History Has Its Eyes On Us

Doug FrenchFatherhood on Friday

Last week, we took a break. Sort of. We published a week’s worth of Fatherhood on Friday news, but we also wanted to reanimate the old-fashioned three-day weekend, when work and news weren’t nearly as intrusive as now. And since we were planning to kick back and watch the new Hamilton film, we ended with a congratulatory tweet from Luis Miranda, humbled to “share his boy with the world.”

Which seemed appropriate, since Lin says that while reading Ron Chernow’s Hamilton biography, he saw the story of his own father, who arrived on the mainland from Puerto Rico at 18 and spent four decades as a consultant in New York politics. He also recognized in Hamilton his father’s “relentlessness” and inability to just hang out, as depicted in the documentary, Siempre, Luis.

“With Hamilton,” Lin says, “I was just playing my father.

In the context of months of protest following George Floyd’s killing, the story is subject to a whole new battery of analysis and criticism. But now that the story is so much more accessible (by Miranda’s account, more people saw the film over the first three days of its release than saw the play since it debuted in 2015), we see a lot of other fatherly themes Miranda chose to emphasize: Hamilton’s early fatherless destitution; his joy when his first child arrived (“when you smile, I am undone“); and [SPOILER ALERT] his despair over his death.

There’s also his father/son relationship with George Washington, who spent eight years feeling the burden of his position. As fathers bracing for all the work have ahead, to survive COVID, to strike a greater balance of childcare with our partners, to help our kids learn how the world is and still demand what it could be, we’re feeling the gaze of history’s eyes, too.

IN THE NEWS

Men are more aware than ever that overseeing your child’s online learning is a huge, time-sucking burden.

Sterling K. Brown always wanted to be a dad. “I had a very strong relationship with my father, who passed away when I was 10, but he filled me up with so much love.”

A refreshing, look at “daddy issues” without shame or blame. Every dad is trying his best, and every kid needs to appreciate that daddy issues are about him, not you.

Indian dads in lockdown are using these 10 ways to step up with childcare while the whole family is at home…

… but in Japan, 25% of SAHMs don’t like their husbands working at home during quarantine, because the resulting tension has a negative impact on the kids.

For Hasan Minhaj, the biggest challenge of fatherhood will be teaching his kids how the world is and yet instilling hope for what it can be.

Missing a dad you never knew leaves a huge hole in a kid’s life. Author Tara Ellison writes how it has left her “unmoored.”

Ending “no felon” policies is a great way to curtail generational crime and give dads every chance to be the parents their kids need.

If you worry that smartphone use has a negative impact on your relationship with your kids, this Science Daily post might allay those fears.

PORCHLIGHT POSTS

“I want to show him that apologizing and moving forward is better than silence, and passive aggressiveness, and everything that I learned growing up.” — Seth Kellas, My Toddler Called Me Mean Today And He Was Right

“To foster a child’s ability to respect others, parents should convey early and often that it’s OK to notice and talk about differences among people.” — Vincent O’Keefe, Disability Rights Movement Can Inform Today’s Parenting

“He was endlessly entertaining and, without realizing it, inadvertently shaping my sense of composition and prose while quickly becoming my favorite read.” — Dave Grohl, “Your Writing Has Punch, David. Punch Is Power!”

“What do we have to moan about when our careers haven’t been sidelined, and our bodies haven’t gone through hell?”— Stuart Hood, What’s the Hardest Thing About Being A New Dad?

“And I need you to hear me, should you be a Black boy, to know that you will be viewed as dangerous, as an animal, as a monster, as a menace, by some, just because you are a Black male.” — Kevin Powell, A Letter From Father to Child

 

‘GRAM OF THE WEEK

 

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Original photo by Ryan Quintal on Unsplash