Michael J. Fox — dad of four to Sam, 22, twins Aquinnah and Schuyler, 17, and Esmé, 10, with wife of 23 years years, Tracy Pollan, recently opened up to PARADE magazine about parenthood and more.
Michael J. explained why he and Tracy chose to raise their kids out of the public eye, saying, “We made a decision really early on, before the Parkinson’s diagnosis, that we’d move back East. We’d just bought a house in Bel Air [Los Angeles], but we never moved into it. We had an awakening one day that we don’t want to raise our kids in an environment that’s largely show business and built on whose father had a bigger opening weekend. It seemed fraught with peril. New York seemed like a better bet. There’s much more variety in the people that they meet and the relationships they have [in New York]. It’s much more real. They don’t live in a bubble. And I know where my kids are all the time.”
He added, “We have a responsibility to make sure that they’re good people, not destructive; that they’re contributors who don’t feel entitled. They’re good kids. I can’t imagine reading about them [in the tabloids].”
He also revealed how he handled his Parkinson’s diagnosis at just 30 years old: “For a time I dealt with it with alcohol, which turned out to be a disaster. I’d always been kind of a partier, but this was the first time I was drinking in order not to feel something. It had a dark purpose. About a year after my diagnosis, I woke up one morning and saw (wife) Tracy’s face…She said, “Is this what you want?” Instantly I knew-no, this isn’t what I want or who I am. So I quit drinking in ’92. I recognized I had choices about drinking, and that made me realize I had choices about Parkinson’s as well. I could say, “I’m powerless over this, but I have things I can do.” I could apply everything I’d learned about getting drinking out of my life to dealing with Parkinson’s.”
Michael J. and Tracy have been married for 23 years — that’s a lifetime by Hollywood’s standards! What’s there secret? Michael mused, “It’s hard to explain why this amazing woman would want to stay. People say, “Tracy’s a rock.” She always laughs at that and says, “I’m not a rock.” And she’s not. She’s a living, reactive person. We’ve been very blessed and haven’t had a lot of big challenges other than Parkinson’s. Tracy knows she can count on me when there are issues we face. We still love each other and make each other laugh, which is probably the most important thing. She still thinks I’m smart and funny and sexy.”
Read the entire article in this Sunday’s issue of PARADE.