On his 20-year marriage to Tracy Pollan: “Here’s the thing with Tracy and me: We like focusing more on the comedy and less on the drama. The secret to a good marriage, as far as I am concerned, is a joke I make: Keep the fights clean and the sex dirty.
Tracy and I are taken aback sometimes when people come up to us and give me this sad moon face and then they give Tracy a hug, and say, ‘You are so strong.’ We roll our eyes at each other, because we are having a really good time.”
On time spent with his family: “We’ll go up to the country, and it’s not unusual to make popcorn and then for all six of us to climb into bed and watch TV — just bodies everywhere. We are a really affectionate family, and we laugh a lot.
And you know, with Parkinson’s, my kids just make the transition. If I am reaching for something, they will just do it and carry on. Again, people say to me, ‘How do you cope?’ And I think, Cope?! It’s really hard to even think that way. Sometimes I’ll stop and think, Am I selling short the experience my family is having? But then I’ll look back at it and say, no — they’re having fun.”
On what he’s learned from fatherhood: “It has taught me that there is not one moment that is frozen in time. There is no better example than to watch four kids grow up. For instance, I’m not feeling particularly steady right now, but this is not going to last for more than a couple of minutes. Same with raising kids. There are no moments you have frozen in amber. It’s moving, it’s changing, so appreciate what’s good about right now and be ready for what’s next.”
On living in the moment: “It’s just constantly being in the now; knowing you don’t get to choose whether you move forward. You’re going to move forward, so don’t fight it. It’s like with kids, you pick your battles. I remember my son wanted to go to bed with his cowboy boots on, and we had this fight for like an hour. Then I realized that the only good reason I had for him not to do it is because I didn’t want him to. There was really no other reason. And finally I said, ‘OK, fine.’ It was a great victory for me, because I realized it doesn’t really matter.”
For more of Michael J Fox tune into his April 23rd TV special, Adventures of an Incurable Optimist, airing on ABC.