Saturday mornings Gavin Polone and I walk our dogs. Though we’ve known each other since high school, I credit the dogs with renewing our friendship, which, at first glance, does not suggest much mutual ground.
Gavin is not married and has no children. He’s a prolific Hollywood producer of Feature and TV projects including “Zombieland,” rated R for gratuitous violence and exploding zombies. He’s also an up-and-coming director (“Jane by Design” and “Twisted”).
While Gavin can pack his bags at a moment’s notice at the words Green Light, I’m hard-pressed to drive 10 miles to Malibu for a Girls’ Night Out Sleepover. Every mom knows how tricky it is to count on someone else to take care of your kids. So how is it that this single guy with no kids can offer any useful advice on parenting?
“I am my own child,” Gavin laughs. “And I take very good care of me.”
Gavin is a 6’1″ vegetarian who works out 365 days a year. He researches supplements and reads everything he can about health issues. He strives to improve his running times and his body fat percentages. He doesn’t drink or smoke or tolerate democrats. In short, he plans to live forever.
Despite the differences in our work and personal lives, Gavin has become my trusted Go-To Guy on parenting matters.
Take protein powder.
My High School Kid complained of being tired all the time. When he began to fall asleep in class, develop dark under-eye circles and a dark mood to match, I worried aloud to Gavin.
“Is he getting enough protein?” he asked.
I thought he’d be impressed with my bountiful breakfasts and luscious lunches, replete with organic vegetables and turkey on multigrain rolls. I even thought I’d get a little pat on the back for cutting out red meat.
“With the intensity of his workouts, I don’t think he’s getting enough protein,” Gavin surmised.
At his suggestion, I added more eggs to my kid’s diet and double-checked the protein powder I was using in our smoothies. Within minutes, he told me the product I’d been using for years had too much sugar and not enough protein. I bought another product with less sugar and more protein and texted the supplement facts to Gavin to see if it met with his approval.
During dinner with Mr. UnHollywood, Gavin texted me back: Yes. Give him two servings a day.
Mr. UnHollywood’s eyebrows arched, “So now Gavin’s telling you what to feed our kid?”
Whatever works. Since adding more protein to our High School Kid’s diet, he has put on a few pounds and has a noticeable increase in energy and smiles. That makes me smile, too.