Slow-Time House Dad

chris field
8 min readFeb 1, 2021
Photo by surachat, used under license through Adobe Stock. Edited by author to include award.

There are two large cookbooks in front of me on the table. My wife used them to press the moisture out of the tofu we air fried. I don’t know what an air fryer is. It looks like a tiny oven. Not my area, though. I’m in charge of rice. I’m the rice guy.

My eye catches upon a few small white feathers that dance on an air current into the room. These have drifted down from upstairs. They originated in my expensive comforter, which exploded earlier today. The explosion resulted after my son ran down the hallway and leaped upon the bundled up comforter. I do not know if the resultant burst of tiny white feathers was his intent, but I am sure it delighted him. The ceiling fan immediately caught them up, and it was game over. I will be finding little feathers in my house for the rest of my life.

“Daddy, it is snowing in your bedroom!”

I consider how many downy birds were processed to make the comforter and if those birds could conceive the high purpose to which their feathers would someday reach.

I sit alone at the table, absentmindedly staring at the two massive books. One of them purports to show me how to cook everything fast. I don’t need fast. I am off the wheel, out of the hustle, out of the grind. In other words, I have no job. I am home with two kids whose school building is closed — every day. Books about making dinner fast are…