Posts Tagged ‘ father and son ’

Can We Just Be Open And Honest With Each Other? (Part 1)

Sunday, December 15th, 2013

3 years.

Dear Jack,

I feel like there’s this stereotype about fathers, that especially as they get older, they tend to have less of an open door policy with their sons.

And I get it.

By the time the two are both grown men, there’s almost this unspoken rule that the two can’t or shouldn’t talk to each other about serious stuff, involving the need for jpersonal advice… because they’re both grown men.

However, that’s the very reason they should depend on each other in that way.

For me personally, I can’t just talk to any guy friend about certain stuff.

My heart is very guarded. I know that may seem out of character for me, being that I appear to spill my guts out in these letters to you. But there’s a whole lot I keep private.

Rabbit trail here, but as I’m nearing my H.R. certification exam on January 11th, I’m planning to start focusing more time on writing songs again (which is why I moved to Nashville in the first place) because soon I won’t have to spend all my free time (which isn’t much) on studying. I can begin easing my way back into my forsaken hobby of creating music.

One of the songs I’m working on contains this line:

“I am a skeleton with meat on my bones/I walk around with secrets nobody knows.”

I think a lot of men feel that way. I think that’s why classic superheroes are so popular. Batman is the example that comes to my mind, immediately. In a way, superheroes compensate their own personal failures, fears, and insecurities by leading and helping others. It’s a great escape and a perfect distraction.

Yet still, they have received an emotional scar at some point in life that characterizes, and in some ways, defines who they are.

I can relate. I have an emotional scar or two. And I would actually be surprised to meet a man who didn’t feel that way about himself. It’s for that very reason it’s important you’ve always got other men to depend on, emotionally… or psychologically, or whatever you want to call it.

It’s not that I don’t trust other men, but  it does take a lot to make myself that emotionally vulnerable. It’s easier just to keep it inside and try to sort it out myself, a lot of the time.

I’m realizing I’ve got more to say about this than I realized, so let me put a bookmark right here. Go grab yourself a glass of water, then come back and read the rest of this letter.

To be continued





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The Garbage Man And The Wolfman’s Brother

Sunday, December 8th, 2013

3 years.

Dear Jack,

I remained clean-shaven for the entire month of “Movember” last month, though quite the opposite is true for December.

It’s just too cold. I’ll get over it soon, but a few days ago as I was getting ready to take you to school, without realizing it, I was singing the mysterious song, “The Wolfman’s Brother,” by the band Phish.

(Please note that I never have been and never will be cool enough to be a “phan” or part of the “phellowship,” which means that I’m not a huge fan of Phish. I’m more of a Guster kind of guy, myself.)

I only know that one Phish song and it was in my head after I looked in the mirror that morning; I guess I simply reminded myself of a werewolf.

As I buckled you into the car seat, you smiled while looking straight ahead, then began singing, “It’s the Wolfman’s brother, the Wolfman’s brother…”.

You surprised me.

“Oh, you were listening to me sing that? You actually got the words and the tune right!” I replied.

Granted, it’s mostly the same 3 or 4 words repeated over and over for the chorus, but that served as a reminder to me:

You’re pretty much always paying attention, especially when I assume you’re not.

And that would explain why you’re slightly obsessed with A) being a garbageman (I mean, “waste collector”) and B) getting a toy garbage truck.

On the Saturday following Thanksgiving, you saw for the first time, the garbage truck stop by our house.

It usually stops by on Thursdays, but Thanksgiving was on that day, so we happened to be here the day it came instead to make up for the holiday.

Every day since then, you have built a “garbage truck” out of storage baskets, couch pillows, and the Wii steering wheel, placing your Hot Wheels and trains in the back.

“That’s my garbage back there,” you always clarify to Mommy and me, referring to your toys.

You even made it clear to us in your most recent Christmas gift request:

“I want a plane, a Ruldolph reindeer, and a garbage truck- a big one, that I can put my cars and trains in for the garbage.”

That’s who you and I are, at least for this month:

The Garbageman and the Wolfman’s Brother.

We could probably be Batman’s villians, with nicknames like those.





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Would You Actually Remember Me At This Point?

Friday, September 20th, 2013

2 years, 10 months.

Dear Jack,

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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The Day I Plan To Retire From Daddy Blogging

Monday, August 12th, 2013

2 years, 8 months.

Dear Jack,

When I decided to become the first daddy blogger in history to write at least once every week about his kid, starting from the day he went public with the info of the pregnancy, I didn’t consider at what point it would finally come to an end.

