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Saturday, April 5th, 2014
3 years, 4 months.
A few hours ago I was able to be among the first to see Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
As I was getting ready to leave after dinner, you sincerely asked, “Hey Daddy, can I go with you tonight to see Captain America?”
I wish I could have said yes…
But while you were definitely ready for The Lego Movie, I think Captain America is a bit much for a 3 year-old.
Again, I really wish you could have gone with me tonight. Let’s give it a few more years…
So I guess one of the reasons I write these daily letters to you is so that you can actually know your dad.
I don’t want to be a mysterious man to you.
With that being said, you need to know that Captain America is my favorite comic book character.
He was actually the first comic book action figure I ever had. That’s right- in that picture you’re holding an original 1984 Captain America from your daddy’s childhood.
I was three years old when that toy was made… you just happen to be three years old right now, as well.
Why do boys like superheroes so much, anyway? I’m sure there have been great books written and documentaries made regarding this very topic.
For me, I would say there is a subtle, understood message that boys (and men) have an alter ego in mind to help motivate them. They are looking for opportunities to be heroes in their world.
I’ve mentioned before that one of my roles in this life is that I am a reluctant leader. I think it’s interesting that many superheroes start out as average size, like me.
At 5’9″ and 142 pounds, I am clearly the epitome of what a superhero should look like before he gets his super powers.
But then, something awesome happens and the character in the story becomes larger than life and saves the day.
Personally, Captain America is my favorite because while he’s a bit old-fashioned, he truly cares most about doing what is right; particularly in regards to defending the freedom of America.
That’s why I loved Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
He realizes that the particular government agency he works for is so good at policing the world, that they actually become a threat to the liberty of the American people… in a 1984, Big Brother kind of way.
And Captain America doesn’t like that, so he rounds up enough people to do something about it.
In other words, it’s pretty much the most Libertarian movie I’ve ever seen; definitely more so than The Lego Movie or Ghostbusters.
Here in a few years, you will be getting old enough to enjoy watching comic book superhero movies with me.
I so look forward to that. And Star Wars too.
We are wired to be the underdogs that save the day; even if it’s just Mommy’s day instead of the entire world’s.
Boys and their super heroes. I totally get it. We’re going to have a great time in a few years with this stuff. But I’m not rushing you.
You’re three years old. Right now, I want you to enjoy the benefits of not being age appropriate to see a PG-13 rated movie.
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Wednesday, December 18th, 2013
3 years, 1 month.
It’s no secret that I am perhaps the most… peculiar person at my office.
No, not just because I’m the token vegan, or the guy that refuses to use microwaves, or because I go mountain biking during my lunch break.
I’m also the guy that likes to unleash subliminal social experiments among my coworkers.
Last Friday, the new monthly coupon advertisements were delivered to the break room, featuring discounts for local businesses.
One of them is for a lodge-themed restaurant featuring scantily clad young women as the waitresses, who on the ad, all looked so happy to be wearing so little flannel. (Not to mention, the name of the restaurant is a play on words that is definitely not discreet about what part of the female body it is alluding to.)
I remember about a year ago, when word came out that the fairly new “breastaurant” chain was moving to the very Republican part of Nashville my office is located. There were people evidently trying to boycott that from happening.
As for me, the token Libertarian of the office, my stance was that if the free market financially supports a corny, degrading-to-women restaurant like that, then let it be.
Turns out, there are enough customers willing to support the place to keep it alive and well, because, afterall… “The food is really good there!” I am told.
Here’s where I’m going with this story: I am raising you to see women as… women. Not objects. I’m raising you to see them as somebody’s daughters.
Just to subliminally reinforce this concept to my coworkers, I printed out in size 10 font, the phrase “A.K.A. Somebody’s Daughters,” then cut it out and taped it underneath the restaurant’s logo and the picture of the uniformed models used for the ad.
When word finally got around this week who was behind the prank, because after all, everyone in the office saw those coupons laying there on the table all week, some were surprised it was me: A happily married 32 year-old man with a 3 year-old son.
I responded by saying, “What- did you assume it was an ultraconversative feminist?” (Whatever that means.)
Nope, it was a guy, who is raising his son to treat women with respect. I want to raise you as one less willing customer for a restaurant like that… no matter how good the “food” is.
On second thought, maybe I really am an ultraconservative feminist… if male Libertarians are allowed to be them?
P.S. This is one of those letters that is to be reserved for when you’re older. But while I’ve got it on my mind, I wanted to give you this “life advice” today and I’ll just bookmark it for when the time is right for you to hear it. In the mean time, enjoy the simple life of being a 3 year-old, please!
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Tuesday, August 27th, 2013
2 years, 9 months.
A concept that is going viral right now is that at age 32, according to a poll on Netmums.com, we “turn into our parents.”
The Netmums News Team explains it like this:
“It is at this age when we are most likely to find ourselves echoing our own parents’ phrases or mannerisms…
The grown-up responsibilities of having children, owning a house and having a busy career all contributed to the feeling of becoming more and more like your own parents.”
Fate would have it that I just so happen to be a 32 year-old daddy blogger at the exact moment in history when this concept has gone viral. That’s pretty cool, huh?
So, have I become my parents? Do I echo their phrases and mannerisms? Do I feel more like my own parents because I have a child and own a house and have a busy career, too?
