The SF SinasohnsWhether writing about parenting hot topics at Parent Dish and Strollerderby, or mixing it up with marriage equality, religion and more parenting on his own blog, Uncle Roger's Notebook; Roger Sinasohn reminds us why the personal is political.
Raising three children in the San Francisco area, Sinasohn takes the long view by teaching his kids the importance of their actions in the world while still managing to keep a sense of a humor about the whole dang thing.
Whether you want to get inspired, riled up or (depending on your POV) fightin' mad, check out Uncle Roger's Notebook. One thing you won't be is unmoved.
Here's what our Baby Daddy of the Week had to say about our same five questions:
What about you would surprise your readers?
I'm such an open and out there kind of person that I'm not sure there is anything that would surprise anyone. Actually, what would probably surprise folks the most is that I'm not gay. Really. I'm not. Not that I have anything against it and I have no problem hugging or even kissing male friends, but guys just don't do it for me. But as much as I've written about LGBT issues and especially the fight for marriage equality, I suspect there are a lot of people out there who are convinced that I'm gay.
What is your proudest parenting moment?
My oldest son, Jared, and I were hanging out at a nursing home during some evening entertainment for the residents. He was about four years old at the time. One of the residents, a woman with fairly advanced Alzheimer's started to get very upset and frightened, not understanding where she was or what she was supposed to do. So Jared and I went to take her back to her room in a different part of the building. As we walked down the hall, she was getting more and more agitated so Jared took her hand and she calmed down instantly. He held it all the way back to her room.
What's your secret coping mechanism?
There are a couple of things I do. Every now and then I peruse the properties for sale in the Russian River area and fantasize about being able to afford a little vacation spot there some day. Nothing fancy, just a little one bedroom cabin hidden amongst the trees with a barbeque, hot tub, and outdoor shower.
I also -- and this will sound cheesy and stupid -- think about my kids and how my son is so passionate about caring about others and protecting those who need protection. I think about my daughter who can climb just about anything and is so strong and outgoing. I think about the baby and how easy-going and how funny he is and how he desperately calls out "Dad! IYuuuuhYew!" with eyes open wide like it's the most important message in the history of mankind.
I think about them and smile because they may very well turn out pretty okay, despite my parenting.
When your baby is old enough to Google, which blog post are you most afraid of him reading?
This is a difficult question to answer. My kids are well aware of (and even in complete agreement with) my militant atheism and my dedication to marriage equality, so anything I've written is unlikely to surprise them.
What is the best piece of parenting advice you have?
Never take anything personally.
Gene Wilder wrote a memoir called Kiss Me Like A Stranger, a title suggested by his late wife, Gilda Radner, shortly before she died of cancer. I heard him talk about it on the radio and he explained that even when she was in extreme pain, she was the nicest, most gracious person in the world to everyone -- except to him and her little dog that she loved. When he asked her why she treated everyone else so well but was so awful to him, she explained that it was because she could. He was the one person with whom she could truly be herself and let her feelings show and know that he would still love her.
That's true, I think, of any healthy relationship -- your partner is the one you can be cranky and disgusting and anything else with, without fear of judgement. And when it comes to having kids, parents need to be able to save their energy for the kids, so they don't -- or can't -- afford to spend that energy on niceties with their partner.
So it's very important to remember that it's the lack of sleep and the incessant crying and all the stinky diapers talking and not really how your partner feels when they snap at you. Don't take it personally.
And yet, it's also important to remember to occasionally kiss them like a stranger.
Read more of Roger's words at Uncle Roger's Notebook.