Ask your Father
Leaning into my dad energy
For six days, from last Monday until Sunday, I was teaching at the Community of Writers, a conference in the Olympic Valley, at an elevation of 6,000 feet, a few miles from Lake Tahoe. While I was in this stunning place, leading workshops and having one-on-one meetings with students, while I was participating in panel discussions and readings, while I was yucking it up with writers and taking myself out for coffee (or wine) and swimming in the Truckee River, Patrick was here in LA, working from home and keeping the household running. My mom, bless her, hung with Mickey on Monday afternoon after I left (he doesn’t have school on Mondays), and she picked up all kids from preschool or camp every day except Friday. She was essential to me being able to leave town, since Patrick can’t end work every day at 2:30 pm. (Many camps, as you might already know, cost a fortune and don’t even cover an entire workday.) Together, they made it work, and I was away for nearly a week without having to worry that my kids weren’t being taken care of. Whenever I go out of town, either my mother helps with pick-ups, or my in-laws drive into town to do it, and with Patrick it all works seamlessly.
I’m telling you all this because a reader asked me to write about how Patrick and I divvy up domestic tasks. I hesitated to cover this topic because one person’s situation doesn’t necessarily illuminate anyone else’s, and because I fear my equitable household will annoy others. Patrick and I just…get along. I don’t have any real tricks or insights—it’s just how we are, which is unhelpful at best, and likely insufferable at worst.
This isn’t a sociological treatise, it’s just—my life.