Saturday, May 3rd, 2014
3 years, 5 months.
I promise it was your idea. I’m only going along with it… with a completely clear conscience.
Since last weekend, you’ve started this thing where you come up to me, punch me in the chest as hard as you can, laugh, then say, “Let’s fight, Daddy.”
And what do I do? I “fight” back.
Well, the difference with my response to you is that I obviously don’t punch you as hard as I can.
I actually am “punching” you back as lightly as I can.
Here we are, a week into it, still hittin’ strong and I’m only seeing positives:
I like to see the confidence you’re gaining in yourself.
I like the way you and I are bonding over it.
I like how you get to test your own physical strength against mine, knowing that less than a second later you’ve got a soft “punch” coming right back at your chest or stomach.
The way I see it, it’s no different than male wolves of the same pack practicing their fighting moves on each other. The way I see it, I am giving you introductory “man lessons.”
Most importantly, you’ve yet to punch any of your friends at school. That’s because I had a little talk with you last weekend before you went back to school on Monday. I explained how the only person you can punch is me.
And you listened!
Like I mentioned, I can’t help but notice the bonding that has occurred since we started our “father-son fight club.” Here recently, you actually have been asking me to sit next to you on the couch. Then, you lay your arm across mine.
That used to be an action you saved for Mommy and never granted me.
So whatever inspired you to start punching me, I’m glad it happened.
Granted, for all I know, I may not be the best example of a parent.
Maybe my stories about us wouldn’t be the kind you’d expect to ever see on a parenting website or something.
But between you and me, I think we have a good thing going on!
It’s our little secret. After all, the first rule about Father-Son Fight Club is that we don’t talk about Father-Son Fight Club.
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Thursday, December 30th, 2010
During my first summer teaching English in Thailand, I took a week-long vacation to the magical island of Koh Samui, as referenced in the movie Meet the Parents (“Jack speak-a Thai?”). While there, I went to a highly promoted (via hand-painted street banners) Muay Thai boxing tournament. Inside the dimly lit warehouse-style building on the outskirts of legitimate commerce, I felt like I was part of the movie Bloodsport staring Jean Claude Van Damme. Afterwards, as a souvenir, I cut down one of the street banners advertising the event and hung it up in my college dorm at Liberty University the next Fall. Everyone who saw it laughed at the poor English translation: “Super and Real Fight”. I mean, it was a real fight, and I would say it was super as well, but for the fight to be super and real in the same adjective phrase just sounds funny. And that is why I couldn’t title this entry as “Jack’s First and White Christmas”.
In preparing our move from Nashville, TN to Fort Payne, AL (which is located between Birmingham, Chattanooga, and Atlanta), my wife (who is from Sacramento, CA) had asked me if it ever snowed in Alabama. Though the words “snow” and “Alabama” seem like they don’t go together at all, though do. Just like a lot of people don’t realize that Alabama actually borders the Gulf of Mexico and has several beaches, like Gulf Shores. I told my wife to expect it to snow a few inches, up to three times a year. And sure enough, as we woke up around 6 AM Christmas morning to feed and change Jack, we looked out the window to see large snowflakes falling steadily.
A couple of hours later, we drove 0.7 miles to my parents’ house to spend the day with them and my sister and her husband. Turns out, the snow didn’t stop falling and the temperature remained low. So the seven of us ending up staying the weekend together, being that the roads were iced over. One of the gifts my parents bought for Jack was a really cool wagon; ideally for when he gets older. However, when we started getting ready for bed on Christmas night and we were deciding where Jack should sleep, since we hadn’t packed his travel crib, I said, “Well, what about his wagon?” Not many people can say that their first Christmas was a white Christmas and that on top of that, that they slept in a wagon. But I guess it’s not all that strange, being that we were celebrating a holiday where a baby boy slept in a manger. We didn’t have a manger for Jack, but we did have a wagon.
Jack is swinging Christmas morning before we left for my parents' house.
We got snowed in.
Jack's presents from his parents.
Jack's presents from the family.
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The Four Generations of Shells: Baby Jack is the only Shell boy to carry on the family name.
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