Posts Tagged ‘ life ’

How My 2 And A Half Year-Old Sees A Rainbow

Tuesday, May 21st, 2013

2 years, 6 months.

Dear Jack,

This morning we drove the first half of the way to school in the rain, but the skies began to clear by the second half.

As they did, I announced, “Jack! Look, in the sky! It’s a rainbow! Do you see it?”

You looked through the windshield, asking, “Where? Where?” but not understanding what you were actually looking for.

Finally, you looked above the green I-65 South sign and finally saw what I did.

“I see yellow choo-choo, Daddy!”

That sounds pretty random when I tell it, but I have to consider: You’ve never seen a rainbow until today.

To you, it was a yellow train chugging across the sky.

Despite my 29 and a half year head start into life, I still am fascinated by rainbows; as you obviously are too.

Actually, it’s pretty hard to look up in the sky and see a rainbow and not at least think, “Cool, a rainbow.”

A rainbow is a universal sign of hope, I assume.

I have to assume that as hard as life can be, a person has to see a rainbow and consider that there is hope beyond what we see. For you, I would have to think that life is already more like that already.

You haven’t failed in life, yet.

You haven’t been legitimately disappointed about anything.

You haven’t regretted anything in your past.

You haven’t only wished you would have known sooner.

Hopefully, that’s where I come in. I want you to learn from my mistakes. Sure, you’ll make plenty of your own mistakes; that’s part of life.

But I want to help fast forward you through the learning curve of life.

It isn’t all sunshine and rainbows, but there are clues of hope embedded into everyday life, if we know what to look for.

 

Love,

Daddy

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What Are You Doing For The Rest Of Your Life?

Sunday, April 28th, 2013

2 years, 5 months.

Dear Jack,

Last Thursday on the drive to school, I popped in one of my favorite CD’s ever, Mat Kearney’s Young Love.

In a random and successful effort to find a new way to entertain you, I handed over the jewel case with the lyrics; which instantly became a storybook to you.

While I’ve heard every one of those songs at least 273 times, a phrase from the very first song, “Hey Mama,” caught my attention:

“What are you doing for the rest of your life?”

It’s such an understated question. Naturally, though, the answer is simple:

You and Mommy. In other words, whatever I am doing for the rest of my life, it revolves around the two of you.

Granted, I had obviously given plenty of prior thought of spending the rest of my life with Mommy nearly five years ago when we got married.

But as for you, I hadn’t truly consciously put you in that same category; at least not since you were a newborn.

No matter what my calender says, your name is on every day for the rest of my life. There will never be a day that you don’t consume my thoughts.

It’s one of those things that every dad-to-be dwells on. I can remember now, how for the months leading up to your birth, I would constantly think about how you would forever change my life.

I would think about how my existence in this world would now cause a ripple effect which would be undeniable- simply because I was responsible in bringing you into this world, and more importantly, because the way I would raise you would make who you would become; for better or for worse.

So yeah, I haven’t given too much thought about that in the past nearly two and a half years. I’ve had so many other dad-related thoughts to consume my mind since then.

And that just goes to show you… you’re what I’m doing for the rest of my life.

 

Love,

Daddy

 

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One More Month to Go

Thursday, October 7th, 2010

Thirty-five weeks.

Jack’s due date is November 11th, so it’s pretty likely that within the next thirty days, he will be born.  I am past the stage of being nervous, afraid, or underprepared (because I’ve accepted the fact that no first time parent can truly be prepared enough). Instead, I am completely excited and feeling very positive about it all.  A few nights ago I had a dream that Jack was a few months old and I was holding him, feeling his face against mine, and even though it was a dream, it was a feeling that I have never experienced before.  But it’s a feeling that I know I will be experiencing soon in real life.

This late into the pregnancy, it feels more like our baby is actually born and less that my wife is still pregnant.  We’re so close to meeting him.  I’m already feeling a hint of this great desire to do anything I have to in order to make sure he’s taken care of.  Like an innocent puppy that winds up on my doorstep with sad eyes that say, “Please take care of me…”  Except he’s a human being and I had a part in bringing him into this world.

I look forward to caring for him with my life.  I don’t care about having to change diapers, losing sleep, and just flat-out transforming the normalcy of my life to be a dad.  I want this little boy.  And for the record, he’s got some cool shoes waiting for him out here in the real world.

All pictures with the “JHP” logo were taken by Joe Hendricks Photography:

Blog- www.photojoeblog.com

Website- www.joehendricks.com


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He Who Dies Happy in Old Age, Still Dies

Thursday, September 2nd, 2010

Thirty weeks.


