Fatherhood – Fragments Against Ruin http://tonywoodlief.com Sat, 07 Apr 2018 17:41:34 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.7.5 Amor fati http://tonywoodlief.com/2018/02/14/amor-fati/ http://tonywoodlief.com/2018/02/14/amor-fati/#comments Wed, 14 Feb 2018 11:27:43 +0000 http://tonywoodlief.com/?p=5547 The thing about babies is they don’t care about your big plans. This past year I’ve had occasion to laugh at myself many times, a man like me, middle-aged and rooted in habit, suddenly a father again of newborns. Yes, that’s plural. Twins. Boys, of course, because for the rest of my life it seems …

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Life’s Instruction Manual, Chapter 83 http://tonywoodlief.com/2018/02/09/life-advice/ Fri, 09 Feb 2018 11:44:56 +0000 http://tonywoodlief.com/?p=5541 My oldest son’s English teacher had this great idea, corresponding with the class reading Hamlet, for we parents to pen whatever wisdom we’ve tried to impart to our children and give it to them, so they have the option of sharing some of it when the class goes over Polonius’s advice to his own son …

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The soil of the heart http://tonywoodlief.com/2017/10/10/the-soil-of-the-heart/ http://tonywoodlief.com/2017/10/10/the-soil-of-the-heart/#comments Wed, 11 Oct 2017 02:11:45 +0000 http://tonywoodlief.com/?p=5514 I don’t know much about Harvey Weinstein, but I now bear more information about him than I ever set out to possess. All I can think, when I see pictures of his piggish, blinking face, is that a rot must have set into that place in his heart where in other men reside generosity, protectiveness, …

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Easing the burden http://tonywoodlief.com/2014/03/14/easing-the-burden/ http://tonywoodlief.com/2014/03/14/easing-the-burden/#comments Fri, 14 Mar 2014 11:30:45 +0000 http://tonywoodlief.com/?p=4386 “I’m sorry I shot you in the face with my Nerf gun. Do you forgive me?” My son knows he is supposed to ask for forgiveness, just as his brother knows that sooner or later he will be expected to say yes. He knows to say it because he knows he is supposed to forgive. …

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The world we show them http://tonywoodlief.com/2014/02/13/the-world-we-show-them/ http://tonywoodlief.com/2014/02/13/the-world-we-show-them/#comments Thu, 13 Feb 2014 18:20:28 +0000 http://tonywoodlief.com/?p=4118 “Which world do you want to live in?” My oldest son, just days from his 14th birthday, glares back at me. Behind him in the car sit his brothers. Their hands are pressed to their faces. One of them is crying. Caleb begins to explain why he smacked them. Eli was needling him about something. Isaac, …

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The ministering parent http://tonywoodlief.com/2014/01/23/the-ministering-parent/ http://tonywoodlief.com/2014/01/23/the-ministering-parent/#comments Thu, 23 Jan 2014 18:43:45 +0000 http://tonywoodlief.com/?p=3794 Do you ever look on your children, and wish they had better than you? Back when we were shopping my embarrassingly confessional first book, my agent at the time told me I needed a ministry to accompany it. She said this as a realist, not an enthusiast. You need a platform to sell your wares. …

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The Cost of Calling http://tonywoodlief.com/2013/12/26/the-cost-of-calling/ http://tonywoodlief.com/2013/12/26/the-cost-of-calling/#comments Thu, 26 Dec 2013 20:34:42 +0000 http://tonywoodlief.com/?p=3764 Many parents carry within our hearts—sometimes in a cramped and even despairing corner—a vision of what we hope our children will become. This vision lives deeper than our wish that they be doctors or NFL quarterbacks, deeper even than our desire for their happiness. Our heart-dwelling hope is that they will be good and true, that …

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Crafted http://tonywoodlief.com/2013/12/09/crafted/ http://tonywoodlief.com/2013/12/09/crafted/#comments Tue, 10 Dec 2013 04:17:34 +0000 http://tonywoodlief.com/?p=3738 My mother died while I was at the beach and so while my children spent their days on the shore, I spoke by phone with the many professionals who position themselves between the living and the dead. My thirteen year-old wanted to build a sandcastle. He has so many preoccupations these days, perhaps chief among …

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Thanksgiving http://tonywoodlief.com/2013/11/28/the-last-shall-be-on-page-three/ http://tonywoodlief.com/2013/11/28/the-last-shall-be-on-page-three/#comments Thu, 28 Nov 2013 12:20:57 +0000 http://tonywoodlief.com/?p=3730 We read somewhere that the Pilgrims survived on a few kernels of corn and were thankful, so we settled on an exquisite Thanksgiving torture wherein we set bowls of steaming, buttered, gravy-addled food in front of our children who have been begging to be fed for hours, and make them name their blessings before they …

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Good guy or bad guy? http://tonywoodlief.com/2013/09/20/good-guy-or-bad-guy/ http://tonywoodlief.com/2013/09/20/good-guy-or-bad-guy/#comments Fri, 20 Sep 2013 12:25:30 +0000 http://tonywoodlief.com/?p=3714 One of my sons asked about an historical figure, or maybe it was some living politician whom history will soon forget. My son wanted to know whether this man was a good guy, or a bad guy. This is our most fundamental typology for strangers. For all others, it is blood and love. Are you …

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