LEO – Search for Father

LEO

Intuitive types (Aries, Leo, and Sagittarius) are highly spirited, enthusiastic individuals who dislike details, need to grasp the whole picture, require a lot of freedom to express themselves naturally, and pride themselves on their honesty. As objective independent thinkers, they must set inspiring goals to channel their energy and passion into. They become easily bored with the mundane and routine. They must cultivate far vision and enduring patience. Often accused of ‘being opinionated’, their point of view is crucial. Communicating clearly and effectively is a must. The best way for these extroverts to flourish is to behave responsibly, honestly, patiently, and naturally in relationships.

Leos are fixed intuitive types who love being the center of attention. They’re creative, dramatic, generous, enthusiastic, and fiercely loyal. They’ll try to adopt you into their ‘pride’ when they’re feeling admired and appreciated. Their fans look forward to their humor and stories. Don’t ever take a Leo for granted. Unlike Aries they take rejection personally, even if they haven’t been rejected. As creatures of habit, they can cling to obsolete behavioral patterns, depressing situations, and fruitless relationships. Leos must learn to let go of false pride, pay attention to the handwriting on the wall, and cut their losses by letting go of whatever’s not working. Leos can also spread themselves too thin and become the notorious multi-talented jacks of all trades, masters of none.

Their positive side is charming, creative, talented, and versatile. They’re generally healthy types with physical problems being eyesight, heart, and poor circulation. Leo’s dominant physical sense is sight. The metaphysical correspondence is shedding light.

Donald TrumpDonald Trump is a Gemini with Leo rising. His Leo hands embody the most negative attributes of Leo’s will power and behavior that include being self-centered, self-indulgent, superficial, ostentatious, egotistical, ruthless, greedy, bossy, seductive, and a lousy role model.

 

How many gilded towers, glitzy gambling casinos, golden pedestals, and graven images do we require? Beauty queens, shark tanks, and celebrity idols are our heroes. What has happened to Donald’s (and our) humanity and spirituality?  

You don’t need to have a Leo sun to be a Leo type. Leonine hands are like Arian hands in shape, consistency, and coloration. Leo’s joints are stiffer, especially the thumb. The elasticity of Leo’s hands is tenser and the consistency is denser than their Sagittarian brethren. Leo life and head lines are closely intertwined where the thumb joins the hand. Pure Leos have strong ring fingers. Shapes of the tips, proportions of phalanges, knots, nails, and other markings reveal more about the person. Whorl fingerprints (concentric circles, spirals, fire / intuitive) add originality, independence, and unconventionality.

Finger lengthRing fingers symbolize artistic and aesthetic abilities, drama, versatility, salesmanship, showiness, and gambling proclivities. No matter your archetype, long ring fingers on dominant hands add versatility, adaptability, creativity, and expressivity. Cultivated types savor beautiful things with a highly developed sense of taste and style. I’ve noticed that long ring fingered types are more likeable than short ring fingered folk. A ring finger is judged for length against the middle finger. When the tip is shorter than the middle of the first phalanx of the middle finger, it’s considered short. When longer, it’s long. Long index fingered Leos love being boss. Last time I checked, there were more Fortune 500 and NASDAQ (over 10%) LEO CEO’s than any other sign. I’ve seen similar ring fingers on hands of gamblers. They win, but don’t know when to stop betting. I’ve also read the hands of many architects, designers, photographers, craftsmen, and curators with long ring fingers.

Free will is the most important reason for learning to read hands. Willpower is the esoteric correspondence for Leo. Our thumb is the location of will in our hands. It’s the reason we dominate our simian ancestors. Our minds developed because our thumbs oppose our other four fingers. A thumb is a small body part that takes up a huge space in the cerebral cortex of our brains. We’ve designed all of our tools from a simple pencil to our most complex computers as a result of the placement of our thumbs.

Our hands manifest the messages of our minds. In turn, our character, thoughts, feelings, and experience are mapped in the shapes and proportions of our hands. Our stories are engraved in the topography of our hands. It’s paradoxical that so few of us are aware of the priceless treasure waiting to be discovered at the ends of our arms. The beauty of palmistry is that our changes reveal themselves in the mirrors of our hands over time as our thinking and circumstances change. Freewill is a choice and opportunity for change.

