I went into Things I Learned About My Dad, not really being able to relate. I didn't grow up with a father, so I don't really understand the complicated relationships people have with their fathers. I do have a good step-dad who's a good father to my little sister. But when he first started dating my mother, I was nearly 17 years-old and I'm pretty sure he wondered why her annoying roommate was forever bumming rides and money.
Heather Armstrong, of the wildly popular Dooce.com, assembled the essays for Things I Learned About My Dad from amongst tons of other popular bloggers. They come from all different points of views, from mothers, fathers, sons and daughters. I especially enjoyed the ones about being a new dad to a newborn, since I've witnessed that particular phenomenon myself. The essays written by adults looking back on their fathers' lives were particularly moving.
One thing I can relate to in this book, is how much new parents become obsessed with bowel movements. I don't think a day goes by without us talking about dirty diapers. Rob and I never discussed bodily functions until we had a kid. Wait, that's not entirely true. He did reveal to me once that when he was little, he learned going number 1 (snicker) was "pee-pee" and number 2 was "going potty". Which boggled my mind, because I always thought "potty" referred to the actual toilet. Though in truth, I grew up saying "I'm going to the bathroom", no specifics necessary. I don't think I started saying "I've gotta pee" until I was a drunken teenager at summer camp. (Just kidding Mom! That totally never happened.)
One thing I have learned about fatherhood is that sons adore their daddies. Every morning I go wake Cooper up to get him ready for daycare, and the first thing he says is "Daddy?" and then he keeps up a running commentary about Daddy for the rest of the morning. Sometimes I wonder if babies are hard wired to think of mama as a given. But somehow they know that if they have a daddy, well that's something special.