Archive for the ‘ Deep Thoughts ’ Category

My Age, Now That I’m A Parent, Seems Less Relevant

Sunday, October 6th, 2013

2 years, 10 months.

Dear Jack,

I keep having to remind myself of my age. It’s not something I really think about, but when I am about to say my age out loud, I naturally want to say that I am 28 or 29.

And it’s not because of the cliche where I miss being in my 20s and therefore jokingly pretend I’m still 29.

What it probably comes down to for me is that I was 28 when I found out Mommy and I were going to become parents and 29 when you were actually born.

So I guess somehow, psychologically, my age as an individual stopped mattering to me on November 16, 2010.

For all practical purproses, my age became irrelevant that day.

Instead, what I identify with more, is that I am the parent of a young child.

That, is my age. Or at least that’s what I place in that category instead.

This is something I found out officially just a few weeks ago. Mommy and I had been looking for a Sunday School class to join at our church.

We hadn’t been in a steady one since before you were born.

It was either too much trouble or too much of a sacrifice not to be near you for that extra hour or so of the week.

But now that you’re nearly 3, you make it clear that you like to go to church. You ask us to go to church. When we can’t go for whatever reason sometimes, you are disappointed.

It may just be because you get to eat snacks and play with their trucks in the playroom. Oh, and getting to ride on the giant buggy that seats like 8 kids…

The third try was a charm for us, in regards to finding the “right” class. What we realized was that the people in the class are mostly were parents of young children like us.

Mommy and I are both 32 years old. Other parents in the class were 5 years younger or 5 years older, but that didn’t mean anything.

What we didn’t realize is that we were looking for was a group of friends we could relate to in the facets of life that are most important to us- being parents of small children was was of those main things.

Having a young child defines me, not my age.

I already forgot how old I am just now; that’s how much it doesn’t matter to me anymore.

 

Love,

Daddy

 

 

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Counting Random Cell Phone Keyboards, Like A Boss

Thursday, October 3rd, 2013

2 years, 10 months.

Dear Jack,

Some things in life just can’t be explained. For example, why are there over a dozen cell phone keyboards in the parking lot of your school?

Since a couple of weeks ago when we started parking next to your teachers’ Mustangs, we discovered a strange array of cell phone keyboards as we got out of my car.

It’s so strange…

There are no other cell phone parts anywhere else around. Just the keyboards.

Are cell phone keyboards hot on the black market right now?

Did a cell phone keyboard bandit run across your school’s parking lot, carrying hundreds of them over his shoulder in a giant sack, that happened to have a slit in it, causing many of them to fall onto the ground?

That’s the best explanation I can come up with.

Needless to say, you’re pretty fascinated by the mystery (and possible government conspiracy?) of these cell phone keyboards.

Our new daily tradition is that every time we now get out of or into our car in the school parking lot, you like to get down and count them.

Today when I picked you up from school, your teacher Ms. Lauren updated me on the funny thing you said to her this time:

“Ms. Lauren, there’s cell phones in the parking lot. I counted them. There’s 10 of them!”

You’re right. You indeed count 10 of them each time.

It is because of the cell phone keyboards that I now officially know you can count to 10. Because you do it at least once a day now.

Even without meaning to, you found a way to test out what you learn at school.

I think it’s safe to say that cell phone keyboards may be the most peculiar thing you will ever use in the process of learning to count.

As for the mystery of how they got there, I guess we’ll just have to ask God when we get to Heaven one day.

 

Love,

Daddy

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What It Means When Somebody Loves You

Monday, September 23rd, 2013

2 years, 10 months.

Dear Jack,

This morning as we pulled into the parking space at school, I turned around to you and said, “Daddy loves you.”

You curiously replied, “And Mommy? Mommy loves me?”

From there, you began naming off other family members as well.

It makes me wonder about something I have surely subconsciously thought of before:

Do you really understand what it means for someone to love you?

I think you’re now able to begin processing that thought, based on the actions and involvement of those closest to our family.

You recognize that people who give you gifts regularly are people who love you. That’s an easy one!

Another qualifer is a person who has taken care of you in their house. I’m not saying you can’t love a person from school, but that’s not the degree of love I’m referring to.