Our thumbs symbolize our three most valuable natural resources: will power, logic, and ability to love. These precious qualities must be balanced. Thumbs, like our other fingers, have two joints that form three segments known as phalanges. The top phalanx is will power. The second is reasoning ability. When will is longer than logic, we may act before we think. If logic is longer, we may figure everything out, but get stuck in thinking. Then we procrastinate when we should act. A bit more logic than will keeps us in check.

Knots symbolize a need for more order in the area the knot represents. The knottier the joint, the more order is needed. The top knot is mental order (or disorder). The second knot needs physical order. If the middle phalange on your pinky is shortest, it may not be easy to keep things in their place. Huge knots may be arthritic or they can alert you to possible OCD. ‘Everything must be as I need it to be.’ The third or bottom phalanx is the ball of thumb (contained by the lifeline). Balls of thumb provide information about our capacities for sympathy, nurturing, maintaining intimate connections, loving, and valuing children, animals, nature, art, and music. Without love, empathy, and sympathy, all the passion, logic, and will in the world will never be healthy.

Thumb size is important. A thumb must be judged in relationship to the whole hand. Does a thumb look large or small in comparison to a hand? Is a thumb high or low set?  The ‘normal’ length of thumb (held closely to hand) is even with the middle of the third phalange of the index finger. If longer, it’s long. If shorter, it’s short. A large thumbed person is a natural leader who wants useful practical results. Small thumbed folk are impressionable, sentimental, and easily led by their heartstrings. A tiny flexible thumbed person might stay home in bed, watch soap operas, and eat bonbons. Read my version of the “Three little pigs and their thumbs”.

three little pigs

“The most difficult job in the world is not being president. It’s being a parent.”

Bill ClintonEx-President Bill Clinton is a Leo. Born in 1946, three months after his real dad died, Bill was raised by an abusive alcoholic stepfather. Many Leos spend much of their lives searching for approval from father figures because theirs was physically, mentally, or emotionally absent during their formative years. One of Leo’s quests in their life is a hero’s journey to overcome the fear of abandonment and become a devoted parent figure who loves unconditionally without expectation. Bill’s Sun, Mercury, Saturn, and Pluto are in Leo. He has Leo hands with a robust ring finger that enjoys marriage, but has very high expectations of his mate. As Commander and Chief, Bill was a polyamorous player of political games, musical instruments, and women.

People judge Bill for his character, but whether you like him or not, Bill is true to his character. Bill’s Sun and Jupiter blend Apollo and Zeus, two powerful, charismatic, and sexy gods in Greek myth. Zeus was famous for his seductions and philandering. Apollo was irresistible. It’s not easy to find healthy creative outlets for all that libido. Many of the most powerful men and women in the world are philanderers with secret sexual addictions. Excess testosterone comes with the territory.

Bill loved ruling the free world, getting away with shameful sex, and playing his saxophone at the same time. Zeus could possess whatever mortal he wanted. His challenge was getting away with it. Hera was famous for kicking his butt by punishing his conquests and their offspring. Due to our culture’s fundamentalist socio-religious values, Bill Clinton’s sexual behavior undermined his position and power. It’s hard to get away with much when you’re both mortal and a celebrity. You can bet Hillary (Scorpio) booted Bill’s behind when he was caught with his pants down around his ankles and his cock in his intern’s mouth. Hillary is less likeable than Bill, but she’ll be a better President if she gets the chance.

Robert De NiroSuccessful actors, artists, designers, businessmen, teachers, salesmen, politicians, and diplomats are Leo ruled. Robert De Niro, Robert Redford, Dustin Hoffman, Whitney Huston, Madonna, Mick Jagger, Ben Affleck, Steve Martin, and Kenny Rogers are Leos.

