The title of J. Kevin Morris' book "Daddy's Diary: The Adventures of an Everyday Father" may lend one to expect a book of little experiences and charming adventures that involve children.
But "Daddy's Diary" is more a collection of musings from Morris, more a collection of little essays.
There are a couple of anecdotes, one where the child boldly and unabashedly tells the world about her father's nose-picking habit, and another where the 5-year-old stands perilously on the wall with safety on one side and the Grand Canyon on the other — but for the most part, this is a book of thoughts and reflections.
Morris tells his readers about falling in love, marrying, buying a house and the birth of his children. (In one passage, he may offend when he likens the pain of becoming a father to the pain of labor, but he's careful to explain what he's trying to say.)
He takes readers along on the journey that involves changing diaper bombs and feeding the baby strained pears, applesauce and concoctions that would gag most adults.
He is candid about his reaction to being left to man the house when his wife takes a job that demands she be out of town one week per month.
He's brave enough to suggest that there should be a law demanding every wife and mother be away for a few days every month so dads get the full scope of parental duties — handing out the lunch money, helping with the homework, fixing the daughter's ponytails.
It's lyrical prose and well said even when it's a little over the top in places.
Sometimes it would be nice to hear more stories and less personal observation and lessons learned from this father of three and grandparent of nine.
But it's still a pleasant, benign read from the trials of teaching a child to ride a bike to choosing when and if to drop piano lessons for a rebellious player who actually had a musical gift.
Morris recognizes what is universal about parenting: The child is utterly precious and the journey is rewarding enough to justify the sacrifices.
It also makes for a good, short book.
If you go ....
What: J. Kevin Morris book signing
When: Thursday, April 11, 7 p.m.
Where: The King's English, 1511 S. 1500 East, Salt Lake City
Sharon Haddock is a professional writer with 35 years experience, 17 at the Deseret News. Her personal blog is at sharonhaddock.blogspot.com.
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