Posts Tagged ‘
Deep Thoughts ’
Tuesday, May 7th, 2013
2 years, 5 months.
Yesterday’s “Should Daddy Get A Gun For The House?” originally had a different ending, in which I made it clear whether or not I decided to get a gun.
However, at the very last minute right before I published the letter, Mommy and I decided that broadcasting to the social media world whether or not we have a gun in the house is not a wise decision.
I think that to announce either way is to raise a red flag.
So in the likeness of the vague closure in the final episode of Lost, I ended the letter by simply saying, “My research is complete and my decision is now made.”
The way I see it, whether or not I own a gun is not really the issue; for me, anyway. The real issue for me was sorting out whether or not I am really capable, willing, and ready at all times to take the life of another human being who threatens the safety of my family.
That was what was important to me; taking the time to truly process that all the way through.
Like planning out a fire drill, in my head I have now mapped out an official “intruder drill.” Now I know the quickest and most efficient strategy for obtaining the [deadly weapons] on both floors of our house; in addition to immediately grabbing the cell phone to call 911.
It sounds so morbid, to say that I’m now ready to take the life of another human being, if necessary. And to be ready to do that at any given minute of the day.
But like Sayid on Lost, you want to have somebody on your island who is willing to be your bodyguard; someone who is always ready to fight and kill for you.
You want someone who is dangerous enough to keep you safe.
That person is me.
Photo: A toy hand gun, Shutterstock.
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Wednesday, April 24th, 2013
2 years, 5 months.
Two weeks ago we visited my grandma, Lola Mendez Metallo, in the assisted living complex. She told us a story I had never been made aware of.
When her own grandmother was only 15 years old, on the way home from church, she was kidnapped by a widowed man who already had 4 children; being forced to become his wife and have children with him.
One of those children born to her was my grandma’s father.
My grandma explained that sort of thing wasn’t uncommon in Michoacán, Mexico back in those days.
It’s a dark story, and a strange part of our family tree.
I also know that your great-grandmother on Mommy’s side came to America from Ireland, as an indentured servant.
That couldn’t have been too awesome.
However, the fact that our family tree contains “broken branches” is nothing unique to our family. Climb any family tree in America, and it won’t take long to find some less than perfect situations which eventually led to modern day.
You and I also share Native American blood. I’m sure there’s an interesting story somewhere with that too. By interesting, I mean less than desirable.
It seems most old movies about the Wild West conveniently portray “the Americans” as the good guys and “the Indians” as the bad guys. (Accidental racist?)
I think about this stuff. Our family tree consists of both oppressors and victims.
While it’s easy to be removed from the reality that our ancestors had to experience because it was so long ago, if it weren’t for their hardships, we wouldn’t be here today. Their lives were just as real as ours are now.
Even just to think: Mommy was born as the 9th child of her family. How few American households in 1981 had a 9th child born?
The fact that Mommy was ever born is a rare enough situation to try to grasp.
You’re not here by accident, son. You are part of this universe for a purpose.
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Saturday, January 26th, 2013
2 years, 2 months.
Last week when I wrote “Dads Are Happier Than Moms and Singles, Says Psychological Science,” I received an intuitive comment that really helped me understand myself better:
“I am a mom who, much like you, just knew I’d be a [parent] but never dreamed of it my whole life, or knew what to expect at all. I assumed that when I had my child I’d keep working and be happy with him in daycare, because that’s what my parents did with me. I couldn’t have been more wrong — about my happiness/satisfaction with this scenario.
We can’t afford for me to stop working, but all I want to do is be with my son. It is the most horrible feeling in the world. Guilt, feeling like I’m missing out, and most of all: the inherent instinct, dare I say biological need, to be with my infant child, makes me INCREDIBLY sad to have to sit at my desk all day. I know not all mothers feel this way, but this is why I am less happy than my husband — who has no problem at all working full time.”
The main takeaway from this comment for me personally is that, as a mom, she feels guilty about having to work full time and be away from her child; meanwhile, her husband has no problem with that issue.
Good point. Not only does it appear to be the norm for most women to yearn to become mothers, therefore causing my familiarity with the phrase, “All I ever wanted was to be a mother,” but it seems just as predictable that men experience much less guilt about working all day, away from their child.
I’ll speak for myself here, as a dad. Do I feel guilty about you being in daycare all day while I’m literally a quarter of a mile down the road, working in the office?