Arnold

“I’ll be back”

Apollo and Hercules are solar archetypes of ancient Greece. Samson was Judaic, Osiris was Egyptian, Parcival was English, and Narashima was Indian. The Lion King and Goldilocks are fairytales that Walt Disney popularized. One Leo who feared his father and made a myth out of himself is the ‘Terminator’ / ‘Conan the barbarian’, former governor of California.  Arnold’s short index fingers (may appear short when folded inward) reveal deep issues and challenges about his self-esteem and spirituality. Curved pinkies please while avoiding real confrontation by pretending things are better than they are. They act nice when they don’t feel nice. Arnold’s large flexible thumbs are adaptable and versatile. He can become distracted and unfocused. People accuse Arnold of being a bad actor. Arnold chooses great plots. He’s much more clever and adaptable than people realize. Arnold’s Arthurian myth is the search for the Holy Grail. He must ask the right questions to find a balance between his head and heart.

Mark & Martha

In April of 2001, I read Martha Stewart’s hands on her TV show, ‘Martha Stewart Living’. A critical father encouraged Martha to be obsessively ambitious and compulsively hard working. Born August 3 1941, Leo rules Martha’s Sun, Pluto, and Midheaven. Her multi- talented hardworking Aquarian hands are well designed for gardening and crafts. I didn’t see “fame” in Martha’s hands. I saw an extremely strong index finger on her dominant hand. Martha earns and deserves whatever she achieves.

Martha’s large stiff thumbs symbolize persistent will power, dogged determination, and fiery passion. As a host, Martha was gracious. As a boss, she’s demanding. I observed dozens of hip young people who make sure Martha always looks good. Her intention and mission is to give her fans valuable information and resources. In hindsight, I regret not doing a better job explaining palmistry. I was nervous. When I got home, I examined Martha’s hand prints along with her astrological chart. I wish I could share them with you, but don’t have permission. I realized 2002 was going to be a challenging year in which Martha’s integrity and reputation might be challenged. I offered to discretely share my insights with her. She didn’t reply.

Bernie EbbersWhen the ImClone stock scandal broke, people who knew I’d been on her show began calling to ask if I’d seen it coming. They made cruel jokes and suggested I remove her from my press materials. I was disgusted by how many people found joy as Martha crashed and burned. The media dressed Martha in wolf’s clothing and she became their sacrificial lamb. Meanwhile, real criminals, like George W Bush’s buddy, ‘Kenny Boy’ Lay (Enron), Dennis Kozlowski (Tyco), and Bernie Ebbers (WorldCom) were getting away with capitalistic genocide. I wrote to Martha to offer my insights. Again, there was no reply.

I see Martha as an honest person with straight fingers, firm elastic skin, strong healthy palms, and clearly defined lines. Martha became a high profile casualty of corporate greed and corruption. Innocence or guilt was not the issue. Martha’s Leo pride got in the way. She used poor judgment. She wasn’t thinking “I’m insider trading” when she sold her stock. Sure, she should have known better. Rich people are privy to exclusive information. They can choose to enrich themselves with or without it. Secret actions and absolute discretion are a win win scenario.

Martha should have chosen humility like Mufaasa. Instead, she behaved immaturely like young Simba. Where were Pumbaa and Timon when she needed a refresher course on the laws of the jungle? Goldilocks may have enhanced the porridge and decorated the beds more beautifully, but the bears were still pissed when they get home. Martha demonstrated the hubris that destroyed the gods and heroes in Greek and Roman myth. As a queen, she must always take the high road. She should have apologized to her loyal fans and offered the profit to a great cause. Trust will be re-earned as Martha serves her fan’s needs, battles her ego, and shows true humility and generosity of spirit.

Athena vaseAn appropriate archetype for Martha is the Greek goddess Athena, who ruled Arts and Crafts. In peacetime Athena is pictured with a spear in one hand and a bowl or spindle in the other. She looked after weavers, potters, and craftsmen. Athena clashed with a mortal named Arachne, an incredible weaver. People compared Arachne to Athena and it went to Arachne’s head. She should have given Athena credit. Instead, she arrogantly challenged Athena to a weaving contest. She made matters worse by poking fun at Athena’s family with her art. Her creation was magnificent, but Athena transformed Arachne into the greatest weaver for all time, the arachnid (spider). It’s not a good idea for mortals to mess with Gods.