Yes and no.
No, because I feel like they made this parenting thing, as well as the busy career and owning a house thing, seem so worry-free and easy.
In that way, I feel like I haven’t turned into them, though I want to.
Maybe I’m realizing that I am giving myself an extra challenge as a parent because I want this all to seem as easy as I thought it was for my own parents.
As far as how I have definitely turned into my parents, I do admit to using my hands a lot when I talk- which tends to happen when your mother is half Italian.
Basically, my personality comes from my mom. I’ve never really thought about that before… interesting.
And it’s pretty evident to me that I am ultimately a vegan (I mean, I’m living a plant-based lifestyle; which is the more marketable, less offensive term) because it seems like my dad was always teaching me as a kid to question where our food comes from and to relate eating processed foods to getting cancer and diseases.
So it should be no surprise that, as a 32 year-old adult, I now associate Monsanto with the devil and I see GMO foods as the mark of the beast. (That’s a slight exaggeration. Not really.)
I felt so deprived because it seemed I was the only kid I knew who wasn’t allowed to eat white bread or drink soda at his own house except for on very special occasions. (I thank my dad for that now!)
He seemed to always have a distrust of medicine and the FDA, instead teaching me to rely on what was already available in nature to prevent and cure health problems. (Which is exactly what I successfully did with my eczema, severe allergies, and sinus problems!)
Plus, he was always open-minded to the unpopular theories that mainstream society and popular culture often ridiculed or ignored, which I think was fundamental in me becoming a Libertarian, in regards to my political stances.
So yes, at age 32, I’m pretty much a mix of my parents the way I remember them while growing up; which again, wasn’t at all a negative thing.
The question is, will you become me in about 30 years? If so, you’ll basically become your grandparents.
P.S. The pictures of me with my parents, featured above, are from around Christmas 1983, nearly 30 years ago, which is when I was about your age now.
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Wednesday, June 12th, 2013
2 years, 6 months.
As I picked out my own dad’s Father’s Day card today, I noticed how they are designed for all the major types of dads. For example, there’s…
The Serious/Sentimental Dad- His card features a sophisticated black and white photo of dad and child.
As well as…
The Funny Dad- Expect a witty cartoon, a humorous photo, or some kind of lighthearted joke on his card.
The Fart Joke Dad- Like The Funny Dad, but specifically capitalizing on flatulence.
But don’ forget about…
The $1.99 Dad- This card tends to feature more generic language, steering away from words of affection like “dad” and “love.”
And of course…
The $.99 Dad- Here’s to one step away from not sending a card at all.
Yes, no kidding: At Kroger, they have both a $1.99 section as well as the $.99 section in the Father’s Day area.
It’s an interesting thought- that kids and adult children have to subconsciously figure out whether they have a serious/sentimental dad, or a fart joke dad, or a $1.99 dad.
I wonder if it changes throughout the years based on the child’s age.
For example, I could totally see you getting me a fart joke Father’s Day card when you’re 10 years old.
It sort of reminds me of an article I read on Yahoo! Finance called “What You ‘Like’ On Facebook Can Be Revealing.”
For example, in theory, because of the fact I “like” Non-GMO Project, Occupy Monsanto, Julie Borowski, Ron Paul, Parents Magazine, and Bruce Springsteen on Facebook, I am evidently making it somewhat obvious that I’m a a socially liberal, fiscally conservative, vegan dad who has accidentally caused his 2 and a half year-old son to now get upset in his car seat if he doesn’t get to listen to Bruce Springsteen’s Greatest Hits album on the way to school in the morning.
To me, a Father’s Day card is just as indirectly telling of what kind of dad one is perceived to be, at least in that moment, that year by their child.
I will never look at Father’s Day cards the same…
Top photo: Night Drive Long Exposure, via Shutterstock.
Bottom photo: Knocked Out, via Shutterstock.
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Tuesday, May 7th, 2013
2 years, 5 months.
Yesterday’s “Should Daddy Get A Gun For The House?” originally had a different ending, in which I made it clear whether or not I decided to get a gun.
However, at the very last minute right before I published the letter, Mommy and I decided that broadcasting to the social media world whether or not we have a gun in the house is not a wise decision.
I think that to announce either way is to raise a red flag.
So in the likeness of the vague closure in the final episode of Lost, I ended the letter by simply saying, “My research is complete and my decision is now made.”
The way I see it, whether or not I own a gun is not really the issue; for me, anyway. The real issue for me was sorting out whether or not I am really capable, willing, and ready at all times to take the life of another human being who threatens the safety of my family.
That was what was important to me; taking the time to truly process that all the way through.
Like planning out a fire drill, in my head I have now mapped out an official “intruder drill.” Now I know the quickest and most efficient strategy for obtaining the [deadly weapons] on both floors of our house; in addition to immediately grabbing the cell phone to call 911.
It sounds so morbid, to say that I’m now ready to take the life of another human being, if necessary. And to be ready to do that at any given minute of the day.
But like Sayid on Lost, you want to have somebody on your island who is willing to be your bodyguard; someone who is always ready to fight and kill for you.
You want someone who is dangerous enough to keep you safe.
That person is me.
Photo: A toy hand gun, Shutterstock.
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