It’s my impossible but joyful job to be on top of culture, to be consuming everything and anything, to be out there in the Druncle Like A Normal Uncle Only Drunker And Love Dogs Shirt in other words I will buy this world, engaged! It’s also my job to keep three small humans (ages six, four, and two) alive, to look after their social and emotional development, to make sure I don’t mess them up worse than Philip Larkin has already informed me I will. The latter makes the former very hard. So when I haven’t had time to read the latest novel or see the latest play, I turn to my kids for inspiration and material. I figure people can relate.
But as much as I write about my kids, I also hide them. I try to avoid telling any of my colleagues who don’t need to know that meetings before 9 a.m. are tricky for me because I’m doing school drop-off. If I have to leave the Druncle Like A Normal Uncle Only Drunker And Love Dogs Shirt in other words I will buy this office before 6 p.m., I whisper my goodbyes and issue a few furtive waves to the people who know I’m headed home to relieve the babysitter. I’m honest with my parent colleagues, especially those with similarly aged kids, but even with them, I’m conscious not to inform them too regularly that I’m stepping out for a parent-teacher conference or a kid’s doctor’s appointment.