Martha is dominated by Athena, but she’s not Athena. She has enormous mental, spiritual, and physical energies and resources and is capable of making positive differences by weaving powerful webs of strength, beauty, hope, and faith. Martha can inspire the masses with her good deeds and catalyze positive changes in our world.

Sun

Leo is our sun, royalty, and celebrity. I’ve read many celebrities, CEOs, and mega-rich people that live like self-appointed royalty. People ask, “Did you see fame and great wealth in their hands?”  NO is the answer. Fame and wealth are not fate, but choices. Hands reveal how a person’s potentials are fulfilled. You too can be wealthier if wealth is your top priority (even if it’s not a priority in your hands). Palmistry books tell us of fame lines that form a perfect ‘star’ under the ring finger. Sarah Bernhardt is the example most palmists use. I’ve seen two perfect stars of Apollo in forty years; the first was on Katie Couric’s right hand and the second on Susan Sarandon’s left hand. I’ve mostly read a diversity of hands with a variety of challenges and solutions to problems with self-esteem, wounded hearts, and confused minds. I can’t be more specific because I must be discrete. Powerful people have the same challenges as everyone else. Many successful people have been driven to succeed because of their fears and insecurities. I’ve learned that money can and does help iron out some of the wrinkles.

I’ve personally turned away opportunities for more celebrity. I was offered a live reality TV series. I’d read hands of people who were chosen by the producer. I refused. I didn’t want to be offensive, defensive, or end up being the ‘Jerry Springer’ of the metaphysical world. A person’s inner life is private and should be respected, even if they don’t respect it. Dog and pony shows may be popular, but I have zero desire to be part of one.

Mark, Meredith, Joy, Debbie, and Star

When the producer from ‘The View’ called to ask if I’d be on their show, I initially said ‘no’. I didn’t want to defend myself and palmistry. The producer promised that wouldn’t happen. She insisted I’d have a venue to offer viewers a real taste of palmistry. Unlike Martha’s show (which was taped and edited), ‘The View’ is live with a live audience.

Sure enough, as the cameras commenced, the banter and jokes began. Star Jones challenged me with learning what I was telling her by watching the show. You’ll enjoy my response. In fairness to the producer, they did give me five-minutes to say what I wanted. Please excuse the quality of snapshots. They were captured from the shows.

On the View with a live audience

AvrahamAlan and I met in the mid 70’s, before I moved to NYC. Alan’s rectangular palms and short fingers reveal an intuitive type. His thumbs and fingers are very stiff and his head and life lines are closely intertwined where his thumbs meet his hands. Alan is a Leo with Leo hands. His lower set curved index fingers, bent pinkies, and crooked middle fingers tell his tale of striving for and achieving personal transformation.

Alan was born poor. His real father died when he was four. He lived on a commercial street in a rich Jewish neighborhood. Alan’s mother was obese and in bad health. She loved Alan, but in desperation, remarried a horrible man who became Alan’s evil stepfather. I saw this creepy guy at funerals before I knew Alan. He was employed by the local home to be a part-time mourner at small gatherings. Alan was an unwanted stepchild in his own home, a tiny shabby apartment located above a smelly butcher shop. While other kids wore monogrammed shirts, smelled of fancy colognes, and drove sporty cars, Alan looked over his shoulder to make sure no one would see him climbing the dingy stairs to his very depressing world.

Alan decided early that he would not be poor when he grew up. His bible became Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill. John Lennon was his hero. Alan stubbornly persisted and finally earned his law degree by selling ironing board covers and light bulbs door to door. Lawyers with crooked pinkies are notorious for bending the truth and the law. Alan was as clever as the best of them, but he chose to turn his ingenuity toward marketing himself. With truth on his side, Alan could bend everything else. He became a clever pioneer in legal advertising. Other lawyers who didn’t know Alan saw him as a greedy ‘ambulance chaser’, but Alan’s marketing mind put his clients’ needs and interests first. He once told me, “It doesn’t take winning too many good cases to make a great living.”

