Posts Tagged ‘ Deep Thoughts ’

Before I Met Your Mother: Flashback To 2005

Thursday, April 3rd, 2014

3 years, 4 months.

Dear Jack,

Until last night, I had never seen a full episode of the popular TV show, How I Met Your Mother.

But after hearing all the hype about the final episode that aired this week, I decided to check out the first couple of episodes on Netflix.

It’s interesting because the first episode flashes back to the year 2005, when the protagonist and narrator was 27 years old and meets the woman he wants to marry… and sort of ultimately begins to chase for 9 seasons.

Seeing the show took me back to a place in my life when I was that single 20something year-old guy without a wife and child.

It’s such a different state of mind.

Yes, there was so much “freedom” back then, yet I clearly remember that deep yearning to meet the love of my life, who would in essence connect me to a universe in which the world made better sense to me.

For me, the year 2005 was when I moved to Nashville to truly “start my adult life” as a 24 year-old single guy.

A year later, I met Mommy. Less than two years later, she and I got married. About two and a half years after that, you were born.

To me, this current version of my life is the one I would pick every time.

I know it could be said that raising a 3 year-old boy is at times, chaotic.

But one of my roles in our small family (and in this world as a whole) is to help organize chaos.

It’s as if I find safety and security in the structure of chaos, because it brings meaning to my life.

There are so many things I can’t do well. And there are many obvious roles in our family that Mommy handles.

As for me, I’m here for “everything else.” That’s what I’m good at. I’m starting to fathom that now.

That includes getting rid of spiders for Mommy. That includes being the official disciplinarian for you. That includes me being consistently positive for the two of you even when I don’t feel like it.

I bet it’s hard to imagine me any other way though, right? Before I met your mother, I was a lost boy.

You and her changed that for me. I like 2014 a lot better than 2005.

 

 

Love,

Daddy

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My Thoughts On The Breaking Bad Finale: Felina (Now On Netflix)

Saturday, March 1st, 2014

3 years, 3 months.

Spoiler Alert: Contains some minor revelations of how Breaking Bad ends.

Dear Jack,

This was a special week in the world of Netflix as people who are too cheap to pay for cable or satellite (or iTunes) were able to see the final 8 episodes of Breaking Bad.

I managed to watch them all over 3 nights; Wednesday night I only slept 4 hours in anticipation of seeing what happened, in the end, to Walter White, the terminally ill high school science teacher turned meth dealer who wanted to provide a living for his family after he was gone.

It is true I only slept for 4 hours last night, but as of 4 hours ago, I can now officially say I’ve seen every episode of Breaking Bad. #sleepinginthecarduringmylunchbreaktoday
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One of the reasons this show is so captivating is that it capitalizes on the thin line between good and evil, as well as the gradual breakdown of a “good man’s” morals, under the guise of “doing something wrong but for the right reasons.”

It’s fascinating, as a spectator of the demise, to find myself rooting for the anti-hero up until nearly the final episode; despite the fact he literally destroyed (and ended) more lives than I would care to count.

The fact that I was privately hoping he didn’t get caught reveals something about my own damaged sense of morality. It shows me that even in the smallest, unidentifiable ways, I can be wrong and be convinced I’m right.

Ultimately, Breaking Bad is a story about a man who gains the whole world, yet loses his soul.

When I say that he loses his soul, what I mean is that what mattered to him more than anything (at least, at first) was his family, and he lost them:

In the end, Walter White’s teenage son outright hates him; even changing his name to Flynn, from Walt Jr.; a subtle way to detach himself from his father, as he watches his father become preoccupied with his work, compensating with gifts, but not regular quality time.

Walter White’s marriage remains in tact only in a legal and business sense. And his infant daughter will grow up knowing her father only as a murderous drug dealer.

That’s just the damage he did to his immediate family…

However, he did manage to (illegally and off the radar) leave his family (via his son) millions of dollars ($9.72 million, to be exact) to live off for the rest of their lives.

One question that the final episode proposed to me was, what kid would choose millions of “dirty” dollars from a father they despised… over having a father who truly cared about them and loved them with all his heart, though he didn’t leave them much money behind?

To me, it’s a no-brainer.

There’s a good chance I’ll never be able to leave you with millions of dollars, but I can love you with all my heart. I know that’s what you’d rather have anyway.

 

Love,

Daddy

 

Image: Courtesy of AMC/Breaking Bad.

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There Is No Law That Can Force People To Love Each Other

Saturday, February 22nd, 2014

3 months, 3 years.

Dear Jack,

My love for you is not based on a law; nor could it even be. After all, there is no law that can force people to love each other.

Same thing goes for my love for Mommy. Sure, we have a marriage license (as recognized by the state of Tennessee) and were were married in a church (in front of God and other believers)… but I can’t be forced to love Mommy, or you.

Yet I do anyway. I choose to. I want to.

On a global scale, I believe that if everyone truly loved each other as much as they did themselves, the world wouldn’t need laws; nor would there be wars… nor would there be rich people or poor people, escpecially to the degree that people are starving.

