From 1992 to 1998, I wrote “Love, Dad,” a monthly column about my emerging fatherhood for the South Shore Baby Journal, a now-defunct publication based south of Boston. The column had, it seemed, a small but devoted following, and readers sometimes asked or demanded that I gather all the columns in a book and publish them. Thanks to the virtual publishers’ clearinghouse called the Internet, I’m finally able to comply here.

Their mother and I took tons of photographs of our young sons in the early days, and there are even, somewhere, some VHS videos of Jay and Danny being boyish and adorable. What I discovered, however, is that capturing their early moments and my on-the-job training as dad in words to this day brings back far deeper memories than any visual media could. There is so much I’m sure I would have forgotten had I not forced myself to come up with 800 or so words each month on these gifts I’d received called Jay (est. 1990) and Danny (est. 1994). To them I dedicate these columns, with love.

Playmate of the Year

Playmate of the Year We began quietly, communicating non-verbally—a glance, a nod, a knowing smile—but over time words came and the relationship grew into something more.  Now I find myself looking forward to those little moments we steal in the afternoons, alone together, exploring wondrous things.  At night, lying next… Read More

Kids to the Rescue

Kids to the Rescue One day, as then-2-year-old Danny played at our feet, Carol and I were having a “discussion.” You probably know what that means—two grownups about three steps away from throwing things. Maybe it was another round of the Great Bread Debate—refrigerator or breadbox?  After years of lobbying,… Read More

Keep It Simple, Stupid

Keep It Simple, Stupid Jay was wearing a sticker when I picked him up from school one day. The sticker, already peeling off his shirt, said, “I wrote to the President and he wrote back.” We can get as cynical as we like, but someone in the White House knows… Read More

Happy Mother’s Day, or Else

Happy Mother’s Day, or Else “NO MOM ALOWD.” The sign on the boys’ bedroom door said it all: At ages 6 and 3, Jay and Danny had decided you’re never too young to start a He-Men Women Haters Club. The little rascals had worked hard on their signage, ominous red… Read More

Potty Time Means Time Is Passing Quickly

Potty Time Means Time Is Passing Quickly Another Pleasant Valley Sunday, and it couldn’t be more idyllic. We’re beneath the shade of a generous willow tree, a picnic blanket spread between us, just she and I, a bottle of wine, some French bread and the sound of a babbling brook… Read More

The Way We Were

The Way We Were   To: Kevin Frisch and Sarah Edman Frisch, Palmyra, New York   Dear Kevin & Sarah: Hard to believe it’s been 17 years since we met over a lit-up layout table. We didn’t have any war to protest in college, but putting together a campus newspaper every… Read More

Summertime, and the Living Is Scheduled

Summertime, and the Living Is Scheduled “I HATE camp,” Jay growled during dinner. It was the end of the first full day of summer camp, a day filled with swimming, archery, crafts and games. What wasn’t to like? “Give it more time, Jay,” I said. “You’ll see, change just takes… Read More

The Absent-Minded Professor-Dad

The Absent-Minded Professor-Dad I began wearing glasses at age eight, after it became apparent that I couldn’t see two feet in front of me and was lucky to find St. Mary’s, the school we went to across the street. Mrs. Bradstreet wrote the “daily news” on the blackboard each morning,… Read More

The Thing(s) in the Attic

The Thing(s) in the Attic A change in the weather that September morning signaled that fall was on its way. The temperature had dropped and humidity had fallen. The sky had topped it off with a beautiful blanket of blue dotted with scattered cottonball clouds, rain nowhere in sight. And,… Read More

Hold You in My Arms

Hold You in My Arms Our little Danny has been on a tear lately.  One wrong move on our part and he turns into 28 pounds of rage.  The screams start, the fists fly, and his eyes dart about, searching for something to throw. For really special moments, Danny even… Read More