Dear Prospective Book Buyer,
Publishing types tell me that if you're reading this, it means you're looking for a reason to buy this book. Personally, I think the eye-catching cover shot of me in my pajamas is reason enough. (By the way, those are my real kids on the cover, and yes, those are my actual ankles. No, I'm not retaining water.)
This book, it turns out, is a very funny and sometimes remarkably poignant look at fathers, not from the mother's point of view or the child's, but from the dad's side. Which is why it's called Tales from the Dad Side.
It's filled with stories of what it's like to be a dad and a son, from a child's first day of kindergarten to the awkward sex talk and right up to the day the always-practical dad tries to pay for college with bonus miles. I was there for every landmark in my children's lives, except the day I was on the riding lawn mower and missed my son's first words, which my wife insists were “trust fund.”
As children get older, the lessons of the father get harder, like teaching my son how to shave just as my father taught me, with a rusty double-edged safety razor. At the end of my dad's lesson, I emerged from the bathroom nicked and gouged, looking like an extra from a Quentin Tarantino film. My more civilized son is a Norelco man. With my high-school-age daughters, I promised them a day on which I'd take them anywhere and do anything with them they wanted, expecting them to ask for dinner and a movie; I was horrified when they told me they wanted all of us to get manicures and pedicures together. That was not the answer I was expecting; it was like discovering Lou Dobbs was an illegal alien.
Over the course of raising three children, I have learned with my wife that fathers are different from mothers. That could be the greatest understatement since Noah turned on the Weather Channel and found out that the next forty days called for a 20 percent chance of light rain.
The truth is, fatherhood is like Wikipedia: some parts based in fact, others just made up along the way. And while bookstores are filled with tales of mothers, their children and families, there are few from the dad's side. Now, as a public service, I'm doing my part to right this wrong.
I sincerely hope this answers your questions. If perhaps it's not exactly your cup of tea, I bet you've got a father or mother in your life who'd like the stone-cold truth about dads. Besides, for the same money, you can either put three gallons of gas in your car or take home this book, which has a highway rating of 29 smiles an hour.