While walking in our office in the forest one day, Alan proclaimed, “I used to dream I’d be successful and own a lot of stuff and now I do. I’m glad I proved to myself that I can do it. I no longer need any of it to be happy.” I immediately challenged him to let go of everything. We both knew the truth ~ that it would require a miracle or a catastrophe.

When Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto passed through Leo in the twentieth century, enormous changes were taking place in personal, collective, and governmental rights and power. Uranus (Aquarius), planet of change, transited Leo from 1955 to 1962. The sun shined on strong will, rebellion, determination, vitality, forcefulness, and civil rights. Rosa Parks defied a segregation ordinance by not giving up her bus seat to a white man in Alabama. The Supreme Court upheld her civil rights a year later. The University of Mississippi was forced to enroll its first black student. President Eisenhower sent federal troops to Little Rock Arkansas to enforce school desegregation. President Kennedy ordered the National Guard to keep schools open in Alabama. Cultural shame cultivated seeds of positive change. Equality and civil rights is still an embarrassment.

New inventions promoted convenience and provided more time for recreation and leisure. Kentucky fried chicken was introduced. Play-Doh became popular. Davy Crocket and coonskin caps became fashionable. Pampers became the first disposable diapers. Crest was the first fluoride toothpaste. The first electric toothbrush was produced. The Teflon Company introduced non-stick cookware. Smith Corona introduced the first portable electric typewriters. Mattel Inc. introduced Barbie. Felt tipped pens became popular. Soft drinks were packaged in aluminum cans for the first time. K-Mart and Wal-Mart opened. Bank of America and American Express issued the first credit cards. The first transatlantic telephone cable began working. The first transcontinental helicopter flight was made. That was only half a century ago.

Neptune (Pisces) takes fourteen years to change sign. When it does, the collective goes through confusing and ambiguous changes. Neptune transited the sign of Leo from 1916 to 1929. Phenomenal world confusion was happening. War brought tremendous prosperity to Wall Street while soldiers earning $16 a month were being killed in the trenches. England blacklisted and prevented over 80 US firms from dealing with neutral countries because they were suspected of trading with Germany. Prescott Bush was one of them. Influenza caused over two hundred deaths a day. Approximately one quarter of the US was sick. Half a million people were dead before the end of 1919.

Daylight savings time began. Arkansas farmers dedicated a monument to the Boll Weevil, whose devastation of the cotton crop caused them to diversify and become more profitable. By 1927, the farm population had dropped dramatically. Countless farmers hopelessly and desperately sold their farms.

Neptune rules alcohol. The underworld, mafia, and gangs thrived. National prohibition began in 1920. Liquor smuggling and bootlegging became big business. Marijuana is the new alcohol.

Congress set a quota limiting the number of immigrants allowed into the country.

A senate subcommittee was formed to investigate the Teapot Dome oil leases.

Walt Disney released the first Mickey Mouse cartoon in 1928. George Eastman created the first color motion pictures. Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue was performed for the first time as a new form of symphonic jazz.

Doubt, fear, and panic caused the stock market to crash, leaving farmers, businessmen, and both haves and have nots in a state of terrible confusion and crisis.

History repeated itself in the opposition as Neptune transited Aquarius (1998 – 2012). War is still bringing prosperity to Wall Street. Agribusiness and chemical companies like Monsanto are still crushing small farmers and deluding consumers. Immigrants are still being persecuted. Oil and energy companies are still controlling and manipulating us.

The planet Pluto (Scorpio) takes approximately twenty years to change sign. When it does, it disintegrates, destroys, and transforms collective consciousness. Pluto is the dark side of the force. As Pluto transited the sign of Leo from 1938 to 1957, national and personal pride and power transformed. Despite the New Deal, ten million people were unemployed in 1939.  President Roosevelt increased appropriations for building the Army, Navy, and Air Force. Congress adopted the Naval Expansion Act. Roosevelt transformed the Federal Reserve by creating the ‘withholding tax’, which was the beginning of social security. He became the first president to appear on television.

