Posts Tagged ‘ blogs ’

Actor Turned Director

Wednesday, September 1st, 2010

Twenty-nine weeks.

It took me 12 straight days to teach myself to solve the Rubik’s Cube; it was during this time that my wife and I found out we were going to have a baby.  Of course, we didn’t tell anyone until over a month later, but during my “learn to solve a Rubik’s Cube” phase, I had several people crack themselves up with this joke: “If you’ve got the time and patience to solve that thing, it’s time for you to have a kid!”  And they were right.  My instincts were making it obvious that like so many actors, the time eventually arrives when it’s time to dabble with directing.

(Cue the song “In My Life” by The Beatles as the proper soundtrack as you read the rest of this post.  It’s officially my favorite song ever.)

I can look back on my life with satisfaction, knowing that my accomplishments have outweighed my failures and regrets.  I have met all kinds of interesting people from all over the world (most of whom are facebook friends).  I understand the meaning of life.  I am solid in my beliefs on the afterlife.  I have married the woman I am meant to be with.  I can now solve the Rubik’s Cube in two minutes and twenty-five seconds.  And though this paragraph may resemble a goodbye letter to the world as I prepare for my life to come to an end like I’m 90 years old, I recognize that in some ways life as I know it will end, as it transforms into a new one.  A more meaningful one.  From “me” to “dad”.

On top of all this, I’m about a half a year away from turning 30, so yeah, I’d say it’s time for things to stop being about me so much and more about someone else.  I have been the protagonist, but soon I will become a full-time director.  All of life has prepared me to this new role.  The cynic could see it as circular reasoning- that you spend your youth learning how to become a responsible adult, and then once you do, you just do it all over again with modified little reruns of yourself running around.

But I would say the cynic is still under the assumption that life is all about him- that life either simply ends when he dies or that hopefully when he dies, he’s been “good enough to get to Heaven” or that at least Hell won’t be that bad, but instead just a big party where the temperature is slightly hotter than desired while Jimmy Buffett plays an eternal concert and the margaritas are never-ending.

If anything, I could see how raising a kid will be a redeeming and cleansing process, helping me to see how little I truly know, helping me to appreciate my family and childhood teachers more, helping me to straighten out my priorities even more, helping me to ultimately give more than I take.  I could see how this baby will ironically make me a better adult.  And how the humility of changing diapers is only a small part of this evolution of my life.

And yes, Baby Jack will probably already know how to solve a Rubik’s Cube before he gets to Kindergarten.

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

Blog- www.photojoeblog.com

Website- www.joehendricks.com

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License to Procreate

Thursday, August 26th, 2010

Twenty-eight weeks.  (The beginning of the 7th month.)

I’ve been thinking how it’s kinda weird that in order for two people to reproduce, there’s no paperwork involved before things can get started.  Giving birth to another human being is one of the most life-changing events that can happen to a person.  And not just to the family of that new baby, but also to the world-wide network regarding that human interaction of that person’s present and future life.  For example, in 1981, my parents had me, and now 29 years later there’s a guy at Aflac getting a commission off my paycheck every week because he sold me an insurance policy three years ago.  I am affecting that Afflec guy’s life simply because I am alive.  And that’s the slightest of examples!

In the back of my mind, I question why God is okay with the fact that it’s so easy and natural for human beings to be born.  If I was God, I would be pretty tempted to prevent certain people from being born, like Adolf Hitler (a pretty obvious choice).  And not let future serial killers and rapists be born either.  Instead, God allows all kinds of people are allowed to be born into this world, under the best and worst circumstances.

But God doesn’t prevent “ignorant people” from having babies, nor does He keep “bad people” from being born into the world, nor does He prevent unwanted pregnancies.  Ultimately, every time a person is born, it’s another opportunity for someone to bring glory to Him, whether they ever do or do not.  Not every child who was abused in their youth grows up to repeat the vicious cycle and by becoming an abuser themselves, even if most do.  And what about all the babies who were born into this world as a result of rape?  What about all the orphans throughout the history of the world who were born destined to die young of starvation or disease?

It’s pretty easy for babies to be born, given that that the father and mother physically can conceive.  No paperwork and background check required.  So as I tame my wildest fears regarding all the ways I can mess up this kid who is planning to arrive in two months, I have to remind myself, millions of babies have been born into this world under the worst of circumstances and actually turned out okay.  My future is as unpredictable and uncertain as anyone’s.  Yet I must daily resist thoughts of financial concerns and pointless worries regarding my own conceived incompetence.  But all I really can do is enjoy this new life and remind myself of all the countless times God has provided for me before.

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

Blog- www.photojoeblog.com

Website- www.joehendricks.com

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Becoming a Complete Goofball to Entertain the Baby

Thursday, August 12th, 2010

Twenty-seven weeks.

I know nothing about how to take care of a baby, yet.  But what I do know, and what I have always known when it comes to babies is how to make them laugh and play with them.  In the way that women instinctively speak in a high, falsetto voice to babies (I’ve read that that’s the frequency babies hear when they’re that young, as opposed to a normal speaking voice), I automatically become any given idiot monster when I find myself in a situation where a baby is looking at me, waiting for some kind of confirmation.

The default character I play while entertaining babies could best be described as Popeye mixed with Grimace mixed with Beaker: A smiling, squinty-eyed, beeping mutant.  But what can I say?  Babies like me when I am this fictional goofball.

