Bobblehead Dad: Going from the Fast Lane to the Carpool Lane

Author Jim Higley knows a thing or two about curve balls.

The baseball fan and father of three was in his early 40s when he was diagnosed with cancer. Having already lost his mother, father and brother to the dreadful disease, Jim vowed to fight back and in the process learned a valuable lesson about life, love and the importance of family.

Higley revisits this journey in his new book, “Bobblehead Dad: 25 Lessons I Forgot I Knew.” More than just a story of survival, Higley shares how he came to celebrate what he calls the “vanilla moments” of life. Drawing upon his memories and experiences as the youngest of 5 boys growing up in a small midwestern town, Higley illuminates the value of living in the present by finding joy in banal, everyday experiences.

“As soon as I stopped being afraid of the cancer returning,” he recalls, “that was the exact moment I learned to relax and enjoy my life again.”

Higley’s journey also helped him reprioritize his life as he learned to let go of preconceived notions and other people’s opinions. Prior to being diagnosed with cancer, Higley thought he was living the “American Dream.” He had a prestigious career, a big house on the North Shore and three amazing kids. “What I failed to realize was that my kids were missing the one thing they needed most, which was more time with me,” he says.

So, Higley quit his job as a partner of a real estate investment firm and took up life as a stay-at-home dad. The transition wasn’t easy as he learned the complexities of managing a household while juggling three busy children’s schedules. He also learned how to sew on buttons, design Halloween costumes and get the best spot in the carpool line (the key is to arrive early). “It’s ironic,” says Higley, smiling in the way only a proud parent can, “I found out that not only did my kids need me, but I needed them.” For more information about Jim Higley and his Bobblehead days, visit

Jim Higley will discuss his book at 7 p.m. on Tuesday June 7 at the Book Stall in Winnetka. Book sales will benefit Imerman Angels.