Thursday, January 25, 2007

Diaper Dads Have Arrived

The surest sign that a trend has passed into the mainstream is that the hipper-than-though types start coming out of the woodwork to loudly declare the trend is passe/pedestrian/unoriginal and that we should all keep our excitement about iPods/tattoos/Barack Obama/single-malt scotch to ourselves.

So it thrilled me to no end to see dads get the get-over-yourself treatment from the Globe and Mail's Leah McLaren -- who, at the tender age of 31 -- has declared the hip-dad trend (taken to its zenith now with the publication of Neal Pollock's Alternadad) has been done before and ain't all that interesting.

This is great news. Because despite McLaren's belief that every generation of new fathers is just like mine, only with better music, we really do live in a time of huge change for fathers. We're just beginning to come out of an extended period of Western history where kids didn't automatically play a huge role in the lives of their fathers (or vice versa). Books like Alternadad are overturning the idea that witnessing each and every joy of childhood (and, admittedly, talking about it a lot) is somehow not something that men do. So I'll count my blessings that my McLaren, a fellow Gen Xer, sees this as routine, even dull. Because I go to bed every night hoping to wake up in a world where fatherhood is so much a part of the fabric of society that the topic bores the heck out of hip newspaper columnists.


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