While on a plane returning from vacation, I came across a discarded copy of Newsweek with the cover story, “She Works, He Doesn’t,” which featured testimony from pink-slipped fathers turned full-time childcare providers, and thought: “Looks pretty sweet to me.” Three days later, after a terse meeting in a seldom-used conference room, my cubicled stint at one of the planet’s biggest conglomerates ended.
My wife and I are keeping busy, and the point at which my severance package elapses is either too far off or startlingly soon, depending on my mood. Ever since mid-April, though, when my then-13-month-old son cried out for me as I left for the office, I had been haunted by the idea that I was missing out on this idyllic tweener period. He’s such terrific company now, old enough to exult when he accomplishes something new but too young to throw hissy fits. He’s also just coming into his own as a conversationalist.
Anyway, through whatever forces exist in the cosmos, my wish has been granted. As a result, my family and I are in the process of sorting through The New Togetherness, whereby the three of us are learning to coexist in our two-bedroom apartment without poisoning each other’s cocoa. Our personalities (three oldest children!) will make for a kinetic atmosphere; luckily, we’ve got too much dignity (for now) to open our lives up to the cameras of some reality TV show.