Last year, when we inaugurated our Top 50 Dad Blogs list, we praised dad bloggers for “changing the way we think about fatherhood.” Indeed, a number of our favorite bloggers on this, our second Top 50 list, insist our thinking needs to be changed. They describe themselves as advocates for fathers, taking to their keyboards in order to counter dominant cultural stereotypes of dad-as-incompetent-buffoon. (You don’t believe them? Tune in to most any family sitcom on most any night of the week.) Others on the list aspire simply to entertain us with funny, relatable tales from the trenches. A few write to work through the shattering grief of losing a child or spouse.
This list features straight dads, gay dads, working dads, stay-at-home dads, geek dads, single dads, and more. In a culture where the dominant conversations around fatherhood center simply on whether dads can deign to change their kid's diaper, it's refreshing to see these guys take the public perception of parents into their own hands. We are again struck by the variety of their voices and experiences, which itself puts the lie to the notion of any one “typical dad.” A lot of our favorites from last year are back, while many worthy entrants are making their debuts. We hope you’ll enjoy laughing, crying, nodding, and discovering along with them as much as we have. As dads' online influence grows, this list will only become more and more difficult to curate — and that's a good problem to have. If you think we missed any of your favorite dad bloggers, nominate them here. – Barbara Spindel and the dad blog panel
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We don’t know who Black Hockey Jesus is. Perhaps his moniker, like that of the Holy Roman Empire, is three misnomers, and he is neither black, nor a hockey player, nor the Son of God. We cannot say, and we’re not sure we’d believe him even if he were to tell us. (“It is best not to trust me,” he warns.)
This is what we do know: he’s a recovering alcoholic, funny, wise, and a damn good writer — so good, in fact, that he jumps to the top of this year’s list after coming in at #14 last year (we’re also proud to have him on our Babble Voices roster). To read through the archives is to get lost in gorgeous writing full of darkness and light. Better than trying to sum him up, we just want you to experience him for yourself: here is BHJ after a day riding a double-decker bus with his daughter, in which he addresses the woman she will one day become.
“I can’t fathom your experience of me or whether or not today will matter to you in the way it rattled my bones,” he says. “But you should know, something in me insists this find expression, that there was a day when you were 8 and we sat at a bus stop and I loved you so much I thought my chest was caving in. You should know that there were days when you were just a kid that I struggled with things inside my head that wanted to kill me and you saved my life on the second level of a double-decker bus.” Enough said.