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“Parenting: Idiot. Expert. Idiot. Expert. Idiot.” Six Words for My First Father's Day

Among the many true clichés about parenting is that you fall madly in love with your child. True, true. For me, I both near-instantly fell in love with my boy but something else happened that I hadn’t quite planned for: I fell in love all over again with my first baby, SMITH Magazine.

How so? Well, if I’ve learned one thing about what drives people to write Six-Word Memoirs in more than five years of editing the project is that it’s passion. When you’re passionate about a topic—your own life overall or in a particular part of it (your love life, your food life, being a mom)—you tend to write often and from the heart. When my son Lukas was born I was overwhelmed and underslept but I still wanted to somehow document this major time of change, confusion, and amazingness. Like so many of you, I decided to tell my new dad life story six words at a time. (And then, years after we launched Six-Word MOMoirs, finally got Six-Word for Dads going).

If you look at my SMITH profile which lists all my stories, 31 of my last 33 Six-Word Memoirs are about my new dad life. Over at my friend Johanna Myers McChesney’s blog for her company, Isis Parenting, I’ve highlighted a handful of my recent Six-Word Memoirs and included a short backstory or life lesson for each. While the story behind “Lactating woman offered boob during flight” is as weird as it gets, my personal favorite six on the last four and a half months of my life are probably, “Parenting: Idiot. Expert. Idiot. Expert. Idiot.” Just when some impenetrable mystery of this small creature becomes mastered, he goes and changes again! And I’m learning that’s the fun part. I’ve been having a blast relating my daddy in six words, and hope you’ll check out our new, rocking Six Words on Dads project (about being a dad or your relationship with your father). Anyone who posts a Six for Dads is eligible to win stuff (books, of course, including this gem) and be considered for our future book.

Above all, this Father’s Day I want to thank the SMITH family of contributors for helping SMITH grow from an online magazine into a inspirational community. Your gifts keep coming, in six words and more.


  • Contemplative
    June 17, 2011

    For me, half of SMITH, other than writing about my own passions, is living life through others’ experiences, ones I might never have, including firsthand parenting lessons. And that’s the beauty of the Community your post so well captures. I’m enjoying the new offshoot on the Dad category and please continue to enjoy your new offspring. Have a very Happy Father’s Day!

  • oopsalittle
    June 18, 2011

    Lovely :0)
    Best Wishes and Happy Father’s Day!

  • skyrocketjones
    June 19, 2011

    And the never-ending adventure in parenting begins! Cool story and insights, 6 Words for Dads, just one of many good fruits of your Dad experience. There will be, no doubt, many more to come. May they all be more positive than negative and always a “learning experience” in your adventure.
    Happy Father’s Day!

  • Loon
    June 20, 2011

    Sounds like you are the kind of Dad about whom your son will write sweet memoirs…

  • alliedew
    June 21, 2011

    love, love, love this post.

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