Posts Tagged ‘
father and son ’
Wednesday, December 5th, 2012
You are sharpening your handyman skills quicker and more professionally than I am.
Last weekend we took you to meet your friend Sophie Culpepper at Home Depot’s Little Helper Headquarters, where once a month they have a free craft activity for kids.
We are now are the proud new owners of a wooden picture frame that you made.
Okay, so actually, it was me who glued the 4 pieces of wood together, then drove the nails through, as well.
But afterwards, you got to swing the hammer, while wearing your safety goggles, of course.
If we keep this up, it’s going to be you teaching me how to make bookshelves and change out a bathroom sink, along with all those other things I’m already supposed to know how to do because I’m your dad.
It used to be that I never really cared too much about learning how to do handyman stuff. However, when you came along 2 years ago, I started feeling a greater responsibility to become more involved in fixing stuff around the house.
That’s actually part of the reason the logo for The Dadabase is a wrench.
Becoming a dad inspired me to want to become Mr. Fix It; even it’s the worst version, which is any token sitcom dad of the 1980′s. I feel responsible for teaching you how to work with tools.
The thing is, I barely own any tools. But every time Mommy assigns us a new job, together you and I will figure it out, buying the necessary tools along the way.
It’s just like when I started this whole being a dad thing. I never really knew what I was doing, yet you never seemed to notice.
Sometimes the best way to teach someone is by learning in the moment, out of necessity. I have a feeling that’s going to be the way I teach you a lot of things in life, Son.
Here goes nothing…
Add a Comment
Tuesday, November 27th, 2012
Had you been born a girl, I know I would have loved you just as much. But instead, you’re a rough-housing, toy train-holding, spiky-haired little boy.
And I really like all that about you.
I daydream a lot about our future together and what all adventures we can tear into.
There’s a monster truck rally coming to town in a couple of weeks that I’d love to take you to…
Unfortunately, it doesn’t start until after your bedtime and I already know there’s no way that would go well.
But as soon as you’re old enough, I can’t wait to see your eyes light up in excitement as an unnecessarily large truck runs over 1980s Buicks. As for now, you like to watch clips of monster trucks on YouTube with me.
You also love to watch donkeys, buses, and “French trains.” I’m not sure why it’s important to you that the trains are French, but I type it in and clips pop up, so we watch them together.
On the day this picture was taken, I taught you to throw sticks in the water. You were obsessed with the new skill. The truth is, you were actually really good at it.
Just wait a few years and then I’ll teach you the impressive ability to skip rocks across the water.
See, I’m not sure those are the kinds of things girls really care about. But you, you get me.
At only 2 years old, you understand where I’m coming from. I really appreciate the fact that you’re okay with listening to Weezer on the 45 minute drive home from daycare as the two of us silently contemplate life.
We can be in our own little weird worlds, together. It’s like we’re trapped in some parallel universe, you and I, for the rest of our lives. Though we live among the rest of the world, even Mommy, we still speak a strange exclusive language between the two of us..
If only you knew how much I look forward to the two of us building f0rts, having snowball fights, practicing sports, having afternoon-long video game battles, and just simply going on long walks in different neighborhoods as we explore a new mediocre environment. Man, all those things are so important and crucial in understanding what life is really about.
The way you get me, I have a feeling I’ll get you too. I’m going to instantly understand you when others don’t even come close.
I’ve been where you are now. Granted, it was 1983. But hey, Smurfs are still cool, right?
Just know this: The way you think, the way you feel, the things you think are fun, chances are that I did and still do feel the same.
Maybe even now, I’m standing with one foot in 1983 and the other in present day. I’m transcending time and universes just to be close to you.
Pretty cosmic bond we have, huh?
Add a Comment
Friday, November 16th, 2012
I know you still won’t be able to read this for a couple of more years, but I wanted to write you a Happy Birthday message on your 2nd birthday anyway.
Since your Mommy and I found out we were having you, back in April 2010, I have been writing a blog entry at least once a week, and often once a day.
The rest of the world has had access to virtually every moment of your process of growing up, but the words were mainly written for the rest of the world.
However, this is just for you. I’ve never written directly to you, until now, on your 2nd birthday.
This day is especially monumental for me. It signifies you officially leaving the days of being a baby and entering the days of being a little boy.
I noticed recently you started calling me “Daddy” now, instead of “Dada.”
Right now as I look at your picture of you holding your birthday balloons and wearing your necktie, which you very willingly wore to be like me, I am so proud of you and love you so much that… it comes out in the form of sadness, somehow.
Everybody told me not to rush any stage of your life. I tried not to.
Of course, the younger you were, the more difficult being a dad was. I was so clueless, even a year ago.
I’ll never forget when you turned 15 months old. That was the first time you really asked for me. That was the first time you wouldn’t cry if Mommy left the room.
Since then, I could tell so obviously that you wanted me and that you loved me.
So while I’ll try not to rush your life along too quickly, I have to admit, I love seeing you grow up.
The older you get and the more you come to life, the stronger of a connection I feel with you. I’m pretty sure it’s a father/son thing.
I love taking way too many pictures of you. I love writing about all the funny things you do and say.
I love you, son. So much.
Though you probably never see me cry, if you could be here right now as I write this, you would see a 31-year-old man who can barely keep himself together.
