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Dadaist Moment

The otherworldly role of the other parent.

Mar 29, 2010, Vol. 15, No. 27 • By MICHAEL M. ROSEN
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No such voodoo for Lewis’s wife, the former MTV veejay Tabitha Soren, who “longs only for painless, antiseptic, impersonal modern medicine.” Lewis, for his part, doesn’t seem to disagree; but then again, he is not in any position to do so. Still, as entertaining as Home Game can be, it lacks coherence in places, betraying its origins as a series of disparate reflections originally published in the online magazine Slate. Lewis promises to probe what he regards as “the persistent and disturbing gap between what I was meant to feel and what I actually felt” during key moments of fatherhood. Yet he doesn’t entirely keep his promise, largely taking readers on a fun-filled, and occasionally harrowing, romp across oceans and hospital wards. And while, after three thorny birthing, post-partum, and neonatal experiences, Lewis appears to emerge stronger, wiser, and much more exhausted than before, the reader may be left wondering, exactly, what to take away from it.

Lewis does offer this parting thought: “If you’re not bothered by [fatherhood], or disturbed by it, or messed up from it, you’re probably doing something wrong that will mess up your kids.” So it’s possible such disquietude may simply be the modern father’s plight. Just as it isn’t easy for a father to write about raising children, it doesn’t seem to be easy having them, either, no matter how rewarding the effort.

Michael M. Rosen is an attorney in San Diego.  

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