Posts Tagged ‘
growing up ’
Monday, April 14th, 2014
3 years, 4 months.
While you’ve been enjoying the splendor of Band-Aids for quite a while now, or as you refer to them, “tattoos,” it wasn’t truly until this past weekend that you really needed them.
Saturday morning we were helping our next door neighbor Rachel move her elliptical to the other side of the neighborhood, where the community yard sale was going on.
(Fortunately, the thing had wheels on the bottom.)
On the walk back to our house, you were running ahead of me on the sidewalk, in flip-flops.
Granted, I did indeed yell out to you, “Jack, slow down! Let me catch up to you.”
It was precisely 5 seconds later that you fell down, scraping your elbows and knees.
There really wasn’t much blood at all, but it was enough to scare you.
After all, you’ve never really fallen down and gotten hurt before. And that’s pretty amazing, actually!
I can’t believe that you made it until nearly age 3 and a half before your first real accidental injury. Had you not been wearing flip-flops, I doubt it would have even happened.
You’re a boy. You’re supposed to get cut up and bruised on a fairly regular basis, right? That’s how I remember it, first hand in the 1980s.
I find it interesting that you typically remain so unscathed…
Makes me wonder if there’s any way I’m a helicopter parent who is in denial? I try to give you all the practical freedom that a modern day American dad can give his son.
Or maybe you’re just now getting to the age where you can really start getting into trouble?
While I hate to see you get hurt, there is definitely a part of me that is proud to see you growing up, like a little boy should- with scraped elbows and knees.
And well-earned Mater Band-Aids.
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Thursday, April 10th, 2014
3 years, 4 months.
Since your first and best friend, Sophie, moved away in February, you have by default been put in situation where you are becoming friends with other boys.
Up until now, the way it’s worked out is that the kids in your class at school who are closest to you in age are girls- so that’s why you have been more prone to hang out with girls, instead of boys, outside of school.
But now that Sophie is no longer attending your school with you, I’m pleasantly surprised to see you talking to and playing alongside boys when I pick you up from school each day.
There’s even a picture at your school of you and a boy named Alex. The two of you posed arm in arm on Western day for your teacher.
That’s not a side of you I’ve seen much of.
I am very excited by the thought of you having a regular “outside of school” friend that is a boy.
This is because I recognize the importance of having friends of the same gender, not just the opposite.
I remember one of my 1st friends like that in preschool- his name is Russell McElhaney. I still remember that he was my first friend that was a boy. I remember “outside of school” activities with him, like going to each other’s houses to play with He-Man action figures.
In case you haven’t noticed, I’ve never really written a letter to you that tells a story about you and one of your friends who is a boy.
I predict within the next year you’ll have a friend here in Nashville who you are close enough to that they do indeed end up in a story.
As for now, my next letter is about you going to downtown Nashville, arm in arm between two girls from school.
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Saturday, March 15th, 2014
3 years, 3 months.
Thursday night, Mommy went out for coffee with her friend Karen for her official “Mommy’s Night Out” for the month. (I get one too, but it’s called “Daddy’s Night Out” instead, obviously.)
I didn’t mind whatsoever, but I admit since that meant I would be putting you to bed, I sort of needed to speed through the process so I could finish up the dishes and catch up on some other work before Mommy got home.
You wanted me to play trains with you, though we already had our play time. Then you wanted me to read an extra story. And you wanted me sing an extra song after I had already sang you two Christmas carols.
I knew that the more time I spent upstairs with you, the less time I’d have to get my work done before Mommy got home. But then I reminded myself:
It’s easy to take these moments for granted.
You’ll be this age and in this stage… for a limited time only.
That’s one of the reasons I always put your age in years and the month at the top of every letter: to remind myself of how fast you’re growing up.
As hectic as our schedules are, we really don’t get to spend as much quality time as a family as we wish; it’s basically limited to the weekend for the most part.
And as far as exclusive father and son time, that’s even more rare. Sure, I take you to and from school every day, but there’s not much physical interaction there.
So I decided to let the work downstairs delay for a little while. You and me had a tickle fight instead.
