Posts Tagged ‘ art ’

My Son, The Starving Chalk Artist

Tuesday, June 19th, 2012

19 months.

Crayons are the gateway drug to chalk.

It began so innocently when we took home some crayons from Mellow Mushroom Pizzeria, followed by my wife soon after buying him a cheap coloring book.

But on one fateful, antsy Saturday afternoon, we naturally had the clever idea to buy Jack some chalk to decorate our sidewalk. And since then, you’d think the kid has 6 fingers on one hand; one of them typically being blue, green, yellow or red.

Jack values chalk more than Elmo. Yeah, you heard that right.

I mean, he still loves Elmo; calling out his name in vain as he sleeps, sometimes.

But right now, Jack is totally beginning his  ”starving artist” stage.

(I think he’s inspiring to become the next Julian Beever; that famous chalk artist whose genius work you’ve seen in email forwards.)

On the car ride to and from daycare, Jack often requests a piece of chalk; to hold, not to draw with. He just likes the satisfaction, and the pride, of grasping it for 30 minutes at a time.

That’s how much he appreciates the arts.

This past weekend we took Jack to Menchie’s, a pay-per-ounce frozen yogurt place right down the road from us.

Two things in particular make Menchie’s stand out to me:

Evidently the owner is Jewish and he has a rabbi bless each new flavor as soon as possible. That’s why certain flavors have a mysterious Hebrew sticker next to them and others don’t; because the rabbi hasn’t blessed them yet.

(I guess? I’m not Jewish so I don’t know. I’m all in favor of hearing a better explanation on that one.)

The other thing is that there’s a giant community chalkboard inside the shop for the customers to express themselves. Needless to say, Jack cared a lot more about the chalkboard than he did his frozen yogurt.

Lucky for me, because I got to eat all of his bananas and cream dessert.

Just look at that intensity. He wouldn’t have been a starving artist if he would have just eaten his frozen yogurt, though.

For more pictures of the event, go to The Dadabase’s Facebook page and see the picture folder called Menchie’s Yogurt Bar in Nashville.


“A man paints with his brains and not with his hands.”



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Classic Magic Moments in Parenting: #2 Snowman Art

Thursday, February 23rd, 2012

It’s realizing you’ve been staring too long at a picture of your kid as a snowman and have actually begun to feel sorry for him with those pathetic little stick arms.

Poor kid.


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The Trinity of Father, Son, and Saintly Mother

Tuesday, June 21st, 2011

Seven months.

What does your “art” tell about what you value?

baby dedication

While earning my English degree at Liberty University, I was taught in my “World History of Art” class that artists honor what they value through the subject matter of their work: If a caveman etched an outline of himself clubbing a stegosaurus to death, it meant that he prided himself in his abilities to provide dinner for his village.

This “art equals value” concept can apply to many different areas in our lives; even without it officially being art.  One of the most obvious examples is my desk at work.  I keep things pretty tidy; not a whole lot of decoration. But the little bit of flare I do have points to the same central theme: my wife and son.

My computer’s screen saver is a picture of my wife holding Jack, as is the background on my cell phone.  My coffee mug is one that my wife customized for me on Shutterfly, featuring Jack.  Sitting on my desk is a small framed family portrait.  Hanging on my “food shelf” is a paper-clipped wallet size of Jack when he was just a week old.  On my other shelf is a framed “Happy 30th Birthday, Daddy!” certificate made with Jack’s inked hands.

So in essence, everyday is “Take Your Kid to Work Day.”  No matter which direction I am looking while at my desk, I see my son.  And of course my wife as well.  Because obviously, they are what I value the most; always on my mind and in my heart.

The three of us are sort of like our own trinity; all separate entities yet paradoxically one in the same.  I will always be a part of my son and he will always be a part of me; you can’t get the son without getting the father and you can’t get the father without getting the son.

The Dadabase

The Dadabase

The same goes with my wife; neither Jack nor I are complete without her.  We are one intertwined family unit.

Even when I am physically away from Jack and Jill during the day, it doesn’t change the closeness we share.  And I guard that closeness with all my time, all my heart, all my soul, all my strength, and all my mind.

So that neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, not even Facebook nor cell phones ringing during dinner time, may separate us from the love we share.  Our family bond goes beyond a marriage covenant and shared bloodline.  It’s literally out of this world.

sleeping babyc

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Proud Papa

Thursday, June 24th, 2010

Twenty weeks.

*Did you hear about this blog from American Baby magazine?  If so, click here to get to the main page (table of contents) for “dad from day one”.  There’s a whole lot more where this come from…

During the closing credits of my favorite movie of all time, I Love You, Man, Barry (Jon Favreau) finds out his wife Denise (Jamie Pressly) is pregnant after she vomits on him at the wedding reception.  With puke on his shirt, he says to her, “Please, try to make it a boy.”  Barry is a Type A jerk, inhabiting every memory and idea of a typical beer-guzzling frat boy.  So of course, having a boy (instead of a girl) would be very important to him.

Being that I’m nothing like that character in the movie, instead being much more like the main character, Peter Klaven (Paul Rudd), I had just always assumed I would have all daughters.  Here’s the picture I had in my head of my future family: Me, wifey, three daughters, and two Cockapoos (or Labradoodles).

It just makes more sense that a guy who has no interest (or talent whatsoever) in sports or hunting (or anything proving I’m man enough by showing my “game face”), but instead has always been enthralled in everything artistic (drawing, entertaining, acting, singing, songwriting, writing) would somehow automatically make a better father to daughters instead of sons.  So that’s part of the reason I was so authentically surprised to learn that our baby is a boy.  Like somehow I deserved a son less because I’m not a certain macho stereotype I’ve memorized from three decades of watching sitcoms and movies.

And now, I have to admit, there’s a part of me that can’t help but laugh that without any preconceived hopes or crossed fingers, I get what every man secretly hopes for- a son.  There’s an unspoken concept (at least in my mind) that raising a son is a rite of passage for a man.  A coveted elective course, a special honorary badge, an engraved trophy so easily received- to be a father to a son.  A chance not so much to relive my own life, but to enhance another future man with all the life experience and knowledge I’ve learned the hard way.

The movie I Love You, Man is built around the fact that male friendships and bonds don’t often come so easily.  By a man having a son, he is automatically given that opportunity- to nurture a male the way every boy and man craves to be taught and directed.  What I lack in knowledge of fixing cars and football statistics and home repairs, I can make up for in teaching healthy communication skills and anything that falls under that categories of “literary”, “artistic”, “psychological”, and “entertainment”.

In other words, I have a feeling I will be raising  the likeness of a future Jewish comedic actor, maybe the next Joseph Gordon-Levitt, the next Shia LaBeouf, the next James Franco…

A well-rounded people-person who is confident in who he is, that’s who I predict he will become.  Who knows?  Maybe he’ll be a quiet, mild-mannered, studious, future accountant.  But with a dad as quirky and Hawaiian-shirt-wearing as me, I just don’t think he has a chance of being anything like Clark Kent.

Baby Jack's body is the length of a cantaloupe this week.

Here’s what The Bump says about Week 20:

Baby’s digestive system is busy creating meconium (a tarry black substance made of swallowed amniotic fluid, digestive secretion and dead cells), which will fill the first diaper after birth. And, speaking of the diaper situation… baby’s genitals are now fully formed!

To return to the “dad from day one” main page, click here.

All pictures with the “JHP” logo were taken by Joe Hendricks Photography:



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