Coronavirus—For Now

“Information crashes upon us in wireless waves, ceaseless as the ocean. Yet another way in which I can’t ease the minds of those I love.”— Doug Zeigler, Inadequate Succor

“How could I cut short the cuddling of my children in their time of need to tend to my anxieties, which may or may not have been grounded in any facts?” — Ian Shapira, I Want To Cuddle With My Kids, but Is It Safe?

“Why, as I hurtled toward the beauty and chaos of my son’s impending birth, did I suddenly find myself hopelessly obsessed with this hard-living, I-don’t-need-no-stinkin’-rules cop? — Scott Indrisek, The Best $193 I Ever Spent: A Mountain of Detective Fiction When My Wife Was Pregnant

“The grief of loss touches us all right now. Everyone is a little scared. Everyone has missed out on something they were looking forward to. Yes, even the introverts.” — Nick North, Instagram post


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Photo by Patrick Tomasso on Unsplash