It’s interesting how you don’t even put up a fight, other than try to shield yourself with your blanket like a turtle trying to hide in his shell.
Sure, it’s easy to take these moments for granted, but I didn’t this time.
And I still got the dishes done by the time Mommy got home.
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Tuesday, January 28th, 2014
3 years, 2 months.
I don’t regularly share pictures of you on Facebook, unattached from daily stories I write about you.
But over the weekend, I did. I just shared three pictures of you on Mommy’s Facebook wall, as she is rarely on Facebook anyway:
In one, you’re smiling with Mommy as you “make soup” with water and spices.
In another, you’re proudly displaying your hilarious monster truck collection.
And in the third one, you’re using a pizza crust as a mustache.
Sharing those pictures with Mommy was my way of helping her stay connected with Facebook friends; giving her new material to talk about without her actually having to start the conversation.
As the comments began rolling in, I started seeing a common factor: People were genuinely amazed at how much older you look.
I haven’t noticed it as much because I see you everyday. I’m more aware of changes in your intellectual maturity instead.
So I guess I should take this down as a moment in your life where you magically looked a bit older, all of the sudden.
Your friend Henry’s dad put it this way: “When did Jack turn 7?”
It’s like watching the minute hand of a clock. If you stare at it constantly, you probably won’t really notice it move. But if you turn away for 20 minutes, then return back to it, you see an obvious difference.
As your parent, I see you every day. Since you’ve been alive, there have probably only been 3 or 4 nights where I was out of town and didn’t see you at all for the day.
Something I have noticed here recently is that your hair is obviously more brown now, like your parents’ hair color, than it is blonde.
And I’ve noticed how your nose and lips look just like Mommy’s now, while your chin and brow look a lot like mine.
It’s easy to get distracted in actually raising you everyday that I tend not to see so obviously what everybody else does- those subtle changes are hidden, though they’re right in front of me.
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Tuesday, October 22nd, 2013
2 years, 11 months.
Sunday night, Mommy scrolled through the pictures on my personal Facebook page going back all the way to March 2005, when I first joined the social media website.
After doing so, she remarked, “Your Facebook pictures have obviously become a lot more mature since we got married and especially since Jack was born.”
She’s totally right.
I haven’t gone through the trouble of removing them yet, but at the time of writing this letter to you, there were still quite a few pictures of me posing for purposely stupid pictures.
Like the one where I am inmpersonating a pro-wrestler, with my shirt off, standing in front of a huge British flag.
Oh, and my hair is down to my chin.
Then there’s the one where I’m mocking the year 1976 where I have the same long hair, accompanied by a creeper mustache and an unbuttoned silky shirt.
And don’t forget the entire picture folder which contains several shots of me in Mr. Potato Head pajama pants pretending to fall down a flight of stairs.
Completely stupid, but at least on purpose.
But in the year 2005, I was a single, 24 year-old dude. That’s the kind of stuff I could put on Facebook and easily get away with.
Of course, back in those days, the only people were who my Facebook friends were people I knew from college and expected my deadpan sense of humor.
These days, everyone’s on Facebook- including semi-distant relatives, my former elementary school teachers, and church staff.
I can’t get away with being that goofy like I used to. It confuses people. I’ve learned irony, sarcasm, and dark comedy don’t quite translate on Facebook like they did when I was 24.
Even over the recent past several months, I have totally toned down my Facebook behavior in general.
It used to be that I would post fake status updates to see who would think I was serious. Turns out, more people did than I realized…
It used to be that I was more opinionated, but I realized it actually divided people and that’s not something I want to be known for.
So needless to say, my Facebook lifestyle has evolved.
I’m not saying I never have fun on it anymore, but considering that posting pictures of Mommy and me pretending to eat giant M&M’s at the Louisville Zoo are the new “crazy” pictures, I’d say I’ve defintely matured since the days of the long-haired guy posing in Mr. Potato Head pajama pants.
Now, my general rule for posting a picture of myself on Facebook is that you have to be in it too. “Selfie” shots now include you and/or Mommy.
I’m growing up, Son.
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