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Friday, December 6th, 2013
I remember those sort of strange nights as a kid when my dad was in charge of providing me grub and conversation. But it was a nice change, too.
Every once in a while, like tonight, there is that rare occasion where it’s just you and me for dinner time.
What’s for dinner? Ah, leftover Annie’s Mac and Cheese in the fridge, which you insist on eating on cold- and of course, I don’t argue.
Applesauce too. Even half of an unfinished English muffin pizza that Mommy made you from… a few (?) days ago.
No table required. We both just dined on leftovers from the fridge, at the bar. You quickly resorted to losing the spoon and just eating with your hands.
I was impressed with your barbaric ways.
Lucky for you, there happened to be a chocolate covered cream treat that Mommy had brought home from work.
You even got dessert! Score!
But yes, the conversation during “Daddy does dinner” nights is… sort of caveman.
All I know is, there is silence interupted by grunts. Not to mention, no real eye contact. What would have been at least a 25 minute meal had Mommy been there, it gets edited down to no more than 8 minutes when Daddy’s hosting dinner.
I think part of the reason is because we have to save our energy for our “post dinner scuffle.”
There’s the part where we can go in the hallway and I roll Mommy’s exercise ball at you like you’re Indiana Jones. And where Daddy becomes a ridable bull.
And your favorite, where you grab a random kitchen utensil and use it to “chomp Daddy’s pasta hair” while riding on my shoulders.
So, yeah. Dinner time’s a bit different than Daddy, instead of Mommy. As much fun as we do have together for dinner, I still know you’d rather Mommy to be in charge of dinner instead.
I can still roll her exercise ball at you anyway.
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Friday, September 20th, 2013
2 years, 10 months.
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.
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Sunday, April 28th, 2013
2 years, 5 months.
Last Thursday on the drive to school, I popped in one of my favorite CD’s ever, Mat Kearney’s Young Love.
In a random and successful effort to find a new way to entertain you, I handed over the jewel case with the lyrics; which instantly became a storybook to you.
While I’ve heard every one of those songs at least 273 times, a phrase from the very first song, “Hey Mama,” caught my attention:
“What are you doing for the rest of your life?”
It’s such an understated question. Naturally, though, the answer is simple:
You and Mommy. In other words, whatever I am doing for the rest of my life, it revolves around the two of you.
Granted, I had obviously given plenty of prior thought of spending the rest of my life with Mommy nearly five years ago when we got married.
But as for you, I hadn’t truly consciously put you in that same category; at least not since you were a newborn.
No matter what my calender says, your name is on every day for the rest of my life. There will never be a day that you don’t consume my thoughts.
It’s one of those things that every dad-to-be dwells on. I can remember now, how for the months leading up to your birth, I would constantly think about how you would forever change my life.
I would think about how my existence in this world would now cause a ripple effect which would be undeniable- simply because I was responsible in bringing you into this world, and more importantly, because the way I would raise you would make who you would become; for better or for worse.
So yeah, I haven’t given too much thought about that in the past nearly two and a half years. I’ve had so many other dad-related thoughts to consume my mind since then.
And that just goes to show you… you’re what I’m doing for the rest of my life.
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Saturday, April 20th, 2013
2 years, 5 months.
Thursday morning as we pulled out of the neighborhood, you asked me:
“What’s that sound, Daddy?”
Minutes later, a man in a pick-up truck next to me motioned to my back tire. Fortunately, we happened to be very close to a WalMart, where we learned my tire had a big silver nail in it and that the tire would have to be replaced.
For months now, I have meaning to get my own diaper bag to keep in my car for you.
Given that you and I spend at least 7 hours a week together in my car, it makes sense that I should have a “daddy diaper bag” to remain with me wherever I am with you.
Interestingly enough, Thursday morning happened to be the morning I placed my new daddy diaper bag in my car, in the seat next to you. Then minutes later, the flat tire situation happened.
