Movie Watchin’ Dad

Something I’ve heard from many parents is that they don’t get to see any movies for the first year of parenthood. Maybe it’s because I’m a movie buff, but I’ve made a concerted effort to keep movies in my life despite having a one year old. In fact, I saw Gravity in theaters after Maddie’s first month (taking turns with Valerie to see it on alternate nights). Sure, I only watched one more movie in 2013 (Bernie), which was…okay), but in 2014 I’ve so far averaged at least 3 movies a month. I’ve watched 39 unique movies, 7 in theaters (Guardians of the Galaxy) twice). Pretty good, I’d say.

I think I’ll watch number 40 this afternoon.


In these early stages of raising a child, it’s frequently impossible to think about more than a few days out. Planning is silly because the work of parenting trumps most social obligations. It doesn’t take long after a child is born to begin thinking and acting on a much shorter time scale, like a week or something.

What I’ve found for myself as a consequence, however, is that my frame of reference is pretty limited these days. What’s going on the world these days? I don’t know. What’s going on in my house on this day? I mean, of course I’m current on all the awful things happening with American torture, our present civil rights crisis, and the other horrific things that dominate my Twitter feed. Other than that, I have trouble thinking broadly or deeply about any topic.

The upside is living more in the moment. Being wholly occupied with my daughter when we play together or she’s dancing around. I’m no super dad, so yes, I often squeeze in some internetting while Maddie plays, but generally, it’s easy for me to focus on her and what she’s doing right then and there without thinking about when to take her where or who to call about what. I guess that’s a fair trade.