All text and images copyright Tim Myers 2008

Tim with his daughter Shilly-Shally

Excerpts from Tim J. Myers’ Glad to Be Dad:  A Call toFatherhood

“When I read this made me wish I had read it and absorbed its wisdom the day my first child was born...Tim Myers’ book not only brings me closer to my children; it brings me closer to my wife...”

                                  --Dr. Tom Moran, from the foreword

     “The mainstream American family is, obviously, under stress.  Mothers who work outside the home are knocking themselves out trying to run two shows at once; for many of us, daily life has become ‘routine panic.’  And the most logical resource to help deal with all this remains largely untapped:  men.  We need more than time-worn images of fatherhood that focus only on taking kids fishing, or teaching them how to play catch, or baking the occasional casserole.  We need more than humorous, self-deprecating admissions of non-involvement and domestic ignorance.  We have to go to the depths of the thing--because that’s where we find purpose and a guiding vision as to the real breadth of what fatherhood can be.”

     “My wife was explaining delicately to our younger son, in answer to his earnest question, how human flatulence can sometimes help doctors make diagnoses.  ‘You know,’ she said, plainly embarrassed, ‘the...frequency, and...uh...odor...’

     Our little boy looked up at her with big serious eyes.

     ‘Does it mean anything if it’s...loud?’”

     “My daughter has named her index fingers.  ‘Stinkypan’ and ‘Lady-o’ are a pair of giraffes who constantly bicker and insult each other, acting out our daughter’s negative impulses.  The other day they actually attacked her, pulling repeatedly at her braids and calling her ugly names.  It was better than pro wrestling.”

     “The other night I had a heartbreaking dream.

     My wife and I, somehow, miraculously, were alone in a private place.  The intoxication of this intimacy was too much for us; we began to kiss, long and lingeringly at first, but gradually with more and more excitement.  Soon we were down on the bed in each other’s arms, passion sweeping us away, and I began to undress her.  But just as certain highly interesting articles of clothing came off...

     ...a whole busload of tourists arrived.  Talking, gawking, and dragging luggage, they trooped right past us on their way to their rooms.

     On waking, I realized bleakly that you simply couldn’t find a better metaphor for the sexual-romantic life of people with children.  The irony, of course, is that the ‘tourists’ are of our own making.  My wife and I love to be together, to talk, to share, to do things as a couple, to make love and then talk some more:  to act, in short, just like lovers, which, despite our many years together and the mob-like presence of our kids, is exactly what we are.

     What we’ve actually become, however, is Lovers Interrupted by Tourists.”

     Your new orientation to fatherhood “will bring you much joy and wisdom too.  ‘Having children,’ a woman writer has said, ‘opened up my world more than anything else’--and this can be just as true for men.  The re-oriented male begins to see how utterly dependent the world is on how the young are raised and taught.  He learns whole volumes about joy and play and a looser idea of time.  He begins to understand the necessity of certain forms of drudgery, how such work is good for him, how his love for his family and his pride in himself are shaped partly by that kind of labor.  He begins to understand something of what it has traditionally meant to be a woman, and what a woman’s life is like; he looks at his wife with ‘new eyes.’  And he gets a huge kick out of his kids--for one thing, the way they’re always making him laugh.”