Wednesday, July 7, 2010

A sneak preview of Ayelet & Michael

This week I get the chance to check in with the literary super-couple Ayelet Waldman and Michael Chabon. Besides their works of fiction, they both have books of essays out about parenting. Ayelet's is called "Bad Mother: A Chronicle of Maternal Crimes, Minor Calamities, and Occasional Moments of Grace". Michael's is called "Manhood for Amateurs: the Pleasures and Regrets of a Husband, Father and Son".

In searching for a photo of them and more information online, I found some really vitriolic pieces about the two of them - and especially about Ayelet. But I'm here to say that I had a wonderful time talking with them... and found them very down to earth. I didn't get a sense of them being the "new overshare-y parents" as one blog called them. Really? Overshare-y is a word? It seems to me that being honest and frank about some of the hardest jobs out there (parenting) is always welcome.

Here's a sneak peek of my conversation with them.

I asked Michael & Ayelet to describe each other as spouses.

Michael: Ayelet is an amazing mother. She is an extremely fierce advocate on behalf of her children. She spends what I as a father and as a man would probably consider an inordinate amount of time worrying and fretting over the food that they eat and the clothes that they wear and the toxic chemicals that they are being exposed to... and when the alert comes through the preschool that some manufacturer brand of lunch boxes in Scarsdale, NY was defected to have a certain amount of lead in the plastic my reaction to that would probably be like "oh that's too bad for the people in Scarsdale".... And Ayelet's reaction and I think the proper reaction - was to get our kids lunch boxes tested because they might have the same thing...


Michael: (laughter) Exactly! And the kits got ordered and sure enough one of them shows a positive result and that attention - that level of attention that it requires - to successfully raise children is something that I always look to Ayelet as my role model for that. And you know, she's warm and encouraging and all those things as well....

Ayelet: And he says that even though I've been SO crabby for the last couple of days! Thank you honey!

Michael: (laughter) Well, yeah, I'm not talking about the last couple of days. I need to stipulate...

I asked Ayelet to describe Michael as a father.

Ayelet: Well you know, I could wax rhapsodic...

Michael: You don't need to! you've already done it so many times!

Ayelet: But I think the best way to describe it is that I think that he is a really awesome mother.

Michael: (laughter) Thank you! That's high praise!

Tune in this week to Realgoodwords to hear more of the conversation - and check out what the New York Times had to say about them.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

really good interview and funny too. Keep up the good work!