Posted by GIRL'S GONE CHILD | Wednesday, January 10, 2007
I first met Neal Pollack in Brooklyn, 2002. He was on tour with his band, The Neal Pollack Invasion promoting his new book, Never Mind the Pollacks. I was a huge fan of The Neal Pollack Anthology of American Literature after stealing my then boyfriend's copy and reading it cover to cover in the bathroom one afternoon. (If that isn't a golden review, I don't know what is.) I followed his career for years before we met through a friend who was touring with ...Invasion as his lead guitarist.
Neal was cool and interesting and kind of drunk. And I was, in typical fashion, trying to impress him and failing miserably. Choking on made-up musical references and misinformed politics. Regardless, we became friends. I would see him on occasion when he came out west to Los Angeles, and although I was carrying Archer the last time we saw one another, I didn't know it yet.
Neal has since moved from Austin to Los Angeles with his wife, Regina and son, Elijah and yesterday, Neal Pollack's new book, Alternadad hit shelves with a vengeance. Last night I attended Neal's book opening where I got my signed copy. And I have been sitting here (not on the toilet, I swear) reading it ever since.
For the first time in history, our generation is one that celebrates fatherhood in its own words. It isn't just about the moms anymore. Fathers are home with the kids. Writing beautiful, honest and heartbreakingly humorous things about their sons and daughters. About how it is to be a parent. To be a Dad.
And it's groundbreaking. And refreshing. And inspiring. And this community would not be what it is without them. The men. The daddies. Or Dads. The fathers. I would not be who I am without them. Inspiring me with their points-of-view. Making me laugh and cry. Being my friend.
Clearly fathers are more involved in their children's lives than ever before.
Neal's Alternadad is something we can all relate to, as mothers and fathers who love our children. As men and women who are trying to maintain our identities. As writers and artists and working people who have children but also have a life without them. Because that's okay. It's okay to go out once in a while. To take a day. To have alone time.
Our children are our heroes. Look around at all of the parent blogs and sites and communities and it's obvious-- we are inspired by our children. By parenting. By becoming moms and dads.
Alternadad is as Neal calls it, "A love letter to his son, Elijah." A humorous tale of father and son, two lost boys in war paint with air-guitars cocked. But more universally, Alternadad is the celebration of the oddities of parenthood, the mistakes and the triumphs and the heartbreak and poop of it all.
Buy your copy of Alternadad here and congratulations, Neal.
I am honored to be joining Neal Pollack at the upcoming SXSWInteractive Festival in Austin, Texas (March 9-13th) where I will be interviewing Mr. P and discussing the web-world of parenting. And books. And blogs. And other stuff that will be really interesting and important. Come and check us out if you are planning on attending.