So during the 2 and a half hour event, I had books, toys, snacks, and of course, diapers for you; right there all in one place. It’s strange to think that before this week, I didn’t even carry diapers with me in my car!
But now, we’re all set. And not only do I have a daddy diaper bag, I actually have a really nice, trendy one from OkieDog.
I noticed that the particular bag I chose, the Urban Sphinx, is specifically designed for a man. Just like the way a man compartmentalizes his thoughts in a very cut-and-dry manner, the bag is evidently designed this way too.
The bag actually reminds me of my car itself, a Honda Element, in that it is simple, practical, efficient, and very low-maintenance.
Those are all adjectives that, as a man, are important to me in describing things I own.
Like a Honda Element, my daddy diaper bag contains no cloth or fabric, making it very easy to clean.
It has a plastic carabiner-type device on a key ring behind the main flap, making it very easy to find my keys. (That’s why I hate Mommy’s purse… I always have to dig around for her keys!)
Something else that made me smile about my daddy diaper bag is that it comes with a couple smaller zippered bags; perfect for wet wipes or snacks.
I like how nothing about it is hidden: All the pockets and compartments are easily visible and obtainable. (I am assuming it was designed by a man because everything about it speaks to me in my language?)
In other words, nothing about it reminds me of a purse, like our other diaper bag.
Son, this is our masculine diaper bag. It has already experienced its first adventure with the two of us.
Here’s to many more father and son adventures! Hopefully, they won’t involve me buying a new tire for my car…
Attention Dadabase Readers: Here’s a coupon code that gives you a 10% discount on orders from the okiedog.com site: 2296.
It will be good through the end of May 2013. Also, Okiedog will soon be offering free shipping on all products to Amazon Prime members.
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Tuesday, August 14th, 2012
I’ve never called my son “Buddy.”
No, it’s not that I’m one of those parents who takes things too seriously; proclaiming that calling my son such a casual nickname will cause him to respect me less in the long run.
Nor am I bitter that my dad wouldn’t let me get a My Buddy doll when I was a kid in the Eighties, so therefore I just boycott the word altogether.
Ultimately, I just don’t think I have the right personality for it. I watch my good friend (and the most talented photographer I know) Joe Hendricks play with his son:
“Hey there little Buddy! Look at you starting to walk! That’s my main man! What a champ!”
That will never be me. I’ll never talk like that. I could never pull it off.
Not that there’s anything wrong with that.
It’s just that my friend Joe is more of a Buddy kind of guy than I am or ever will be.
He is the epitome of the nickname “Buddy.” Not only does everyone I know happen to know Joe, but he’s the kind of guy you want to be your friend if he’s not already.
As for me, I’m more an introvert/extrovert hybrid. And I never refer to my own friends by that word. I never say, “Yeah, last weekend me and one of my buddies…”.
I use the much less interesting and affectionate term, friend, instead for my… friends.
So what word do I use for my son when I am talking to my him?
As I unpack my subconscious on this, I realize that I enjoy reminding myself that I am his father. I find a lot of my value as a human being in being a dad.
I suppose I choose son because it makes me feel good about myself. It carries this idea of mentorship, especially when I use it to instruct him:
“Alright Son, pick up your toys, then we can go downstairs and watch Elmo.”
“Son, come with me. We’re going to try out our new jogging stroller.”
“You have a good night, Son. I love you.”
To me, the word carries a lot of emotional and spiritual meaning with it. Plus, it goes without saying that packaged into the word son is friend.
But it’s all personal preference and it doesn’t matter in the end.
The dads who call their son “Buddy” are doing what’s right for them and their relationship with their son, as are those of us who use another name instead.
People show affection and emotion in different ways. And I think all this talk right now about a man calling his son “Buddy” is just simply a reflection of that.
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Buddy, dad, daddy, father son nicknames, fatherhood, jogging stroller, nicknames, parenting | Categories:
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