Answer to the Riddle (and 3 Literary Books for Expectant Dads)

Dear mediocremeg14, guydreaminglife, honkinggoose, and Batzorig Begzsuren

Thank you all for giving answers to yesterday’s riddle post. Two of you guessed it right, and the other two had it pretty close. [To others: Don’t know what I’m talkin’ bout? Click here.]

Since the next Blogging101 assignment is a letter form, I thought I’d appreciate your feedback and write you four back a letter.

The answer to the riddle is: his son. As explained here:

The portrait is of the man’s son. Many people mistakenly argue that the man is looking at a picture of himself. If he had said, “… that man is my father’s son.” then this solution would be correct, but he said, “… that man’s father is my father’s son.” One way out of the confusion is to substitute the word “me” for the more cumbersome phrase “my father’s son.” Then the statement becomes, “that man’s father is me.”

The reason I posted the riddle yesterday was because my fiancee went into labor and gave birth to a beautiful boy. You might also notice that I put “Important Day” in headlines with a parenthesis. I was waiting outside a maternity hospital.

Yes–I’m a father now! 🙂 It was a lifetime event for me, but since I like to keep things not-so-personal, I’ll spare you my emotional speech.

But, how about you guys? How was your experience of fatherhood/motherhood? It’s a totally unique thing, isn’t it? Expecting a child is a unique experience for the mother, but also for the father. I have been clueless and often counseled the omniscient Internet.

And naturally, I sought advice from the most unexpected resources–literary fiction. Here are three literary books that also helped me shape what expectant dads should and should not do.

Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway

Yes, it’s about World War I, but it’s also about tragic consequences of what harsh conditions do to a pregnant woman. After reading the book I asked my fiancee to get an ultrasound, because I was afraid for the baby. And as if to warn us, the baby had an umbilical cord around his neck and had high contraption. He needed more calcium. My fiancee consumed dairy products more often since then, focused on resting more and our baby boy came by fine (knock on wood).

Rabbit, Run by John Updike

I think I read it before my fiancee was pregnant, but this book told me what not to do as an expectant dad. It’s about a father who runs away and leaves his pregnant wife for some soul-searching. Not every expectant dad considers leaving his pregnant wife (not me, of course not), but fatherhood has a scary side, too. I couldn’t really relate to this tall, high-school star protagonist (I was recommended this book for its style), but I finished it knowing what not to do as a soon-to-be-father.

The Road by Cormac McCarthy

Don’t tell anyone, but I cried like a goddamn baby at the end of this book. You know why? Because this book is what being a father is all about: knowing your child is your legacy and sacrificing yourself to protect him and/or her. If you have a baby on the way, read it (and make sure to read the end alone, so no one can see you crying). If you know someone who’s going to be a father soon, give it as a present. They’ll thank you for life. Oh, and also give them a tissue. That’ll be extra thoughtful.

Would you agree with these books? What else would you recommend for dads? My blogging101 assignment was to flip a book at page 29 and pick up a word that caught my eye and incorporate it into my new post, in a letter form. My word was “three”, hence only three books. There’s more though.