The House investigated un-American activities. It was the beginning of huge multi-national business conglomerates. Western Europe tried to appease Hitler with the Munich Pact, which turned Czechoslovakia over to Nazi Germany. Polls showed Americans approved. The Nazis invaded Poland, which caused Great Britain and France to declare war. Winston Churchill asked President Roosevelt for help. In 1941, the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. Japanese Americans paid a high price as they were forced from their homes into concentration camps where they became innocent victims of hate and prejudice. Fundamentalist devotion to ideologies and tyrants began to crumble. In 1943, the fascist dictator Mussolini fell from power. By 1945, most of the world knew that six million Jews had been slaughtered in Nazi concentration camps.

The atomic bomb was the ultimate plutonian weapon. After we bombed Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan surrendered. In 1949, we supported a war in Korea that ended up killing three million Koreans in less than a year. In 1950, Senator Joseph McCarthy began his sensational tirade against communist subversives and traitors in the US. Julia and Ethel Rosenberg were sentenced to the electric chair for stealing bomb secrets.

In 1951, the United Nations complex was completed in New York City. AT&T became the first company with over a million stockholders. Christine Jorgensen became the first transsexual to go public in 1952. Norman Vincent Peale’s best seller, The Power of Positive Thinking was published. The first kidney was transplanted. The first mechanical heart was made to work. Chevrolet introduced the powerful sexy Corvette in 1953. The US launched the Nautilus, the first nuclear powered submarine in 1954. The Soviet Union opened the world’s first atomic power station. Reigning British Monarchs made their first visit to American soil.

We reached for outer space. Better known as the `ME NOW’ generation, people born between 1938 and 1957 have used technology to build personal power. Pluto in Leo still rules capitalism and democracy. Rest assured, plutocrats will have little problem finding money, rights, resources, and technology to own, harness,  package, distribute, and sell our Sun’s energy to all of us when Uranus returns to Leo (2039-2046).

Cassie and the Magic Castle

In my last blog entry, I shared how Cassie and I went on adventures to Central Park, a magical place where granite boulders became mountains and bronze statues became real beings. After one of our journeys, I created “Cassie and the Magic Castle”.

I produced it in black and white. I’ve included some original color photos.

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A Decision that Forever Changed our Lives

People often ask how palmistry affects my daily life. The answer is always and forever. When I began searching for self-knowledge, it was easy to look at my hands and find excuses or rationalizations for being or not being certain ways. I’d think, ‘No wonder I’m distracted’. I’d rationalize, ‘I can’t say no because of my highly flexible thumbs’. I’d analyze and compartmentalize my weaknesses, faults, and bad behaviors. Years of counseling others made me realize that I can change my behavior and my hands will also change over time (my dominant thumb has become inflexible). As I practice what I preach, my hands affirm, confirm, and inform me about what decisions I need to make and actions I need to take to achieve a healthy balance between my thinking, feelings, and lifestyle.

mark, joanna, and cassie as a newborn2Twenty-two years ago, Joanna and I made a decision because of the hands of our new born daughter. I was 45. Joanna was 33. Cassie’s hands revealed that she’d face future challenges that compelled us to intervene from the get go. We committed ourselves to doing whatever was required to help our child gracefully rise to her life’s challenges and overcome her obstacles.

We proactively addressed the hurdles we saw in Cassie’s hands. Her very short index finger symbolized that she’d battle with her self-esteem and spirituality. Her short heart line indicated that she’d be serious and private, wouldn’t trust others, and would have a very hard time verbalizing her feelings. The close connection at the beginning of her head and life lines ensured she’d take everything personally and have a strong need for our approval. We appreciated her and made sure that we never took her for granted. We were careful never to patronize her, but praised her initiative and accomplishments. We never responded to anger with anger. We gave her space when she needed it and helped when she asked for it. Space was hard because we lived in a closet. We listened to her and encouraged her to listen to us. Had we been impatient, over critical, controlling, or judgmental, Cassie would have turned out very differently. Sure, we made mistakes, but we did our best to help her unfold as who she wanted and needed to be. As my friend Mikey Lutin says, “It’s easy to forgive your parents after you’ve screwed up your own kids”.

