The Family Shrubbery

There’s so much to talk about, kiddo. A lot of words that need to be said, and at least I have your attention. A couple stories on NPR and a Podcast I listen to sometimes created this post, and without realizing it, it’s the reason I started this website to begin with. Dad: A History.

I’ve been alive approximately 29 years and 6 months longer than you have. I know every single thing about your life, because I’ve been around for all of it. That means we have 29 years and 6 months of my life to discuss—most likely that you’ll just have to read, because I forget.

paul bunyan - family tree - itsuckstogrowup

Something about chopping trees and Trees of Mystery, my first memory, and plaid shirts.

Anderson Cooper, a war correspondent for CNN, wrote a book with his mother. He mentioned during an interview that when his father died, and every day since, he’s been hoping that there would be a letter from him, with all the things he never said and wanted to. A letter that gave him closure. NPR had a segment on my way to work today about genealogy—ancestry and heritage—that talked about people searching for their past, yearning to understand how they came to be who they are. You and I, what we’re doing right now, is a little of both. I am leaving something for you, my thoughts on you and life and love and living, my closing statements, and it’s a starting point for your search for your heritage.

I am paraphrasing Bill Bryson when I say: Congratulations, you’ve made it. Despite all the infinite ways and reasons that you should not exist at all, you are alive. Over billions of years there are an infinite amount of ways that something could’ve been fucked up, and you, our species, may not even exist at all. If you think about it objectively, we’re very close to a happy accident (that was Bob Ross). The fact that you get to read this little digital time-capsule is something of a very unlikely mistake.


Your grandfather told me last week that we’re Jewish. Not in the traditional sense, or even the non-traditional sense. I’d never heard that before, so I spent some time researching it. We have a very strong likelihood that we are, at least in a very small part, Jewish. We’re also German and Danish and French and English and Dutch, and lastly, of course, American. That doesn’t really mean anything, because we define ourselves, kiddo. But small, microscopic bits, make their way through the bloodlines and little pieces are ingrained in us. Our family has never been great at staying connected, and maybe this is my way of trying to connect.

I can’t promise you that you’ll have much family from my side, because they’re spread thin, and generally no one really talks to each other. I’m not quite sure

spaghetti o's - it sucks to grow up

because God Damn Delicious, that’s why.

how that happened, but it’s always been my life. It will be yours too, except our immediate family. Reversing trends and forging a better life for our kids, and all that. I had a pretty great life growing up, and I know that your mother and I are doing pretty fucking great jobs with you. You may eat some processed food or spend a little too much time on your tablet or you might get too many toys, but you’re full of love and respect and life. Your genes are helping, but it takes a shitload of parenting to not fuck up a kid.

We’re off to a pretty great start.


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