Despite a person’s acceptance level in regards to Jesus and what He taught and claimed, I think there’s no denying He spoke some truth when He summarized it this way:

37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ -Matthew 22:37-39

But since not everyone does love their neighbors as much as they do themselves, the pattern of brokenness repeats itself.

I used to be a much more openly political person; thinking that my public beliefs as a [Republican or Democrat] would help convince the [opposing political party] to join “the side that truly cares more about helping people.”

But I was wrong to think that way. I was too focused on thinking that if our government would change laws to suit [my political affiliation] at the time, it would force people to stop doing the things that my religion teaches against.

I realize now, the law doesn’t prevent people from hurting each other. Nor does it change a person’s heart.

At best, when a person breaks the law and is incarcerated, it just puts them in a temporary time-out (jail or prison), yet that person (in most cases) doesn’t actually become reformed and redeemed.

Without a true change of heart… without a person truly having the mindset to love other people as much of they do themselves, how can they break that pattern and lifestyle?

And on the flip side, while it’s always the individual’s choice to commit a crime or hurt another person in some way, I do consider how that person’s home life and environment could have led them to make that destructive decision.

Had that person been more loved by those around him, maybe (not definitely) there’s a good chance he would have never headed down the path he did.

Meanwhile, my version of reality has been much different…

I realize that being a middle class American as long as I’ve been alive has given me major advantages and privileges in life; ones that you will have as well. However, I understand those advantages and privileges come with great responsibility. I try to consider this concept:

If I become richer, other people in the world are probably becoming poorer. If I become better well-known, other people in the world are probably becoming more forgotten. If I have too much, it means other people in the world probably don’t have enough.

In America, we are able to play at water parks while so much of the world is desperate for clean drinking water.

I am light years away from perfecting this “love your neighbor as yourself” concept in my life, but I have a feeling that if I’m mindfully teaching it to you, I can take a few steps in the right direction.

 

Love,

Daddy

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Empathy For Dads Who Can’t See Their Kids Everyday

Wednesday, February 12th, 2014

3 years, 2 months.

Dear Jack,

I think it’s very important for me to make a regular habit of trying to imagine myself in other people’s shoes. That’s an ability called empathy, by the way.

The older I get, the more perspectives I gain, by seeing life through the eyes of those who have had different experiences than me. 

Something I think about sometimes is what it must be like for dads who are not able to see their kids on a daily basis; for whatever reason that may be.

I get to see you everyday. I get to experience life with you- even on those seemingly forgettable days where nothing particularly epic happens. But I am mindful to not take even those days for granted.

However, there a lot of dads who don’t get to see their kids except for certain days of the month.

It’s beyond sad for me to think about that; putting myself in that situation.

Where I work during the day at my H.R. job, I deal mostly with men-  many of which only see their kids on the weekends or every other weekend.

Maybe that’s why I am thinking about this today.

If I am honestly and vulnerably putting myself in their shoes, I see such a devastating version of my life; without you, without Mommy too.

You’re part of me; you’re half of me- literally.

How could I function without seeing half of me everyday; a half of me that needs and desires my certain fatherly influence on a regular basis?

That’s beyond a tragedy when I imagine it personally.

So I don’t take it for granted at all that our family lives in the same house and sees each other each day. 

I am thankful for what our family has- and I definitely don’t take it lightly. Because I make a habit of empathizing with others, the best I can. It puts things into perspective.

 

Love, Daddy

 

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I Think, Therefore I Am… Made Of Noodles

Saturday, January 25th, 2014

3 years, 2 months.

Dear Jack,

I love your artwork.

Just look at this magnificent piece you created recently, which you simply entitled Bones; where you were instructed to place spiral noodles where your bones are and yarn for where your hair is.

Here’s my favorite part: You recognized that there was no reason to use any yarn for hair as all your classmates did.

You understood that because I “buzz” you every month or so with a #2 guard on the clippers, you don’t have enough hair to show it in the picture you made of yourself.

Meanwhile, all your other friends in the class, who happen to have a lot more hair than you, did use the yarn;  some to excess.

I cracked up when I saw your friend Porter’s self-portrait. According to the yarn he used, he has hair down to his fingers; when really, his hair isn’t even down to his eyebrows.

And your friend, Madison, who I recently had to instruct you to stop calling an eyeball

In her rendition of herself, she has the Pippi Longstocking thing going on.

Your recent piece of art shows me your sense of self-awareness. It took Bones to show me that you are able to recognize yourself from a 3rd person perspective.

I like how when you see yourself in front of a mirror and I ask you that is, you always smile and curiously say, “Jack.”

It’s almost as if you see yourself from that 3rd person perspective but are still somewhat confused in the connection of version of yourself to the 1st person perspective.

Hey, I know the feeling.

Something I am definitely aware of is that I have trouble connecting who I think I am to who I really am. I want them to be the same, and in theory they are, but I’m never fully convinced.

“I think therefore I am” is not as easy as it sounds.

But when you involve noodles and yarn, it somehow is easier to understand.

 

Love,

Daddy

 

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