Posts Tagged ‘ fatherhood ’

My 15 Year Class Reunion/Father’s Day Weekend

Monday, June 16th, 2014

3 years, 6 months.

Dear Jack,

It was 15 years ago that I graduated high school. This past Saturday, the day before Father’s Day, I had the privilege of going to my class reunion.

I say “privilege” because Mommy nor your Auntie Dana (my sister) even had a 10 year class reunion. As for my class, we’ve had one every 5 five years; and I have full confidence we’ll continue to have one every 5 years, thanks to the thoughtful dedication of one of our class officers, Tabatha Thomas Greenwood.

(As if you needed me to tell you, that’s me in the white shoes. I say that, because what other guy would be wearing white shoes?)

Obviously, I had a great time, being the nostalgic guy that I am. But it sure helps that in my graduating class of 183 students, they all happen to be cool people I actually want to see and catch up with.

I feel that the people I grew up with since 1986 (the year we started Kindergarten) really do have this special connection with each other. It’s this common interest that we make it a priority to see each other every half a decade. Everybody truly wants to be there; I can tell.

What really stood out to me the most this time, as compared to our last class reunion 5 years ago, was how proud we were of our kids.

Five years ago, you weren’t living on this planet yet. Mommy and I hadn’t even been married a year back in 2009.

But this time, I was able to share in the glory of fellow dads my age who enjoyed talking about our kids more than anything.

It just goes to show you how much becoming a parent really is a blessing in life.

Which, speaking of, the funny thing is you and Mommy were in California this past weekend. I wondered if I needed to write an explanation on a name tag; something like this:

“Hi, I’m Nick Shell. Yes, I promise I have a wife and a son, but they are currently in Sacramento catching up with my wife’s side of the family, who we only see once a year. You see, my wife had more vacation days at work than I did, so she and our son got a head start on our annual family vacation. I’ll be joining them in a few days, though.”

Turns out, no one seemed to think it was that weird of a situation. Granted, there’s definitely some irony in the fact that the very next day was Father’s Day and it would still be days later before I would see you again in Lake Tahoe.

So despite not actually seeing my wife and son on Father’s Day, I still had a great weekend. I missed you and Mommy a lot, though!

Hopefully in 2019, for our 20 year class reunion, you and Mommy will be able to make it.

 

Love,

Daddy

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I Wasn’t Meant To Be A Bachelor, But Maybe A Hula Hoop Star…

Monday, June 16th, 2014

3 years, 6 months.

Dear Jack,

For the past couple of nights I have come home to notes from Mommy telling me how long to preheat the oven to cook her homemade vegan dinners.

How awesome is Mommy? Seriously!

Let me tell you, life without you and her in the house is so… quiet.

I can hear the refrigerator, the ceiling fan, and even the lights.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that’s a good thing.

That’s my way of saying that there are no “signs of life” other than me in the house.

I should explain; you and Mommy are visiting family out in California for a few days before I get there. (Mommy had more vacation days from work than I did.)

Last Saturday morning, after we packed up your new Okiedog rolling suitcase with several GoGo Squeez pouches and free apps on Mommy’s Kindle, I dropped you both off at the Nashville Aiport.

Since then, I have rediscovered my impressive hula hoop skills, while visiting my side of the family in Alabama: Saturday was also my 15 Year Class Reunion.

But trust me, I am ready to see you and Mommy again.

I just wasn’t meant to be a bachelor. My identity is so closely woven into me being a husband and a dad, that every other part of my life just seems silly.

Everything else seems like I’m just waiting in line for something to happen.

I was meant to be your Daddy. I was meant to be married to Mommy.

Whether it’s fate or not, what I do know is that you and Mommy are parts of my life that unquestionably make sense.

It’s like peanut butter and jelly. Though really, when you think about it, peanut butter and jelly make for an odd combination.

But it’s a combination that works- like you, me, and Mommy.

 

Love,

Daddy

 

P.S. Here are my “unboxing” reviews of GoGo Squeez… as well as your new Okiedog dragon rolling suitcase! (Use code “dadblog” for 20% off purchase at okiedog.us. Good until 7/31/14.)

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Today Just Felt Wrong Without You

Tuesday, June 10th, 2014

3 years, 6 months.

Dear Jack,

For me, this was a weird day. I had to leave early this morning for a business trip in Kentucky.

