"I can hardly wait to see you come of age. But I guess we'll just both have to be patient."

December 8, 2010

"He didn't come out of my belly, but my God, I've made his bones, because I've attended to every meal, and how he sleeps, and the fact that he swims like a fish because I took him to the ocean. I'm so proud of all those things. But he is my biggest pride."

I was going to write about something else today (about our tree, actually) but I've been reflecting all morning about the life and death of John Lennon, and his family, today, and I wanted to write a little about it.

When their son Sean was born, Lennon and Ono struck a deal: she would work and he would stay home and raise their son. In 1975 this was a revolutionary idea. Not just because the Lennon-Ono family was one of the five or six most famous families on the planet, or because of their wealth, but simply for the idea itself: mom going off to work and dad staying home in his PJs and changing diapers and taking care of every meal -- especially a dad raised, as Lennon was, in the middle- to working-class ethos of World War II era Liverpool -- was something to be looked at askance, despite the rise of feminism. (For comparison, the film Mr. Mom came out in 1983, and the idea of dad as sole caregiver was still considered high-humor, as it is, to some extent, today.) Again and again during those five years, in myriad ways, it was implied that Lennon had somehow "lost it" -- lost his mind -- to want to chuck in fame and music to take care of his infant son.

I've been trying to bring this to some profound wrap-up, but I can't find it. Suffice to say that my heart goes out to his son today, for his loss, and I hope those years of his father's love provide him with some comfort.