It’s funny- I didn’t cry a single tear the night you were born. You were just a strange baby who couldn’t talk. My job at that point was basically just to keep you alive.
But today, I can’t hold back the tears for anything. This is the first time I’ve simply been overwhelmed by my love for you.
What most fathers seem to experience the day their son is born, I guess I’m experiencing right now. To me, this is you being born.
That’s because you and I have gotten to the point now where I can actually see my influence over you. Like with wanting to wear the necktie, you want to be like me.
Man. That humbles me and breaks me. Thank you.
Thank you for being my son. I can’t thank God enough for you.
Today you will receive gifts from Mommy and me: some metal trains and tracks to ride them on.
I know you’ll really like them. You’ll carry around your trains with you everywhere you go. But eventually, they’ll be at the bottom of some drawer.
What I will remember most about your 2nd birthday is the way I feel about you right now. And that’s why I’m writing you this letter. I want to be able to capture what I’m feeling right now. That’s what I think is the best gift I can give you today.
Maybe it’s a dad thing, or maybe it’s just me, but in the likeness of a learning curve, I’ve had a “loving curve” with you.
Two years into this, I am experiencing love for you that I have never felt for anyone in my life. So different than the way I love your Mommy.
The love I have for you is wrapped up in some unspoken bond I can’t quite express in words right now. But I promise you I will spend the rest of my life trying to.
Happy Birthday, Son. I love you with all I have.
Add a Comment
Monday, November 5th, 2012
From what I remember about the Eighties, and maybe I’m making this up, but I feel like there was this plush parrot toy that immediately repeated whatever you just said. You didn’t even have to squeeze its wing to make it do it.
Well, that’s what my 23-month-old son currently reminds me of.
One night Jack had just gotten out of the bath and was stumbling around the bathroom, in desperate need of sleep.
“He’s like a drunk baby,” I commented to my wife.
“Drunk… baby,” Jack repeated.
What made it especially hilarious is that he said it so monotone and melancholy, like Ben Stein, or at best, a sad cartoon puppy.
Now I know I can’t say “drunk baby” out loud in front of him.
I also realize now that one of my wife’s catchphrases is, “That’s creepy.” Whether referring to a segment on the local news about a haunted ghost tour or just driving down the road and seeing vultures eating the remains of a possum, Jack recognizes the phrase as something he needs to include in his vocabulary.
There’s something funny about a toddler saying, “That’s creepy.”
He doesn’t know the word “scary” yet, but he knows “creepy.”
Last weekend while on vacation in California with my wife’s family, we had to keep reminding everyone that Jack would definitely repeat any new words he heard.
And he did.
Hopefully he’ll forget all about “the s-word” for a while.
While Jack can decently repeat any phrase he hears, that doesn’t necessarily mean he knows the meaning of the words he uses. I assume that eventually comes next.
As for now, he is having fun repeating the words he hears adults use. And to be honest, I’m having fun hearing him repeat all the random stuff I say throughout the course of a day.
For example, at this point could I probably teach him to say, “Beam me up, Daddy?”
Yes, and I shall.
Add a Comment
Saturday, September 15th, 2012
Back in April, I chose to become involved in a “Big Brother” type of program called Men Of Valor; a program to mentor children whose fathers are incarcerated.
I was matched with a 15 year-old boy who was known for keeping to himself and playing “shoot-’em-up” video games online.
For those first couple of one-on-one meetings I had with him, I really didn’t know what to do.
But then he told me he was considering becoming a sniper in the military.
Coincidentally, I had just finished a book called MicroTrends, which had a chapter called “Aspiring Snipers,” explaining how the the popularity of shooter games like Halo and Call of Duty have spiked a trend in high school boys surveyed, saying that they are interested in becoming US military snipers when they graduate high school.
I racked my brain on how I could use his interest in shooter games and his inspiration to become a US military sniper as ways for us two to get to know each other better.
Then I thought back to a classic game in which I have been looking for a good partner for years: Chess!
In chess, you can use pieces like the queen, the bishop, and the rook to “snipe” the other player from the other side of the board.
Essentially, those pieces are best used after you have distracted your opponent with a threat on one side of the chess board, then in the likeness of a sniper, you slide in from the other side and take out one of the player’s pieces.
I began thinking, “Aspiring snipers should play chess.” I’m now convinced that chess is indeed the most archaic version of today’s online shooter games.
So every other Thursday, I pick him up to take him out for a Frappuccino at Starbucks and we play our 3 chess matches.
It took him about 7 or 8 chess matches to finally beat me for the first time. Like I told him, I wasn’t going to let him win nor would I go easy on him at all.
But as of our last meeting a few days ago, it was the first time in 3 matches that I finally beat him again.
That’s right. He’s a well-matched chess partner for me now.
As of our last meeting, he mentioned to me that he may be interested in going to college to be a History Major, or maybe even an English Major like I was.
But whether he ends up fighting for our country in the military, or becoming a historian or a teacher, I’m here to support him; and I say, it all began with a classic game of chess.
I now invite you to read my instant sequel to this article, 5 Reasons To Play Chess With Your Child.
Top image: Two knights face to face on chessboard, via Shutterstock.
Bottom image: Chess coffee, via Shutterstock.
Add a Comment