Our sonswhich brings together some of Marc Cassivi’s “dad chronicles”, shows that behind his drooling looks lies a very tender heart.
He has a big mouth, Marc Cassivi. Just read it in the pages of The Press to think he’s doing it on purpose to make himself hated. He has a sense of the murderous formula and does not make moderate use of it. You have to know him to know that, yes, he likes to hit on the same nails and makes it a point of honor to be the pebble in the shoe of a lot of people.
He’s not hard to love though, Marc.
Total transparency: it is not because he has been a colleague for more than 20 years at The Press I refer to him by his first name. Marc is above all a great friend. We met in a student newspaper 30 years ago, where we met another Alexandre, Sirois that one, also at The Press. We haven’t left each other since, all three of us. Not for long, anyway.
He was almost the first of us to become a dad. The other Alex was a few days ahead of him. They have two sons each. Me, the opposite. His “boys”, I therefore knew them from the cradle, but never as intimately as in these “dad chronicles” that Marc has been writing for about 10 years on Sundays in The Press. Texts gathered today in Our sonstouching collection and very well shot.
His sons, our children
Note: his book is not called “my”, but “our” sons. Marc, basically, talks about his sons as much as yours. My daughters too. His subject is first of all the bond that unites us to our children, our role as parents. “Being a father is an important part of who I am,” Marc, who comes from a family of four children, tells me. This “desire to be a father”, he always had it in him, as evidence.
His chronicles are first of all “slices of life”, which focus on what is most ordinary in everyday life. “These are neither the chronicles of an unworthy father nor those of a father who has allure”, specifies Marc. He does not see himself as a model “new father”, although he is aware that he does not act like those before him. Like many other dads today.
We are involved in a lot of everything, but we have to recognize that the mental workload is not necessarily me who has it. It’s not me who makes the medical appointments and all that, but we do more and we want to be present in the lives of our children.
Changing diapers, bathing baby, feeding him, making his child laugh by turning him upside down (preferably before meals), giving kisses to his little sores and, later, helping him to heal the big wounds on his heart, that goes without saying for many dads our age. In fact, we really like it.
What shows Our sons, it’s less the challenge of being a parent than the happiness of being a dad, which Marc recounts with infinite tenderness. He looks at his sons sometimes amazed, sometimes irritated (“They challenge us”, he says about children), always loving. “The affection has always been there. The challenge is not to look corny, he says, but I assume. »
A look at society
What distinguishes his collection of chronicles is also the skill with which Marc talks about society when talking about his boys. He talks about learning to read and sexism at school, says the fear that lives in him when guys the age of his sons are shot dead in the middle of the street in Montreal because they were in the wrong place in the wrong moment, speaks of racial profiling by evoking the hair of one of his sons and, when he says that he is cleaning his basement, it is mainly to say that his eldest is gaining autonomy and… confess that he is really in no hurry to see him go.
Often, the starting anecdote is something that happened during my week: being a father, seeing your children grow up, also means taking a look at the world which allows you to tackle many themes. Afterwards, I am aware that my family is privileged and that my guys are doing well. Not bad all my buddies have children who have had more challenges than mine…
He doesn’t say that to brag. Marc admits, moreover, that he sometimes has scruples about recounting a rather “banal” family life. It seems to me rather that this is what makes the beauty of his stories. Dramas are everywhere, all the time. We don’t take enough time to talk about the bonds we develop with our children through the films we watch, the discussions we have, the activities we share, the silences and the intimacy we respect.
Marc says that his sons always have the last word on his columns, but that they almost never censor him. In fact, they don’t even care a bit that their father publishes a book about them… One day, they will measure their luck to have access to this view of their childhood and adolescence, told a skilful and attentive pen, full of humor and above all love.
Do you find that corny? I assume.
In bookstores June 13