Kim Basinger, Alec Baldwin

Jerzy Dabrowski/

Try to forget the vituperative voicemail none of us can forget, least of all the man who made it, Alec Baldwin. Turns out he's a sensitive hothead, who's penned an emotional new book, A Promise to Ourselves: A Journey Through Fatherhood and Divorce. Without taking sides in his very public custody debacle with ex-wife Kim Basinger over daughter Ireland, it's easy to appreciate Baldwin's perspective.

Here's a little of the flavor from Chapter 3, "Olives and Cheese":

"When you lose custody of your child, so much of what is magical and priceless in this experience is taken away from you. The moments still occur, but you are no longer there to share them. You find yourself constantly wondering what your child is doing now. An overwhelming pain comes from the knowledge that she is learning life through so many people's eyes, but least of all your own. You want to share your own perspective on life, to influence your child just as your parents influenced you. Above all you want to give your child the gifts of time and attention, but your opportunities become dramatically limited."

You can read the whole chapter here on Yahoo Shine, which touches on Baldwin's own poor but happy childhood and his problematic quest to spend quantity time with his daughter, so that quality time has a chance to happen.

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