For the past few days, I’ve been out in Denver, Colorado for business. And though many of you may know me as a former card-carrying denizen of Manhattan’s nightlife, you might also be surprised to know that I spent a lot of time in Colorado as a teenager...skiing in the glades, biking in the hills and rafting in the rivers. I bring this up only to let you know that the incredible beauty of Colorado has never been lost on me.
But today, my friends, is different. Today is the first time that I looked at Colorado’s beauty through the new spectacles of Fatherhood…and boy am I depressed. Getting out of bed this morning and looking out at the snow-tipped mountains, I couldn’t help but think that I'm short-changing my newborn daughter by continuing to live in New York City. What am I doing putting Sharper Image Ionic Breeze Air Purifiers all over my apartment when I could just bring my daughter out here to breathe the fresh mountain air? Surely, my little Peanut deserves more than this!
Needless to say, people generally don't live in Manhattan because of the air quality. We live here because we're restless and neurotic misfits, unsuited to live in any other part of the country. We live here because we love the fast pace, the opportunities and the convenient fact that you can get any food delivered to your house when you're drunk at 2:00 am. We also live here because we love the museums, the arts, and complaining about traffic. But air quality? Nope. Never been very high on the list of reasons for living in Manhattan.
But I have a 6 week-old baby girl now who has stolen my heart and completely changed my life. So, needless to say, all of my lifestyle decisions are currently being reevaluated on a regular basis. And most of these decisions are being reassessed with only one sole criteria in mind...what's best for my little Peanut.
I have to warn you though; I'm a little crazy. When I think about my daughter and what's best for her, all rational thought can disappear from my body. I'm so instinctively protective that I can get practically manic. If I think my daughter needs fresh air, then I'm going to get her that fresh air as fast as humanly possible. So don't just stand there, dammit! Quick. Hand me that phone! I've got to call the real estate broker!
But then I stop and start to think. Do you think my daughter might want to have some fresh air? What if she doesn't like it? After all, it's not for everyone. BossLady and I love breathing in fresh mountain air while skiing or snowboarding. But to tell you the truth, every time we drive out to the suburbs and smell the freshly-mowed grass, we end up with terrible allergies that practically require bedrest, IV drips of Benadryl, and piles of Kleenex. Last time we drove out to the country, we returned to Manhattan sniffling so badly that people must have thought we spent the weekend partying with Robert Downey Jr., Tara Reid and the Dallas Cowboys.
So maybe fresh air isn't all that it's cracked up to be? Hmmm...I'm going to have to think about this one for awhile. As usual, it fits into the larger argument about whether BossLady and I are doing the right thing by raising our daughter in New York City. Kids here grow up fast. Most 16-year old girls here don't ask for ponies on their birthday. They ask for credit cards and a boob job. No way am I going to let my daughter turn out like that. But can I raise her to be a caring, well-adjusted child while living in Manhattan? That remains to be seen.
Stay tuned tomorrow where we'll discuss Little League, Norman Rockwell and the 86th Street Gang.