Holding Forth

Published on August 21st, 2015 | by Richard Black


The First day of School Revisited, Why I’m Not Father of the Year and How to Milk a Subject for All it’s Worth


All right I lied. I could really use a trophy. Especially this one that bears a striking resemblance to an Oscar but isn’t. This trophy heralds from a lesser known award show called “The Bobs” also known as the Academy Awards of Hungary.

A few days ago I was taking my daughter to kindergarten and it occurred to me, because I’m a fantastic father, that it was her first day of school. I know, I know. It’s recognizing the small events in a child’s life that separate the remarkable parents from the humdrum and self absorbed ilk who have the hubris to call themselves the same.

I’m not saying that I deserve to be father of the year. I’m not even asking for a parade in my honor or even a trophy. To be honest I’m too humble for that sort of thing. The knowledge that I’m better than just about every other parent out there is more than enough for me in the way of satisfaction.

Upon walking home I came to another smallish epiphany which might seem strange for anyone other than me because I’m really just that great. In addition to being an outstanding father, an all around good guy who is stunningly attractive I’m also quite introspective and thoughtful. I also have the habit of talking to myself like most completely normal and remarkably fit people.

“Self”, I said to myself, “you handled that drop off quite well.”

“Why thank you,” I said, “I tried to keep from sobbing until I actually left the building.”

“You realize that now your daughter is going to school full you’ll have quite a bit of time to fill.”

“Why can’t you just let me be happy?” I asked which prompted a rather heated argument for the duration of my walk home and sparked more than a little concern from various passers by.

Unfortunately I was right. I often am. It’s one of the few benefits I’ve found from arguing with oneself.


This is me last week. I sat down for a rest and the next thing I knew I woke up five hours later and a member of the Crips.

There’s going to be quite a few hours to fill during Darcy’s time at school which is all well and good if one happens to be someone other than me. Historically long periods of time are not something I cope with all that well. After forty years I’ve come to understand that I am largely a product of inertia. A Richard at rest tends to be a Richard who stays at rest. He also apparently likes to speak about himself in the third person.

Six years ago I was just coming off my most recent firing. Instead of jumping back into another job my wife suggested I use the year to finish a book I had been working on. I ultimately finished the book or most of it. It turns out that I liked the process of writing so much that I finished most of the book a good two or three times but only, I should mention, after I’d blown a good three quarters of the year taking on the trappings of a writer.

I drank too much, smoked a lot of cigarettes, considered affecting a monocle or some other eccentricity to bring attention to the wonderfully creative and odd person I was trying to be. I did, in short, everything that people think that writers do but write.

A lot has changed in six years, at least I like to think so. I’ve managed to raise a marginally functional five year old girl, my marriage is still intact, and I’ve developed a penchant for socially acceptable bulimia through my daily jog and barf among many other minorish accomplishments. I like to believe that I have, in short,  matured in some small way and may be I have.

The point, quite frankly, is moot because I really don’t have as much time as I’ve lead on. In theory I have a seven hour block of time to do with as I see fit but that really isn’t the case. There’s really quite a lot to be done and the time I hoped to devote to finishing my book or writing the next life changing post you’ve come to expect has been slowly whittled down to about twelve minutes of free time a day.

UF_ElvisandNixon_082115My wife Laura and I have recently purchased a home that hasn’t been updated since Nixon was in office. Our yard could do well with a largish dose of Agent Orange and tasks aplenty abound. There’s painting to be done, curtains to hang (and perhaps a contractor or two), wooden trim to clean and then stain, not to mention the laundry that needs to be washed, dishes to clean, clothes to buy floors to sweep, lunches to be fixed and dinners to cook and a myriad of other tasks a stay at home parent performs on a weekly basis.

It’s almost enough to make me consider getting a paying job. You’ll have to forgive now I’ve just become horribly depressed and need to take a nap.

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