2013-11-01 / Columnists

Slice of Life

By Beth Hanning

For those of you who do not know, my boss, Kevin Boyle, runs a tight ship. Our deadline for a Friday edition is Tuesday at 4 p.m. Since I am a teacher I usually write my column on either Sunday or Monday. Sometimes it is hard to come up with a topic. It is even harder when you have a deadline and then on the day the column comes out you realize the date and you did not look at the calendar and you missed a golden opportunity (that happened to me on Father’s Day this year).

Some weeks I struggle with my topic, other weeks I cannot wait to get in front of the laptop. This week I was not sure what I was going to write about until I had Sunday dinner with the family. This family dinner was extra special because we all knew my cousin Patricia was being induced the next day with her first child. Patricia’s husband, Al, was very curious how I come up with a topic each week. I explained I had no idea what I was going to write about this week.

I had no idea until; the men started discussing the new baby. We were all excited and talking about the upcoming birth of my godchild. My cousin Patricia is in labor as I type. I asked my cousin if she would like to attend a WISH event with me later in November. My brother quickly interrupted and told Al he would take him out on the same day. Without thinking Al responded, “I will probably be babysitting.” The women at the table laughed as a huge grin spread across because I knew I had my topic.

Well thank goodness for Albert because even though my children are older and do not need a babysitter this has been my pet peeve for over 20 years. How has this mentality not changed? I babysat for the neighbor’s children for cash. I never babysat my two daughters. How come my husband would always use that line when asked what he was doing when he was actually caring for his own children? This is odd especially because my new godchild’s “nanny” is actually going to be grandpa, aka, Uncle Jimmy the retired mailman. So even though it is 2013 mothers are still the primary caretakers and dads are just babysitters.

I wonder what I would do without the men in my life. I would definitely have a harder time thinking of columns each week. Whenever I am very desperate for a topic a short walk over to dad’s on Beach 117th Street and that usually cures the writer’s block. Thanks for all the men in my life for being so entertaining and also being good sports.

I would love to hear from the moms and dads. Have you heard your husband say this about babysitting or other things? Let me know: beth81772@aol.com

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