In April of 2007, my wife and I packed up our apartment overlooking the Miami River and the old Orange Bowl and moved. We moved to Boca Raton, for educational reasons and a chance at new places of employment. We also needed a bigger place, because we were expecting a baby boy that summer. Everything worked out better than we had expected, and by the time we moved back to Miami last year was still happy with my day job, my wife had finished all of her courses, and we had two babies – not one –in the house. During those three years, for me to have kept up with all the writing and producing I was doing – well, it wasn’t going to happen.
|Put down the keyboard. Get me a bottle. Now.|
Now, our two boys are older. They sleep through the night. They can feed themselves, for the most part, and they’re working on, you know, learning their numbers and their colors and the alphabet.
I’m not going to talk about how having kids changed my life. Having kids should change your life. If having kids doesn’t change your life – not completely maybe, but in some profound ways – maybe you’re doing it wrong. What do I know though? A lot of people are parents.
I am glad – no, I am even a little proud – to be of a generation of dads who are expected to be in the delivery room when their kids were born, who change diapers and do those midnight feedings and burping, who don’t think twice about helping out with the exhausting work of taking care of a newborn, an infant, a toddler. Be hands-on most of the dads my age say. Give the kids their bathess at night and tuck them in to bed. Be involved. Man up and take care of your kids. One of the best things I’ve done lately is to load my boys kids in the van this summer and take them on an all-guys road trip from Miami to Maine – leaving their mother behind in South Florida for a well-deserved and long overdue staycation. That was some bonding time for the Hayes Boys.
Three years off the air is an eternity in media time. Of course, I’ve been hanging around – you know, living. So what have I been doing for the past three years? My wife and I had a couple of kids, I mentioned that. When I could find time, I listened to a lot of new music. I drank coffee. I read some books. I drank coffee. I watched as many movies as I could stay awake for. That was about 11 movies total. I drank coffee. I kept at my day job. I drank coffee. And, above all else I sang “This Old Man” more times than I could tell you.
I did a lot of thinking , but I didn’t write much, and I didn’t share my opinions with the world in a weekly broadcast.
So this is Passing Notes, a second time around. I realize that I know a little bit more about books and music and the like, but that my opinions are much less strong. Maybe that’s humility. Maybe that’s wisdom. Maybe that’s being open-minded. Passing Notes, this time around, will be more conversation with other people and more listening on my part. We’ll try to interview the authors and film-makers whose works we’re considering. We’ll listen to a little more of the music under review. Passing Notes, this time around, will be about sharing the experience rather than just my view of it. I think you’ll enjoy that more. I know I will.If I’ve learned anything from my family over the past three years, it’s to pay closer attention to people, to listen carefully, and to be honest about trying to see all sides of a thing – because there’s certainly more sides to the story than just my own.
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