The Buddy Factor of Being a Dad

Seven months.

The Dadabase

I believe everyone has multiple personalities and different versions of themselves that they reveal based on their environment.  But these multiplicities of ourselves ultimately are still built on top of one default personality.  My default personality is amazingly similar to the character of Peter Klaven (portrayed by Paul Rudd) in my favorite movie ever, I Love You Man.

The movie focuses on Peter’s lack of ability to make and keep strong male friendships and the difficulty that means for him in trying to find groomsmen and most importantly, a best man, for his upcoming wedding.

Most of my guy friends are scattered across the country; instantly available via text message, but not for hanging out with on a regular basis.  And I’m completely okay and comfortable with that.  And interestingly enough, whether it was my female-orientated major in college (English), or every work environment I’ve been in since then, I’ve constantly been surrounded by women instead of men.  And again, I’m completely okay and comfortable with that fact.

Even here on Parents.com, I’m the only male parent blogger.  It is simply my life’s destiny to be a guy who relates to women almost as well as I relate to men.  Need I remind you, it’s mainly women reading The Dadabase.

(Granted, my wife edits out anything too masculine or overly male-driven.  Recently, she had me delete several paragraphs which went on way too long about the details of a Nintendo game.)

But now I have a son.  A baby boy who will eventually grow into a big boy who will eventually grow into a teenage boy and eventually a man.  This means that I will ultimately have a buddy.

I will always have a reason to get to do what I want to do with my free time, as long as Jack is with me.  Because I will be spending quality time with him while I do what I enjoy anyway (or at least enjoyed in my youth).

Already, I’m mentally working on a list of things I will enjoy doing that also will serve as good male-bonding, quality time with my son over the next 2 to 20 years:

1)     Watch the entire series of the following movies and TV series: Rocky, Star Wars, Harry Potter, Band of Brothers, and Lost.

2)     Go hiking and exploring in the woods on the weekend.

3)     Build awesome Lego sets.

4)     Take our bikes for a long ride in a new neighborhood.

5)     Have old school Nintendo game marathons.

6)     Blow stuff up with fireworks.

7)     If ever can ever afford it, take him on a trip to Thailand.

The Dadabase

Of course, this is only the beginning of my list.  But I really look forward to the underlying male friendship in my father-son relationship with him.

I am adamant on being Jack’s father, not his friend.  However, just like how I mentioned in the beginning that we all have different personalities, I know that a father is not simply the paternal figure of his son’s life.  Being a good dad means being someone to relate to and it involves a lot of mentoring.  It requires good communication and quality time.

Being a father is like being a friend, but it’s so much more than that.  Yet it’s paradoxically both more casual and more demanding of respect than simply being a friend.  But even though I won’t refer to my son as my friend, I will gladly call him my buddy.

Man, now I’ve got the jingle to the 80’s toy, My Buddy, stuck in my head:

“Wherever I go, he goes… My buddy, my buddy, my buddy and me!”

All pictures taken courtesy of Dave Stanley at Little River Falls in Fort Payne, Alabama.

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  1. by Dave Stanley

    On June 28, 2011 at 8:40 am

    You’ll have to ask Karen about both her “Kid Sister” and “My Buddy” experiences growing up. Hilarious!

  2. by Nick Shell

    On June 28, 2011 at 8:43 am

    I look forward to it!

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  4. by steven clark

    On July 11, 2011 at 6:21 pm

    I was blessed with my son June 2010. And the Good Lord knows that he’s my buddy. Love to know that I’m not the only guy that feels that way about his son. It’s like you read my thoughts, because everything that you feel about your son i feel the same about mine…I also plan to do the same activities,except the trip to Asia.

  5. by Nick Shell

    On July 11, 2011 at 10:49 pm

    That’s really cool, man. By the way, did you go to Liberty University? If so, I remember you.