I grew up with problems with authority. I have spent most of my life resisting and rebelling. When I was you her, I dyed my hair purple, I painted my nails, I spiked my hair. I was a punk of the Chicago variety. In her book, Wish You Were Here, Leslie Simon gives a fairly accurate assessment of the Chicago music scenes terms if my youth. “Chicago is a funny town… No, it’s funny because the scenesters here really think they are the shit.” (205). We did, too. We wanted to do things our way and we were going to do it loudly. Naturally this led me to a life as a visual artist. Obviously.
Now I am 30 and the father of two wonderful children. I’m finding that these two sides of myself often come to blows. How do I be the authority figure that kids need when I myself am still raging against authority? Do I high five my daughter when she refuses to do anything I ask her to or do I not let her have ice cream until she is 15? It’s a constant battle.
I know that I wouldn’t be able to do it without my wife and partner. Sometimes I still feel like I can’t. But I do. So, welcome to this space where I will be trying to figure it all out. My goal is to have this be part memoir, part self assessment, part ongoing art piece. Whatever it becomes, all I know is that I’m going to handle it how I handle parenting: diving head first and not having the slightest idea of what I’m doing.