Gabe and I will see you a little further down the line!
And the last installment of #SoD finds me posting from my actual home, in Baltimore, after driving ~3,300 miles and flying cross-country to Seattle and back all in 12 short-but-sometimes-long weeks. All told, Gabe and I visited or traveled through nine states (Maryland, Delaware, Philadelphia, New Jersey, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Maine, and Washington). What’s odd though, is that on Wednesday I was relieved of the primary parenting duty and I’ve gone primary-parenting cold turkey. (Jenny and Gabe stayed in New York, as I had school meetings on Wednesday and Thursday). Some observations about going cold turkey:
This past week I’ve gained some perspective on parenting through our travels, but not because of the traveling per se, but because of the environments where I’ve taken Gabe. In the last week we’ve been in two places: on the lovely grounds of the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center and in inner-city Philadelphia. Continue reading
This week marks the first week of ten weeks of travel, as we’re now on the road in Philadelphia. It also marks the first week of mostly primary parenting. I say “mostly” because my wife will still be helping out a ton, as will her parents for about a week, and of course the legions of babysitters across the land that will hang out with him. But I’ll be the primary, as Jenny is working on a bunch of really cool projects both on the phone with her agents and directors, and on the ground.
Speaking of which, we just found out that we’ll be covering a new piece of ground, as she was selected for another development project, this one in Chicago. The only time available to do it was the two weeks between our time in Waterford, CT and Seattle, WA—which is exactly where it fits! So now we’ll be doing four playwriting development series in four states (but with only one toddler, thank god). Holy logistics, Batman.
The third week has brought some unexpected, but mostly good, developments. We were supposed to travel back to Baltimore earlier this week after staying with my family, but the night before our flight Gabe came down with some sort of illness. Jenny and I jumped into family-planning-logistical-mode (oh, the fun), and we quickly set up a doctor’s appointment for the next morning, called our pediatrician’s answering service, discussed changing our travel itinerary, and madly Googled his vague symptoms.
He had a fever and was irritable, but no other body systems seemed to be an issue. Was it teething? He is pushing out a molar. Was it an ear infection? He was grabbing at his ear, but he does that when he’s tired. Was it some awful, rare thing, like a twist in his intestinal tract? He was grabbing his tummy and rolling around a lot. After a dose of infant Tylenol and a lot of shushing and cooing, he finally fell asleep. He awoke at night several times with more discomfort, but when I awoke in the morning (at 0830!) he was lying in our bed between Jenny and I smiling up a storm like nothing had ever happened—like the previous night was some hallucination on our part.
So, Jeni did a great job introducing me, how we met, and how we came about the #SummerofDad idea. In the last (nearly) 10 years (!) since Jeni and parted ways after graduating from Purdue, I’ve done a lot of things.
I’ve traveled to Costa Rica, Greece, and throughout the US. I worked as a pharmaceutical research coordinator for a couple of years. I applied to grad school a bunch of times (three, to be exact) and even moved to New York City to attend a physical therapy doctoral program. But I dropped out after a few weeks. Luckily, a girl I knew (and liked) moved up from Austin that summer, too. So instead of heading back home, I decided to stay and hang tough in the city and see about a girl. Also, I decided that, since I didn’t know what I wanted to do for graduate school, I needed to try something different: so I got into publishing.
During my four years in New York, two amazing dreams came true: I got to work in publishing for a couple of years at Penguin/Viking (as well as some other very cool places); that girl (Jenny-with-a-y) became my best friend, partner-in-crime, the love of my life, and then my wife. We got married in Austin in 2012 and in 2013 we did an amazing 6-week backpacking trip through Turkey and Greece for our belated honeymoon. About the time we got married I was realizing that publishing wasn’t working for me. Though I love writing, I wanted to get back into science. I learned about genetic counseling and applied — 3rd time’s a charm — for grad school. I ended up getting into my top program at Johns Hopkins and the NIH.
The big life changes kept coming, because almost exactly a year after being accepted, in June 2014, my son Gabriel was born. This past year has been quite a challenge, balancing grad school, family, and my wife’s writing career. I also write, and have published fiction pieces in various places, but most recently I’ve been writing for the National Human Genome Research Institute’s Genome Advance of the Month, where we try to explain interesting developments in genetics research!
So onto the post for this week…
So I’ve been a little MIA lately, because I’ve been dedicating my energy and little spare time I have when Jia is asleep, to job searching (when it’s not collapsing on the couch and indulging in DVR’d episodes of Inside Amy Schumer after intently staring at the monitor until I know Jia’s “out for the count”). I needed some time to send out resumes and schedule phone calls without the pressure of my self-made deadlines to publish my intense research posts here on Little Sproutings.
So the News!…
So I am very excited to share with you some news that has been in the works for a couple of months – my good college friend, Kyle Davis, will be guest posting here on the blog! Kyle and I first met when we both rushed our honor fraternity, Phi Sigma Pi, back in the Spring of 2003 (I am pretty sure it’s 2003) at Purdue University. We made an instant connection – we were both goofballs with a lot of energy. It didn’t matter if he was studying psychology and I majored in dietetics, or that aside from PSP, we didn’t have a whole lot in common. After weeks of pledging into PSP, a couple philanthropic road trips as a group, and many honor fraternity-hosted events around campus, we became good buddies with an obnoxiously silly handshake and penchant for going out dancing at the Neon Cactus and singing song lyrics at the top of our lungs while gyrating in 1920’s costumes.