So instead of taking you to and from school, I was across the state line. By the time I got home, you were already asleep.

My only interaction with you was saying goodbye to you at the front door.

While that may not seem like such a big deal, it is for me.

Today just felt wrong without you.

I feel kind of sad. I feel kind of wrong. I mean, I had to go for work- so I did what I was supposed to.

And I know I’ll see you in a few hours when we both wake up. But seriously, not seeing you for a day is just plain odd.

My day went great. It was very productive. I got a whole lot done. But I was aware the whole time that something was missing- it was you.

Since you’re only 3 and a half and are obviously way too young for a cell phone, it’s not like I could text you to say I miss you or even call you to a donkey noise to make you laugh.

So I settled for Mommy promising me that she would tell you good night from me as she put you to bed.

It only makes sense that if research shows that kids make men happy, as the infographic below explains, that I would be less happy when I’m not around you for a day.

I believe it. I have been psychologically conditioned to associate feeling happy and fulfilled with having interaction with you.

Without that, I’m like an actor on stage who suddenly forgot his lines. I’m staring into the blinding spotlight, trying to find you in the audience.

 

Love,

Daddy

 

Infographic courtesy of Happify:

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A Front Row Seat For The Train Show (1000th Dadabase Post)

Saturday, June 7th, 2014

3 years, 6 months.

Dear Jack,

I always wondered where my 1000th Dadabase post would land.

Well, this is it. Completely random and unplanned, this one is about your love for trains and how you got a “front row seat” for a real train.

Our family drove to my hometown of Fort Payne, AL for Memorial Day for your cousin Calla’s 3rd birthday.

While there, you asked if we could all go the park.

As Nonna pushed you on the swing and Papa pushed Calla, we heard a that famous thunderous roar, as the train whistle tooted.

“Jack! The train is coming! Let’s go see it right now! Come on, run!” I announced.

Needless to say, we might as well have been right there in the presence of Elmo; because you were in such awe of the majesty of this Norfolk Southern train passing in front of you as Nonna held you.

I can only imagine what was going through your head.

Until that day, you had never seen a moving train so close up; only from our car, but even then, it wasn’t nearly as close as this train was.

You have spent countless hours over the past couple of years meticulously crawling around the carpet, pushing your Thomas the Train and Chuggington trains on their plastic tracks.

I have watched you day after day as you have carefully lined up each train so perfectly; matching up “line leader’s” train with the appropriately color matching coal cart.

This is something you’ve always been very serious about. So to see the real thing, it was more than a big deal to you.

I’m glad I was able to witness you seeing your first real live train.

While it may not be some epic letter to you in this 1000th Dadabase post, I think it does properly symbolize what’s important to you as a 3 year-old boy: family and trains.

 

Love,

Daddy

 

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These Are The Years You Get To Be A Kid

Friday, June 6th, 2014

3 years, 6 months.

Dear Jack,

Back around six years ago when Mommy and I got married, I read a book by John Eldredge called Wild At Heart.

It presents the concept that everyone, at some point in the their life, endures a psychological wound.

That “wound” ultimately ends up defining some people; though for others, it makes them stronger.

I experienced mine a while back. It’s that moment in life where you realize life isn’t actually as innoncent or simple as you thought it was.

The older I get, the more I feel like Hans Solo and less like Luke Skywalker.

Or maybe it’s that I feel more like Darth Vader and less like Hans Solo.

As your dad, there’s a part of me that hopes you never have to experience your wound.

But if you didn’t, you wouldn’t be able to reach that level of understanding and maturity that is so crucial as you will eventually grow into true adulthood.

For now, though, I hope it’s something that’s far away. These are the years you get to be a kid.

You get to live in an innocent world where part of you still believes dinosaurs still exist and that Grover from Sesame Street might actually be your teacher next week at school, as I keep teasing you about.

As for me, I’ve lived long enough to have to fight off cynicism. I have to fight off being jaded, at times. I have to remind myself to be positive, despite how blessed our lives are.

The concept of working hard to earn a good living is not something you have to think about right now. You get to sleep all night and play all day.

Seriously, how awesome is your life right now?

Let’s keep it that way. But let’s face life together- with all its blessings, its curses, and everything somewhere in between.

 

Love,

Daddy 

 

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