And now, over three years into doing this on a nearly daily basis, I plan to set and hold the world record for “Longest Running And Most Consistent Daddy Blog Ever.”


By default. I simply can’t imagine not writing to you nearly every day.

My entire existence as a father been documented for the world (and for you and me, as father and son) to see- since April 13, 2010 at 6:40 PM.

But this daddy blog of mine technically isn’t about you… or me.

Actually, it’s more about the love of a father for his son. It’s a documentation of the mutual respect in that relationship, both individually and mutually.

I want to know what that looks like on paper… or a computer screen… or a smart phone. I want to share whatever that message is with anyone who is as curious as I am about it.

Perhaps I should make it seem like I plan my letters to you weeks in advance. I don’t.

Most days, I only figure out what I’m going to write about earlier that day. That’s part of the thrill and the motivation for me: There’s always something intriguing to write about, concerning you. It’s fun to assess what’s really going on with us. I like figuring out what the plot line for that day is.

The funny thing is, too, I actually regret many of the blog posts I’ve written over the past three years. To be too honest, I am actually pretty ashamed of several of them.

It’s only because I can see how being a father has forced me to mature in my words and attitude. It’s forced me to major in humility and grace.

Last week I saw a comic book clip from The Joyful Noiseletter by Doc Goodwin on somebody’s Facebook wall, where a little boy prays, “God, make me like my daddy- big and strong and smart.”

The father then goes to his own bedroom and prays, “Lord, make me like my child- obedient, faithful, and trusting.”

Just like us: We learn from each other. That’s beautiful.

But as for The Dadabase, it’s a dangerous, humbling, and vulnerable thing to broadcast our story of father and son across the Internet for the whole world to see.

What if I make myself seem like I don’t know what I’m talking about?

What if I change my mind about how I perceive things, compared to a few months ago?

What if I embarrass myself by something I say?

I already have. At least once every two months- in my mind, if nothing else.

And I’ve learned to embrace those moments. I’ve learned the importance of finding value in the fact that without that necessary growth as a human being, I wouldn’t be experiencing fatherhood.

So, no- I honestly have no plans of retiring from daddy blogging. Ever.

Even when you’re an adult. As long as I am your dad, I plan to keep you informed of what life is like… this side of Jack.





P.S. This is my 755th daddy blog post- in case you’re curious.

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The Compartmentalization Of A Little Boy’s Brain

Tuesday, April 23rd, 2013

2 years, 5 months.

Dear Jack,

I am told on a weekly basis, by family members, by friends, by co-workers, and readers, that I am a very “black-and-white, cut-and-dry” person; that there is no gray with me.

It’s as if I put every situation and event in it’s own compartment in my brain; as if history always repeats itself.

Maybe that’s part of the reason I’m a vegan. All or nothing, right?

Maybe that’s why I make a living by discovering performance formulas for my company to help them become more efficient.

I look at what does work, separate it from what doesn’t work, then check for reoccurring patterns.

Sure, I realize the world isn’t categorized in perfectly organized compartments, but I work to help make it that way as much as possible.

Son, I’m pretty sure you’re going to be a lot like me in those regards. In fact, I’m pretty sure you already are that way.

Sunday afternoon as Mommy was preparing dinner, you got upset because she wasn’t able to play trains with you like I was. After about 90 seconds of a breakdown because you couldn’t stand to be playing without her though she was only 10 feet away, I had to take action.

You and I went upstairs to play. You had to be moved out of the compartment of “Mommy, play with me!” to “Me and Daddy are playing like boys!”

By the time we stepped into your room, you were fine with Mommy being downstairs… in a “different compartment.”

The base of our papasan rocking chair broke, only leaving the dome-shaped seat part intact.

As I spun you around and quickly swayed you, it magically became a yellow submarine, a monster truck, and a horsey.

Together, you and I were loud, rough, and technically violent in our Daddy-son compartment.

You stripped yourself down to your pro-wrestler/superhero attire, which is a diaper and nothing else.

But once Mommy entered the room, you became a different little boy; a little boy who wanted to read and wear clothes, not play.

I’ve also noticed that everyday when I drop you off at school, you get quiet the moment I hand you over to your teacher, not speaking or showing emotion again until after I’m out of sight.

Different compartments.

Who knows? Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe I’m drawing too many conclusions; because after all, I’ve already established that I look for patterns and formulas in everything.

Maybe little girls can just as easily be the same way. I wouldn’t know about that; no history to build on since you don’t have a sister.







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