I started writing this blog back in the fall of 2013, when The Knucklehead went away to college. I needed a distraction with my only child out of the house, and I thought this would be a good one. I didn’t feel qualified to lecture anybody on anything, but I’d learned a lot from working at being a dad, and I wanted to share my stories. My hope was that something that worked for me might work for someone else out there, too. Or that other parents might find some reinforcement when reading about some of my own doubts and insecurities.
It was hard to find focus in those first months, and it shows in my early posts. But as I lurched between my passions of baseball, movies, and books, I began to find my voice. I wrote more about ethics than other facets of parenting, because I’ve been a student of ethics since even back when I was a little kid. Gradually, I began to gain confidence. Some of you have been kind enough to let me know when something I wrote was meaningful to you, and that meant the world to me.
Here’s a secret: Whenever I had trouble finding words for something difficult I was trying to express, I imagined I was chatting with My Knucklehead, just he and me. That led to some of my better writing, at least from what trusted friends have told me.
But it’s been harder lately to come up with fresh posts about parenting, as you’ve probably guessed from the infrequency of my writings lately. Maybe I’ve said all I have to say on the subject. Maybe, as my son begins to turn his attention to the larger world, it would be healthier for me to turn my own attention more to my own life, and less to his.
Besides, there seem to be more pressing matters these days. I’m feeling more and more that it’s my civic responsibility to lend my pen to the Resistance against Trump and those who enable him, both within government and without.
My son graduates college in May, and I think that would be an excellent time to finish out The Gentleman Knucklehead. This blog has served its purpose well. For a couple years my blog had great focus, and I’m proud of my writing. But honestly, friends, I think we’re now in the fourth season of Lost. I don’t want to do that to you, to my son, or to myself. So here’s my plan:
Between now and The Knucklehead’s graduation, I’m going to devote this blog to a series of open letters to my son, each on different topics. I think this way we can end strong; I’ll write better when I’m addressing my boy directly, and where most of this blog was seeded in stories of the past, these posts will be looking toward the future, toward a child entering adulthood (adultery? Grown-uppitiness?). If anyone reading this has ideas of topics you’d like me to write about, I’d be happy to hear your suggestions.
I won’t stop writing. I’ll probably begin another blog, and if I do, I’ll let you know where you can find my writing. And it’s possible I’ll return here from time to time when I have something new to say about parenting.
Or even (gulp!) grandparenting.