Interview with Danny Thomas by The Next Family
TNF: How has it been blogging for TNF?
I love blogging for TNF. It’s been a fun journey into myself, a great way to explore what is important to me as a person and as a father… and also as a writer. I have discovered, through writing for TNF, some thematic ideas that come back again and again in my blogs and in my thinking and that has helped me define and refine my personal philosophy and how I approach the world and my family.
It has been nice to have a reason to write… something that forces me to do it. I love writing and have fun writing, but have lacked discipline as a writer and TNF has been a great motivator… I get wonderful feedback and it has sparked some interesting exchanges as well…
Finally, all of this inspires me to write more, develop my voice, develop my stories, hone my craft and continue the exploration.
TNF: How is your family like every other family and how is it different?
Wow, this is a tough question…
There are so many different kinds of families, and in so many ways every family is different, and yet, we share common ground. I think I’ll just have to tell you some things about my family and you can decide…
My wife and I share in all of the household responsibilities, however, she is the primary income provider and I am the primary homemaker…
On the weekends we like to have big breakfasts; sometimes we go out to breakfast, sometimes we make it at home… and a lot of times we get donuts.
We live in a two-story three-bedroom house; our two oldest daughters share a room and sleep in bunk beds… they love dancing and singing and Strawberry Shortcake, and also swimming, gymnastics, riding bikes, Barbies, princesses and pink stuff…
the baby has her own room; she likes breast milk and sleeping.
My wife and I share a room, we just got a king-sized bed. We like reading and movies and television. She is a Theatre Professor; I am a sound designer and a musician. I write blogs and poems… some people might say we are artsy, or bohemian… we just think of ourselves as people.
We have a cat named Puss Puss..
As a family we like to make up songs and stories, read books, go for walks, have adventures, play games, and watch movies.
Some things that are important to us are honesty, equality, good food, laughter, and friendship…
TNF: Did your family accept you and your lifestyle? If yes, explain and if not explain what you have done to help them to accept your decisions and your lifestyle.
My family is very supportive of my lifestyle, occasionally throughout my life my mother has encouraged me to “get a real job” or be more “career oriented” and I think both my mother and my wife’s mother have struggled occasionally with how we challenge gender stereotypes… in that each of us is not “being taken care of” in the “traditional” manner they imagined… that is, I am not bringing in the money, and my wife is not cleaning and cooking for me… but these struggles are not persistent.
TNF: How do you juggle the work at home with your jobs?
This is probably the biggest struggle in my life right now.
I just don’t know how to do it; as a family we are working on it and trying to come up with some systems of time management, but I don’t have an answer for this question because I don’t know…
I mean, the only answer I can give you is that everyday I let at least one or two balls drop.
TNF: What lessons do you feel are the most important to teach children in this day and age? Are there any lessons they, or perhaps we as parents should unlearn?
Be open to new things and enjoy learning. Know yourself. Be true to yourself. Trust yourself, and find at least one group of people besides yourself that you can trust and depend on. It’s okay to make a mistake, that’s how we learn. Work hard, but have fun and laugh as much as you can.
TNF: Any words of wisdom to pass on to our readers?
I don’t feel qualified to impart words of wisdom… I am just bumbling through this life trying to find balance and peace, trying to laugh and absorb as much as possible.
I guess one thing I have learned about being in a relationship, and being in a family is that it is a choice; my wife and I make the choice everyday to be committed to each other and to our family. It’s not always easy, or fun, or beautiful, and it means a lot of sacrifice and a lot of tough conversations…
TNF: Anything you want our readers to know about you or your family?
I am a terrible driver; my wife is a terrible passenger.
Her favorite food is potatoes, mine changes moment to moment, right now it’s falafel. ‘Zilla’s favorite food is peanut butter toast, and Lil’ Chaos’s favorite food is probably Top Ramen, although she may be like me and it may depend on what is right in front of her at the time… Zuzu’s favorite food is breast milk.