An abundance of wonderful qualities accompanied Cassie’s challenges. Her inventive mind, natural empathy, and brutal sense of honesty made her a critical thinker and a natural bullshit detector. She’s analytical, has a fertile creative imagination, a razor sharp intuition, and a love of adventure. She’s persistent and determined to face her obstacles. Even though she’s a serious minded person, she has a unique dry sense of humor and her friends love her. Her dominant index finger and heart line have both grown longer and stronger.

I want to share what our decision meant and how it changed our lives. Our first major challenge was in the financial arena. Our overhead was dramatically increasing while our income was rapidly dwindling. Joanna was a part time dance teacher and needed to take several months off. I was an industrial designer, hand reader, and part time adjunct college professor. I assumed my clients would see me when it was convenient for me. Not so. I passed on many good prospects because of bad timing. At first, I continued to see private clients in our small apartment, which was quickly becoming a large playpen. I had to find new directions for my career. Other at-home fathers had home businesses that included computer consulting, programming, editing, and word processing. Some dads were caring for other children as well as their own, pet sitting, or party planning. Our conversations often centered on downsizing and cutting overhead.

couple smallI decided it was best to work with special event planners. I’d pay a hefty commission, but I’d only have to sell myself once. My revitalized career entailed performing as a hand reader, astrologer, and tarot reader at parties. On my non-commited nights, I made house calls and wrote articles at home. I arranged all of my work for when Joanna was with Cassie. When an important job conflicted with both of our schedules, we’d ask Cassie’s grandparents or a fellow parent for help.

Being an “at-home dad” was far more challenging than I had anticipated. It’s a whole lot easier to drop your kid off at day care and go to work. Initially, I had minor challenges with chores such as diapering, bathing, dressing, fussiness, tiredness, and hunger. My greatest challenge was feeding. Cassie was an avid nurser. She often refused a bottle, even when it contained her own mother’s milk. There were many occasions on which I wished I had breasts. When a baby is really distressed, she wants the comfort of her mommy, no matter how connected she is with daddy.

It wasn’t until Cassie was two years old that I realized what it felt like to be a single parent. Joanna had always buffered me by being with Cassie in the early mornings, evenings, and weekends. Cassie and I took a trip to the country by ourselves for five days. We had a fabulous time, but her constant need for attention drained me. After five days, I felt exhausted. That short experience deepened my acceptance of teamwork in parenting, strengthened our marriage, and enhanced Joanna’s and my desire to share equally and go the extra mile.

A constant source of annoyance for me was societal stereotyping. Being out with Cassie, people would say “Oh, you’re babysitting today” or “Are you her Grandpa?” I’d reply, “No, I’m her daddy and a primary caregiver”. People assumed I did this because I was unemployed or unable to make a living. Few considered that I chose this path because I actually wished to spend the best hours of the day enjoying my child. Fortunately, I wasn’t alone. I met other middle aged fathers with children in the park.

My ideal day consisted of cleaning, organizing, and beautifying our home, and shopping for fresh food so that I could serve a hot delicious and nutritious meal at dinnertime when Joanna returned from work. Between chores, Cassie and I would work on art projects, bake gingerbread cookies, read stories, and watch kid’s movies.

Pippi smallIt’s amazing how hard it was to find healthy female protagonists. There were so many damsels in distress and princesses trying to turn frogs or beasts into princes. We discovered Pippi Longstocking, Harriet the Spy, Matilda, Mrs. Piggle Wiggle, and Tatterhood, but we ended up making up our own heroines much of the time. Cassie and I went on weekly expeditions to museums, galleries, libraries, book stores, botanical gardens, wildlife centers, parks, and beaches. I wouldn’t trade that time for all the Chi in China.

 

 

When Cassie was five years old she said to me, “Dad, you’re a wise man, but you could be a lot wiser”. I replied, “On yea, how?” “Talk less and listen more.” I knew that the time had come for me to focus on my own career again. Cassie and I still have our adventures. This photo of us was taken in North Harbor Maine a couple of years ago.
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If you’re interested in learning more on this topic, you should check out these links:
“You’ve Got Mark Seltman and Joanna Brotman” – AOL Huffington Post
“Nature vs Nurture” – Youtube
“Palmistry and Marriage” – Blog entry
“Palmistry and Children” – Blog entry