Being a Dad Is Weird: Lessons in Fatherhood from My Family to Yours
Containing self-help advice as well as threads of memoir and humor, Ben Falcone’s first book, Being a Dad is Weird, is an absolute must-read. From the foreword by Falcone’s wife, actress Melissa McCarthy, to the very last page, there are laughs and sighs of understanding and the kind of recognizable characters and anecdotes that only come when a book is written from the heart, as this one certainly is.
The opening chapters speak to the importance of friendship among adults, something people with children may lose sight of at times. Falcone recalls his parents’ circle of friends, the academics who also told dirty jokes and enjoyed a good drink and a great conversation more than just about anything. He also ties his own father’s parenting lessons into his experiences with his daughters, a none-too-easy task given the world in which his daughters live is so vastly different from his own childhood. With cellphones and other technological advances, not to mention their parents’ celebrity, his daughters are coming of age in a world that looks nothing like his own childhood. And yet, the parenting methods are the same: tell your kids the truth, except when you shouldn’t. Help them to believe in magic, though that may go too far as is evidenced by the Saint Patrick’s Day leprechaun incident in chapter five. And, above all, let yourself be a human being who sometimes needs a break because it will teach your children that being human means, well, being human and needing time to regroup, recharge, invent, play, and discover on their own.
I am not a father, and I do not have children of my own, though I am the stepmother to a pretty amazing human. I didn’t raise her; she came into my life when she was seventeen and was already pretty incredible on her own. While the parenting choices made in her youth shaped her, I’m so happy to have read Ben Falcone’s book because the lessons in it are universal, as is the humor. Reading this book made me feel like I was listening to a great friend tell hilarious stories, which is really what parents should strive to do, right? Tell a good story, be a good listener, and, when you can, make them laugh.
Dey Street Books