When my daughter broke her leg just after the New Year, she entered a wilderness I had not traversed before. I realized I needed to reconsider everything I thought I knew about empathy – starting with the idea that empathy is about walking a mile in someone else’s shoes.
Parenthood will wreck you. It will take your emotions, your sense of self, your delusions of control and thrash them about the room like a dog with a chew toy.
“You always say no.” My son said this to me nonchalantly at dinner one day as though he were casually observing a fact, like, “The sky is blue,” or “You’re wearing a dress today.” I wanted to mount an argument, but the truth is that I had gotten in the habit of saying, “No.” It was a little bit of a problem.