After Thanksgiving

After Thanksgiving
Michael Gollin

Cold rain drops from gray
that was sunny warm before.  
Echos of family reverberate
from now empty rooms. 
Fourteen feasted on love (the  secret sauce),
and filled four cans with refuse. 
After inspiring 
great gulps of guests mornings
and expiring them evenings,
this house resumes its normal
rhythm of breathing people
in and out
One by one.

****

How to Raise Kids (Answering My Son’s Questions – Part 5)

How to Raise Kids (Answering My Son’s Questions – Part 5)

Michael Gollin (with help from Max Gollin)

Marry the right spouse, someone who wants to raise kids well. Wait until you have time to devote to parenting.  Then wing it.

We read lots of books and took advice from our parents and relatives and older friends.  You get to see various approaches, lenient or strict, serious or silly, cheap or expensive.

Each time Jill was pregnant, I was terrified that I would fail as a father. With Natasha, it was fear that I would do something basically wrong. With Max, I couldn’t imagine fathering two kids successfully at the same time, and with Julia, how could I handle three?

I think my existential angst came from the realization that babies begin life completely dependent on parents for everything, then as you raise them, they have to grow into completely independent adults, and this metamorphosis is inherently traumatic and seemingly impossible without massive disturbance. There is no easy path.  But I believe most activities in life that are worth doing are difficult.  Raising our kids is the most worthwhile endeavor of my life.

Editor’s note: this is part of a series of advice letters my dad wrote for me in September 2014 when I asked him for some guidance on the big things in life –Max