The kind I am talking about today is the kind where you love that person enough to tell them on a regular basis; enough to where if you didn’t tell them, it would be kind of weird.

Trying to simply qualify what it means when somebody loves you is, actually not that simple. I can understand why the 1984 song, “I Want To Know What Love Is,” by Foreigner was a #1 hit 29 years ago.

At first, the words to the song come across to me as slightly lame ’80′s lyrics, like they are part of a corny pick-up line. However, I think the words to the song are actually very relevant to human nature, outside of romance: “I want to know what love is- I want you to show me.”

I could probably make a Top Ten list of “What It Means When Somebody Loves You.”

But I don’t think that list would be very necessary. After all, you can already tell me which people in your life love you. You didn’t need an explanation or a list.

You just knew.

 

Love,

Daddy

 

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Would You Actually Remember Me At This Point?

Friday, September 20th, 2013

2 years, 10 months.

Dear Jack,

I would like to believe that I will grow old with you. That’s definitely my goal.

But something I am forcing myself to think about is… what if I didn’t? What if right now, something happened to me?

Would you actually remember me at this point in your life?

Would you read these near daily letters I’ve written to you and simply think about how you sort of remember me?

Or is there any possiblity that our memories together have stuck with you enough that I’ll always be a part of you, without any visual prompts needed?

It’s a strange and sad thought for me because my life is consumed by you. I remember everything we do and say together.

What if you only had these letters to go by to know who I was? Have I been thorough and open enough so that you would know who I really am and what mattered to me?

And if not, what would I want you to know?

I hope it would be obvious that I loved you and Mommy more than anything; that my world would fall apart without either of you in it.

I hope you would be able to see that my faith in God was what my relationship with you and Mommy was built on, despite my shortcomings which often reveal themselves in these letters.

I hope there would be no question that I was an eccentric man who lived an interesting life. It matters to me that you know this about me, because I wish the same for you.

Well, I’m sure I could go on and on about what I would want you to know about me, about yourself at this age, and about life itself.

But again, I plan to be around a very long time. So if I get my wish, there will be plenty of more letters to write you in these decades to come. I’ll tell you all about it.

I love you.

 

Love,

Daddy

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I Used To Care About “Being Right” In Parenting

Thursday, September 19th, 2013

2 years, 10 months.

Dear Jack,

Recently Mommy and I started going to a new Sunday School class, which mainly consists of other parents with young kids.

One young wife, who is very pregnant with her first child, learned that I daily document my experiences of parenthood with you, here on The Dadabase.

She responded, laughing, “Oh, well I guess that means we will be coming to you for parenting advice!”

I laughed with her, but seconds later, thought to myself, “Actually, I don’t really give advice. I simply just write about each baby step as well as every major milestone that I observe as a parent. But I don’t actually give advice, day to day. Not really.”

It’s been a process, for me, though.

I remember a couple of years ago, when I talked about and endorsed the “cry it out method” on a weekly basis.

By default, the cry it out method was right for our family, but it obviously isn’t for everyone.

I think it used to sort of matter to me that in my mind, my way was right, and the other ways were wrong.

Another example was how I used to be, in essense, anti-attachment parenting.

These days, I don’t want be known for what I am against, but instead, for what I do believe in.

This moment might be me trying to process that concept.

It’s amazing how little “being right” matters to me anymore. Maybe it’s because I’ve learned that for the most part, “being right” is a relative thing.

Back in 2011, I cared more about trying to convince people of stuff.

Not anymore. These days I just narrate my life and let the free market of freethinkers take its course.

And so it shall go for all other future events in your life:

I will talk about what’s going on, covering which personal decisions and lifestyle choices I encounter as a parent, but I don’t think there is any part of me that cares about converting anybody anymore, to whatever viewpoint I have.

Yet still, I am very passionate about what I talk about; it’s just that I only really talk about what I am passionate about.

It’s actually funny to me now, considering I used to care about “being right” in parenting.

The way I see it now, is that I don’t give parenting advice, I just simply go through new phases in my life, consisting of both baby steps and major milestones. If my perspective and narration accidentally serves as advice, well… then I will consider myself accidentally honored.

 

Love,

Daddy

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