Saturday, June 04, 2011

A Funny Thing Called “Dad”

My family said my whole life would change. I did not believe. I do now. Becoming a father has changed my life. It changes the way I look at my life. I am no longer the priority in my life. My son is my focus and while that has been a quite jarring shift, it has been for the better.

My partner and I adopted Farber from day one – in July 2008. Unlike many adoptive families, we were present for his birth – all of it. His entry into the world is a story unto it’s self, but he made it – all 4lbs and 1 ounce.

Now that “little peanut” (that is what the nurses called him in the hospital) is almost 3 and has developed into a little man (who is ironically allergic to peanuts). Even in his worst of moods I find myself laughing or noting a characteristic of the person he has become or will be. His facial expressions could keep me entertained for hours.

We sit down each night and at points during the day and read a variety of books. Because I write reviews for, I am always testing the waters with him on books that are above his reading comprehension, but then we always find something in them to connect with. Sometimes Farber will count stars in the sky, tell me all the colors of a shirt, or point out letters or words he knows. His curiosity and smarts are the magic that makes our world a better place. And it begins with reading.

He is smart and I often wonder – was I this smart at this age – is it because we read everyday. His grasp of technology is scary and inspiring. In fact his favorite book right now is the booklet that came with Super Mario Cart for the Wii – he’ll sit and stare at the ity-bity, tiny pictures for hours if we let him.

His sense of timing is uncanny and deliberate. When he does a smirk or little dance, I roll into a hard laugh. This laugh, unlike before I was a Dad is familiar. I often catch myself looking around for who that laugh is actually coming from. My laugh is my father’s. I laugh just like my Dad.

The one thing besides an appreciation for reading, learning and teaching that I want Farber to have is for…. Humor. I want him to have the comedic wit that seems to bounce around our family. It is one-part sarcastic, one-part mischief, two-parts smarts, and finally one-part creativity. Farber has the recipe and the ingredients, now it is time to wait for it to bake. And we, “chef Daddy and Papa” will hone those skills with funny voices, silly faces and a sharp tongue.

Having a sense of humor will be his shield in a world and society that does not understand or respect a kid with two Dads. He’ll meet it dead on with a “punny” turn-of-phrase, or superior knowledge. Or maybe he’ll just have a hardy laugh in their face, a laugh that sounds just like his Dad’s.

In order to help Farber and kids like him tell their story before that can tell it themselves, I wrote Families Come in Many Different Shapes, Sizes and Colors. It is available on