Posts Tagged ‘ Garden State ’

I Want You To Go Back To Being A Daddy

Tuesday, January 28th, 2014

3 years, 2 months.

Dear Jack,

During the holidays last month, there was a day where I had to work, but you and Mommy were home.

I didn’t realize it until here recently, but I found these pictures that Mommy took of you wearing my hat and slippers. You had proclaimed to Mommy:

“I’m being Daddy!”

Deep thought: In your eyes, what does it mean to “be Daddy”?

It happened again yesterday afternoon, as we had just finished watching Brother Bear 2 on Netflix. In the movie, the main character, a girl named Nita, chooses to turn into a bear.

As you played trains on the carpet with Mommy, I asked you if you wanted me to turn into a bear. Out of curiosity, you said yes.

In the likeness of Brother Bear 2, I stood up, sort of twirling in slow motion through the air, and when I crouched back down, I pretended to be a roaring bear.

Almost immediately, you stopped me:

Go back to being a daddy!”

So with another slow motion twirl in the air, I turned back into “a daddy.”

But what does in mean, in your eyes, to be a Daddy? And more importantly, to be your Daddy?

For me, it was one of those moments in time where I got accidental confirmation that I must be doing something right, as your parent.

Whatever it means to you that I’m your Daddy, it’s a thing you want and need.

This reminds me of a quote from one of my favorite movies, Garden State:

“It’s like you feel homesick for a place that doesn’t even exist. Maybe it’s like this rite of passage, you know. You won’t ever have this feeling again until you create a new idea of home for yourself, you know, for your kids, for the family you start, it’s like a cycle or something. I don’t know, but I miss the idea of it, you know. Maybe that’s all family really is. A group of people that miss the same imaginary place.”

Last night as I wrapped you up in your snowman blanket, singing you “Yellow Submarine,” I heard the mix of nostalgic sadness and happiness in the song.

I imagined what that must be like on your end. I remember. I do…

There’s this deep sentimental connection between a parent and a child about your age; a certain connection I still remember having with my parents in the early 1980s.

You’re in it, right now. You’re in it.

I’m not saying that feeling goes away, but I recognize it as particularly special during those preschool years, when lullabies and stuffed animals are part of everyday life.

It feels like… home. It’s both happy and sad.

The reason it’s sad is because it’s so happy and, deep down, you know it won’t last forever.

You know that the two of you will both grow up and eventually become both be adults.

But as for right now, you get to be the cute little boy, ironically wearing Daddy’s hat and slippers.

 

Love, Daddy

 

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The Toddlers’ Beat Poet Society Of Nashville

Monday, June 4th, 2012

A year and a half.

You’ve met Jack’s friends Henry and Sophie before. Well, this past Saturday morning all of us parents decided to get together so we could see how our kids play in an environment with each other outside of their daycare.

After a delicious and glorious breakfast at Henry’s house, Henry’s dad suggested we could check out the “drum circle” going on just a few blocks away.

Honestly, I had no idea what a drum circle was, but it sounded random and therefore enticing… so it was fine by me.

The nine of us made our way to a white tent, covering a man playing a giant bongo drum. In his midst were plenty of chairs for visitors and various sized of bongos for us all to play on.

I guess the concept is that you just show up and drum along to the beat, letting friendly conversations and positive vibes do the rest.

Henry and Sophie seemed to get it. As for Jack, he was more of a skeptic. The tambourine seemed to be more his speed; of course while holding a yellow car he snatched from Henry’s house.

“Jack is like the old man telling the hippies to get out of his yard playing that crazy music,” Henry’s dad pointed out.

Yeah, that pretty much sums it up.

I did think it was funny how while we were there, it was pretty much just us parents and toddlers. The event was similar to many of the scenes in the movie Garden State.

If only Jack were able to remember going to the drum circle when he was 18 months-old, he would say, “Hey dad, remember that time we went to that weird tent where that guy was playing a drum for no reason and we all were supposed to play along? Well, what was that all about? And weren’t Henry and Sophie there too?”

As I tell this story now, it sounds more like a strange dream; which is how most of my childhood memories remain in my mind.

But really, it was the perfect morning. What better way to spend it than with friends all trying something exciting and new… and random.

Those kinds of memories are the best. Shared experiences that in hindsight seem abstract and even pointless.

That’s what adds character to friendship; even for toddlers.

Not to mention, it was free to go to the drum circle. Not even an awkward tip jar.

Even better.

Encore, anyone?

For more pictures of The Toddlers’ Beat Poet Society, I invite you to check out The Dadabase’s Facebook page.

It’s always a good place to get a sneak peak at what’s going on. You’ll even be invited to give me input and advice for upcoming articles.

Peace out, fellow parents.

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