Ironically, while waiting for my first child to be born I am accompanied by thoughts of the finality of my own life.  Having a baby is such a huge milestone, such a life-changing event, that my mind skips decades ahead to when my kid will graduate high school, to when I will be a grandparent, and ultimately, to my inevitable passing into eternity.  In my mind, all those big events are strung together like bubbly Christmas lights from 1988.

My wife and I have this agreement that concerning our own inevitable deaths, we will die healthy but of “natural causes” in our sleep, both at age 92, holding hands.  And I would assume that most happily married people would wish for the same thing- to be able to raise their children with their spouse, to grow old with their family, and to pass this life in our right minds – not lonely and suffering in a nursing home.  I don’t consider a sudden brain aneurism, a car accident, or being mauled by a bear while hiking through the woods.  No, you see, I have carefully planned out my own “natural causes” death in a romantic and perfect way.

And that’s the only way I can think about the end of my life- with optimism.  Assuming I will live a long, happy life, giving all I can to my family.   It’s the only way I can think, because even now, two months before Baby Jack is scheduled to arrive, I am responsible for another life.  I have to be here to take care of him.  And my wife.

I truly am incapable of trying to fathom how so many people in the world don’t have a solid understanding (or at least some kind of basic perspective) of what happens after this life, and that they don’t think about it on a daily basis like I do.  How the afterlife is completely something to be considered, how beyond heaven and hell issues, this dream of life is the prequel to eternity.  And now, already, a new soul has been created, and I had something to do with that.  I have changed the course of eternity.

This baby is not just a body; he’s got a soul.  A soul that will need guidance for this life and the eternal one.  And I have to be here for that.  Even if these thoughts may seem dark and depressing to some, I refuse to ignore the reality that life and death are intertwined.  As much as I “try not to take life too seriously” like all those stupid bumper stickers and annoying e-mail forwards tell me, I still take life seriously enough to think about this stuff.

All pictures with the “JHP” logo were taken by Joe Hendricks Photography:

Blog- www.photojoeblog.com

Website- www.joehendricks.com

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Actor Turned Director

Wednesday, September 1st, 2010

Twenty-nine weeks.

It took me 12 straight days to teach myself to solve the Rubik’s Cube; it was during this time that my wife and I found out we were going to have a baby.  Of course, we didn’t tell anyone until over a month later, but during my “learn to solve a Rubik’s Cube” phase, I had several people crack themselves up with this joke: “If you’ve got the time and patience to solve that thing, it’s time for you to have a kid!”  And they were right.  My instincts were making it obvious that like so many actors, the time eventually arrives when it’s time to dabble with directing.

(Cue the song “In My Life” by The Beatles as the proper soundtrack as you read the rest of this post.  It’s officially my favorite song ever.)

I can look back on my life with satisfaction, knowing that my accomplishments have outweighed my failures and regrets.  I have met all kinds of interesting people from all over the world (most of whom are facebook friends).  I understand the meaning of life.  I am solid in my beliefs on the afterlife.  I have married the woman I am meant to be with.  I can now solve the Rubik’s Cube in two minutes and twenty-five seconds.  And though this paragraph may resemble a goodbye letter to the world as I prepare for my life to come to an end like I’m 90 years old, I recognize that in some ways life as I know it will end, as it transforms into a new one.  A more meaningful one.  From “me” to “dad”.

On top of all this, I’m about a half a year away from turning 30, so yeah, I’d say it’s time for things to stop being about me so much and more about someone else.  I have been the protagonist, but soon I will become a full-time director.  All of life has prepared me to this new role.  The cynic could see it as circular reasoning- that you spend your youth learning how to become a responsible adult, and then once you do, you just do it all over again with modified little reruns of yourself running around.

But I would say the cynic is still under the assumption that life is all about him- that life either simply ends when he dies or that hopefully when he dies, he’s been “good enough to get to Heaven” or that at least Hell won’t be that bad, but instead just a big party where the temperature is slightly hotter than desired while Jimmy Buffett plays an eternal concert and the margaritas are never-ending.

If anything, I could see how raising a kid will be a redeeming and cleansing process, helping me to see how little I truly know, helping me to appreciate my family and childhood teachers more, helping me to straighten out my priorities even more, helping me to ultimately give more than I take.  I could see how this baby will ironically make me a better adult.  And how the humility of changing diapers is only a small part of this evolution of my life.

And yes, Baby Jack will probably already know how to solve a Rubik’s Cube before he gets to Kindergarten.

All pictures with the “JHP” logo were taken by Joe Hendricks Photography:

Blog- www.photojoeblog.com

Website- www.joehendricks.com

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