To be vulnerably honest… never.
If the question is whether or not I miss you everyday while I’m away from you, the answer is absolutely yes!
Inconveniently, your 2 hour nap occurs during the middle of my lunch break; otherwise, I’d spend that extra hour with you.
Like most dads, I am wired with the subconscious yet undeniable desire (and biological need?) to provide for you and Mommy. So to be honest, the thought of feeling guilty about you being in daycare while I’m at work… well, it’s pretty much the opposite of how my mind works.
Instead, I would feel guilty if I couldn’t be working all day while you’re in daycare. In an ideal world, Mommy could stay home with you, at least.
I gain a lot of confidence and self-worth by going out and working to provide for you and Mommy five days a week. It’s like, for me to feel successful, I have to have this “other life” away from you to earn the right to the version of life I share with you and Mommy.
So, no; like most men I know, I never thought or said out loud, “All I ever wanted was to be a dad.”
Instead, this was my version:
“All I ever wanted was to make a good and respectable living for the family that I always knew I would have one day.”
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Sunday, January 13th, 2013
2 years, 1 month.
Sometimes I feel like I’m a little too young to be your dad; yet I’m 31.
When I was a kid, I always thought my parents were old; not in a bad way, just that they seemed like they really had a lot of life experience.
The funny thing is, when I was your age in 1983, my dad was 26 and my mom was 25.
Your Mommy and I didn’t even get married until I was 27 and she was 26!
An even stranger thought for me is that when my dad was 31, like I am now, I was 6 and my sister was 3.
Needless to say, it’s a definite challenge for me to imagine having two kids right now… ages 6 and 3. Again, you’re only 2 year right now.
I get it that there are plenty of parents out there my age with two kids, ages 6 and 3. But for me personally, I just can’t see myself in that position right now.
Of course, this goes back to the struggle Mommy and I have been talking about a lot for the past several months: Will we even have a another kid?
What this shows me is that I’m not ready for you to have a brother or sister right now. I’m just not.
Whether it means I’m selfish or not mature enough or whatever it needs to mean… it’s just where I’m at right now.
Maybe part of this is that I’m a Generation Y parent.
I look at my own parents, who didn’t need college degrees to get real jobs. They actually built their first house when they were in their very early 20′s; whereas Mommy and I live in a townhouse.
In general, my parents just never seemed to worry about the future the way I often do. They managed and survived and it never seemed like a struggle for them.
Well, I suppose you will think that Mommy and I are “old” too. We’re not, though. We’re only 29 years older than you.
While to you we may seem like we’re really in control of things, the truth is we’re just now figuring things out.
But with nearly 3 decades of life experience more than you, I can see how we make it look like we actually know what what we’re doing.
I have a feeling it was the same way for my own parents, even if it didn’t seem that way growing up.
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Sunday, December 30th, 2012
2 years, 1 month.
Last night I saw the new “momantic comedy” The Guilt Trip starring Seth Rogen and Barbara Streisand. While I acknowledge the movie hasn’t received the best of reviews, I personally loved it all the way through and already want to see it again.
It made me think of you:
At the beginning, as well as, the end of the movie, the mother tells her son that if all the little boys in the entire world were lined up and she had to pick just one to be her son, she would pick him… every time.
That may sound like a simple and passing statement, but to me, it holds a lot of weight.
I think of this heavenly adoption room where parents go to pick out the kid they want to be their own. As I walk through the hundreds of rows of little boys, I just keep looking.
Then as I begin to experience being overstimulated by all the bright lights and unorchestrated voices, like the way I do anytime I have to go to Wal-Mart, I finally see you at the end of the row, despite squinting my eyes through the dizziness.
It’s you, Jack! It’s you!
I’d know you anywhere, even if I’d never seen or met you before. I know that barely makes much sense, but it’s true.
If all the little boys in the world were lined up, and I had to just pick only one, I’d choose you… every time.
To say you’re special to me is an understatement. Maybe the best way I can say it is that you’re… mine.
And I know you feel the same way. You tell me in the way you pat me on the back as I carry you to the car when I pick you up from daycare, proudly saying, “My daddy.”
That’s right. I am your Daddy.
While you often liberally use the word “mine” to describe so many things that definitely aren’t yours, I’ll definitely be yours.
After all, I picked you out of all the little boys in the world.
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