Letting daughters play on cars is a subject I take up in my Times book review of Paul Raeburn’s new book on the difference dads make. (That’s Ellie atop our Honda Odyssey above.) The review begins this way:
When our young daughters first decided to play on top of our Honda minivan, parked in our driveway, my wife was worried. But to me, it seemed no less safe than chasing a ball that frequently ended up in the street. And they loved the height, the novelty, the danger. So I let them stay. They never fell. And with the summer weather here, playing on the car is once again keeping them occupied for hours.
Now that I have read Paul Raeburn’s “Do Fathers Matter?,” I know that my comfort with more dangerous play — my willingness to let my daughters stand on top of a minivan — is a typically paternal trait. Dads roughhouse with children more, too. They also gain weight when their wives are pregnant and have an outsize effect on their children’s vocabulary. The presence of dads can delay daughters’ puberty. But older dads have more children withdwarfism and with Marfan syndrome.
And oh, wait! I have another book review out today, from the Forward, titled — you can infer the subject — “Why Rabbi Schneerson was good for Jews but bad for biographers.” It’s about this guy —
— and it begins this way:
At the end of time, when climate change or an asteroid or the Messiah’s arrival has rendered moot Pharrell Williams, the Affordable Care Act, “Game of Thrones,” Rand Paul, the designated-hitter rule, Vladimir Putin on horseback, and Chipotle’s cilantro-lime rice, there will be two kinds of religious people left on earth: Mormons and Lubavitcher Jews.