Thursday, May 1st, 2014
3 years, 5 months.
When I was growing up, I never minded the small town I grew up in. It was all I knew.
Life was good, easy, and comfortable. My parents did everything right.
But around the time I starting driving, I became more curious about life outside of the shared corner of Alabama, Tennessee, and Georgia.
The summer before my senior year, I travelled to Ecuador. Then after I graduated high school, I went to college in Florida and Virginia; both of which took way more than 8 hours to travel to and from the house I grew up in.
I spent two of the summers in college overseas in Bangkok, Thailand; teaching English. I briefly did the same in South Korea, as well.
For a guy who sure was comfortable being raised in a small town, it was my instinct to want to go explore the world outside of safety and comfort.
I think you will be the same way. I think you will end up being an explorer of the world; at least the world outside the town you are growing up in.
Aside from that, though- after Mommy and I have “raised you,” you will leave us and start your own life. You will have the desire to become who you were to intended to be, apart from us.
I am preparing myself now for the day you will move away and figure things out on your own, like I had to do.
The way I see it, when a father does a good job of raising his son, he is rewarded by seeing his son move on to start his own life, and eventually start his own family. It seems that’s one of the ultimate rewards of being a father… as much of a paradox as that may sound.
Mommy is the nurturer, I am the mentor, and you’re the kid. Together, I know that the three of us will always have a close love for each other; but I get it that you will, in essence, need to “start over” and do this thing yourself.
Right now, these are the years when the rewards of fatherhood include cuddling with you, wrestling you, having you ask me to sing you bedtime songs, taking you to the zoo and the monster truck show… so many things each day that mean the world to me.
The undeniable irony here is that for the next 15 years or so, I will ultimately be revolving my life around you so that you can become independent enough to live your life without me being right there. I guess that’s sort of an obvious element of being a dad, but I’m thinking about it more here lately.
I don’t take for granted you are growing up so fast. After all, one day, that might actually be a real mustache on your face!
P.S. The top picture is an entry we submitted for a “selfie photo contest” for Joe Hendricks Photography!
Add a Comment
Thursday, October 20th, 2011
Alternate title: “How Not to Look Like a Man in Your 40′s When You’re Really in Your 20′s or 30′s.”
In “Does Becoming a Parent Make You Less Cool?,” I proclaimed that I didn’t want to end up looking like a “bland soccer dad.” What does that even mean?
Let me take you back to my senior year of college. I was working an afternoon shift at Liberty University’s brand-new student center with my culturally aware, straight-talking friend, Anna.
“You totally look like a soccer dad right now,” she said.
At the time, I didn’t realize that was a bad thing, with my faded polo shirt tucked into my khaki cargo pants, paired with tennis shoes and a flat hairstyle that resembled Mike Brady on the first season of The Brady Bunch.
Over time, especially since getting married, I have learned how to dress as a culturally relevant man, not Nick Burns, your company’s computer guy.
So for any dads out there who are wanting to step up their game, I’m here to sincerely help. The truth is, Nick Burns (a Saturday Night Live character played by Jimmy Fallon) is a good place to start; regarding who not to look like.
1. If you are a white man under the age of 40, nix the mustache. It makes you look a pervert. No one takes a young mustached Caucasian man seriously- hence the term, “ironic mustache.”
2. Lose the cell phone belt clip. Just place your phone in your pocket and leave it on vibrate. That way, no one has to hear “Sweet Home Alabama” every time someone calls you.
3. No white socks. Unless you’re playing sports or you’re Michael Jackson in 1985, white socks are nerdy.
4. Give away your pleated pants. Pleats went out with Sears catalogs and Zack Morris cell phones.
5. When it comes to your hairstyle, the key is not to look like a weatherman, who I feel are notorious for having a definite “side part” like the previously mentioned Season One Mike Brady. The truth is, the clean-cut, yet semi-messy “Ryan Seacrest” is the safest way to go right now.
6. Go black, or go brown; but don’t go both. If you are wearing a brown belt, don’t wear black pants or black shoes too; and vice versa.
7. When it comes to jeans, light and baggy says “Hey man, Creed’s coming into town and I’ve got front row tickets!”. Also, do not purchase jean shorts. Like the white man’s mustache, they have become a fashion joke, now referred to as “jorts.”
8. Unless you’re actively on duty in the military, there is no reason for your pants to have cargo pockets. Cargo pants equal “sloppy” except they are part of your required uniform.
9. When wearing a neck tie, which you sporadically should, only wear it with a long-sleeved, collared shirt. I’m sure you don’t want to look like Dwight Schrute.
10. Fact: There is a reason no one ever asks anymore; “boxers or briefs?” That’s because it goes without saying. Boxers.
Passing the Mic:
Can you think of anything to add to my list? Maybe you’ll give me enough material here to write “10 More Ways Not to Look Like a Soccer Dad.”
Add a Comment