And really, that’s what happens to any adult when a baby is set in front of them.  Adults become ridiculous.  That’s one of the many reasons people like babies.  Because adults get a free pass to act stupid.  All in the name of making a baby happy.

Needless to say, I am so looking forward to my free pass.

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

Blog- www.photojoeblog.com

Website- www.joehendricks.com


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Monkey See, Monkey Do

Thursday, August 5th, 2010

Twenty-six weeks.

It’s not so much that I will relive vicariously through him as it will be that I will raise him according to what I know boyhood to be; therefore, Jack’s youth will in certain ways resemble mine.  And not only will I influence him regarding what it means to be a boy, but also by what it means to have a dad, based on how my own dad influenced my life.  Looking back, I can see that my dad was extremely patient with me and willing to spend his free time with me doing whatever goofy thing it was that I was into.

Whether it was helping me make the perfect Pine Wood Derby car for Cub Scouts, going exploring out in the woods, playing “Ninja Turtles” with me (I still have  an impressive collection of those action figures at my parents’ house), or playing Nintendo for hours at a time.

Being a dad to a son also means confronting potentially dangerous situations and keeping him safe through it; whether because he has to, or for fun.  And in the process, the son learns to trust his dad to take care of him, knowing his dad wouldn’t allow him to get hurt.

Like when he was leading our family in a 5 mile hike in Mentone, AL and he encountered a Copperhead snake- he killed it by throwing a huge rock on it.  Then when we got back home he skinned it and displayed it for all of us Cub Scouts.

And like when I was really young, my dad would put me in a pillow case, hold on to the open end, and sling me around the living room.  And because I was a boy, I loved it.

I also would sit up on his shoulders while he stood under the ceiling fan, in front of the mirror, so I could see that my head was just inches away from the spinning blades.  He called the event “The Head Chopper-Offer”.  And because I was a boy, I loved it.

And I always liked to wrestle my dad.  Obviously, it was impossible to beat him.  He was way too strong and way too big for me; not to mention he had a black belt in karate.  And because I was a boy, I loved it.

It was about testing those limits of danger with someone whose job it was to keep me safe.  Ironic, yet necessary.  My dad and I wrestling on the brown shag carpet represents what being a dad to a boy is all about.  The typical “play fighting” allows a boy to test his own strength and power against his own protector and guardian.  And it’s a very natural way for a father and son to be physically close- without even realizing it.

Dads and sons are close in their own unspoken ways.  And as a dad, part of my job will be to initiate some of these weird ancient rituals.  Even if it means confronting danger- it’s part of the journey of becoming a man. And these types of adventures are a rite of passage meant to be passed down from father to son.

Baby Jack is the size of an eggplant.

Here’s what The Bump says about Week 26:

Let your spouse put an ear to your belly — he might be able to pick up baby’s heartbeat (no stethoscope required). Inside the womb, the formation of tiny capillaries is giving baby a healthy pink glow. Baby’s also soaking up your antibodies, getting the immune system ready for life outside the womb. Eyes are forming, and baby will soon perfect the blink — perfect for batting those freshly grown lashes.

http://community.thebump.com/cs/ks/blogs/2ndtrimester/pages/weeks-25-28-month-6-eggplant.aspx?r=0

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

Blog- www.photojoeblog.com

Website- www.joehendricks.com

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How to Get Rid of Leg Cramps During Pregnancy

Thursday, July 29th, 2010

Twenty-five weeks.

Just a few short weeks ago I published dad from day one: Leg Cramp Alarm Clock where I proclaimed,Ultimately, she’s pregnant and leg cramps are part of the deal.  They will probably be replaced by another annoying inconvenience.  And what will I do?  What can I do?”

But now, looking back, I think, “How could I have been so absent-minded to say that?”  In that moment, I must have forgotten my own belief system when it comes to curing ailments- that any kind of developed physical ailment is a symptom and a warning sign of something the human body is either lacking or has too much of.  I believe God gives us those clues to help us figure out how to become healthier, not simply to fix or mask the problem.

Just like the way I learned the hard way The Cure for Eczema (click title to find out how), my wife had to learn how to prevent/stop  having leg cramps.  And since she has made some slight changes, the cramps not only stopped, but haven’t came back once since then.  These leg cramps weren’t simply another annoying side effect of being pregnant- they were my wife’s body’s way of screaming out for at least four things in particular (because the baby is “taking them from her”): calcium (the baby’s bones are hardening), magnesium, water, and better blood circulation.

She has been faithful to take at least one calcium supplement and one magnesium supplement every morning and constantly drinks from a Voss water bottle (it’s just a cool botttle, since it’s made of glass instead of plastic- it’s not magic Norwegian healing water or anything) she refills several times a day from the fridge (she also drinks water any time she wakes up during the night).  And as much as possible, keeps her legs slightly elevated- she has a papasan rocker chair so her feet don’t touch the ground when we’re just hanging out at home; and often she rests her legs on a pillow when she sleeps.

So far, it’s done the trick.

The leg cramps have not snuck back yet.  And if they do, my first response will be: More water, more calcium, more magnesium, elevate your legs…

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

Blog- www.photojoeblog.com

Website- www.joehendricks.com


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