Holding My Own in New York by Rod Dreher

Holding My Own in New York

Rod Dreher on Fathers & Sons

As night falls over Brooklyn and my book-mad toddler Matthew has said goodnight to Moon for the umpteenth time, drawn yet again from the bottomless well of Seussiana, and learned once more what happens when you give a moose a muffin, he rolls into the crook of my arm, cranes his head so he can whisper in my ear, and says, “Pawpaw.”

This is my cue to tell him stories of his grandfather, my own dad, who lives with my mom (“Mammy” in Matthewspeak) in Starhill, a rural south Louisiana enclave where the only sounds at night are crickets and bullfrogs, not the wail of sirens on the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway.

Matthew is 20 months old and, being a ci . . .