Posts Tagged ‘ Nashville ’

Our World Is Right In Front Of Us And It’s Pretty Good

Friday, March 14th, 2014

3 years, 3 months.

Dear Jack,

Tomorrow is the big day… We’re going to the Monster Jam show in the morning!

For the first time, you will get to see what happens when we drive past Whole Foods on I-65 in Nashville.

All you know at this point is that the other way on I-65 goes to Louisville, KY where we have visited the zoo a couple of times now; where they have the rhinos.

So I explained to you that going south on the Interstate will take us to a place called Huntsville, AL… where the monster trucks are. (As if it’s a special monster truck city where the monster trucks always are; where they live, work, and play in organized chaos.)

Today you have been deciding which toy monster trucks to take with us on the mini-road trip; hoping to see the “real life” Monster Mutt tomorrow, which is a monster truck that looks like a giant puppy, floppy ears and all.

It’s funny how a family trip to go see monsters trucks run over old cars (or whatever they do) could be such a big deal to the three of us, but it is. It’s a big deal to you, so it’s a big deal to Mommy and me.

This morning Mommy sent me a text that seemed to summarize things, as if in a simple, yet poetic way:

Spring and summer are on their way and we have lots of fun things to be excited about— because our world is right in front of us and it’s pretty good :)

She’s right. When I see you and Mommy in front of me, I see the world and I know that it’s pretty good. Well, actually “pretty good” is an understatement.

Maybe I could use #blessed as a good start. (Yeah, the hashtag makes it even cooler.)

 

Love,

Daddy

 

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And Now Your Best Friend Is Moving Away…

Sunday, February 9th, 2014

3 years, 2 months.

Dear Jack,

For the past two weekends, we have spent time with Sophie and her parents…

Because, you see, well… Sophie’s moving from Nashville to Alabama in a couple of weeks.

I haven’t necessarily broke the news to you yet.

At least the good part is that where Sophie is moving is only about 2 and a half hours from where Nana and Papa’s house is, which is the halfway point between where we live and where Sophie is moving.

So this is not goodbye…

However, it is definitely a major milestone in your life so far. You and Sophie have known each other since July 2011, when Mommy and I enrolled you at the daycare that you both have remained for the past 2 and a half years.

For the majority of your life, Sophie has been a major part of it. Actually, if I cared enough to do the math, you might even spend more waking hours with her than you do Mommy and I each week.

Yesterday as you and Sophie had an ongoing 1970′s car chase/demolition derby at the indoor playground, her mommy and I talked about the move.

We mutually acknowledged the fact that there’s a good chance you and Sophie won’t actually remember all these fun times you’ve had together.

For the majority of your life, you’ve spent countless hours with someone who has been like a twin sister to you.

But will all this time simply be memories for the parents, more so than the kids?

Here’s how I look at it- this is what I told Sophie’s mommy:

Based on what I learned in Child Psychology in college, the first couple of years of a child’s life are arguably the most important for his or her development and future decisions for the rest of his or her life.

So even if these stories I have written about you and Sophie are, at best, foggy memories to you when I go back a year from now and show you these pictures, I’ll still know that Sophie Culpepper had a lot to do with your understanding of what a true friend really is.

It will be her picture in the dictionary, next to the definition of friend.

I will close by providing links for a dozen of the stories I have written about you two over these past couple of years…

Jack And Sophie: Baby Buddies In Crime (November 17, 2011)

The Toddlers’ Beat Poet Society Of Nashville (June 4th, 2012)

Mall Toddlers: My Idea For A Straight-To-DVD Kids Movie (September 17, 2012)

My Toddler Son, The Pony Whisperer/Natural Laxative (October 11, 2012)

Free Craft Activity For Kids: Home Depot’s Little Helper Headquarters (December 5, 2012)

Forcing Your Kid To Apologize And Hug The Other Kid (February 1, 2013)

My Son’s Alter Ego Is A Schlubby Dinosaur (April 29, 2013)

Still, Though, I Think I’d Be Happy With Just One Kid… (July 4, 2013)

A Southern Fried, Sunday Afternoon Play Date (August 6, 2013)

Finding Non-Petroleum, “Bug Juice” Free Cupcakes (November 15, 2013)

A Purposely Low Key 3rd Birthday Party (November 17, 2013)

It’s A Boy’s Boy’s Boy’s World (December 17, 2013)

 

Love,

Daddy

 

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Surviving The Polar Vortex Of 2014, Icicles And All

Tuesday, January 7th, 2014

3 years, 1 month.

Dear Jack,

I think it’s safe to say that this is the coldest weather you’ve ever been exposed to, considering it was 6 degrees on the way to school today.

And really, I think these are the most arctic conditions that Mommy or I have experienced as well.

Just look at the car, if you can through all the snow and ice… and icicles. This is the Polar Vortex of 2014.

(A polar vortex is a large-scale cyclone, by the way.)

Not only is it literally freezing outside, but it’s remaining below freezing- for days straight. We’re not quite used to that here in Nashville.

I didn’t even realize we had an “emergency heat” setting on our thermostat until a few days ago; nor did I really know how to use it.

Apparently, if I know the temperature is going to be below freezing, I’m supposed to turn on the emergency heat to keep ice from forming on the fan outside.

Otherwise, it makes this loud “lopsided washing machine” sound. The emergency heat setting both fixes and prevents this problem.

But without any accumulating snow outside, the Polar Vortex of 2014 isn’t that exciting for you- it just means Mommy has to bundle you up like the little brother Randy on the classic 1983 movie, A Christmas Story.

The pictures of the 2014 Toyota Corolla that we’ve been driving this week really do serve as a great illustration of what life has been like during a polar vortex like this.

I’d say that’s the main way life has been altered this week- in regards to our cars. I’ve had to get up early enough to defrost the snow and ice from our cars; definitely not used to that.

The Corolla is actually the smallest and sportiest car we’ve ever ridden in together, so far. I’m not used to being able to so easily squeeze into the traffic flow on the notorious Old Hickory Blvd East merge from I-65.

When we were driving the Tundra during the week of your 3rd birthday, the sheer presence of that huge monster of a truck seemed to intimidate people into letting me merge over. It’s been the opposite with the Corolla because no intimidation has been necessary.

Like a ninja, I have been able to swipe over in front of the car in the left lane before they even saw me coming.

I don’t want to make it seem like the Polar Vortex of 2014 is over; we’re still in the middle of it. But so far, we’ve yet to deal with a dead car battery, busted pipe, or dangerous road conditions. Sadly, I miss 55 degree weather.

 

Love,

Daddy

 

Disclaimer: The vehicle mentioned in this story was provided at the expense of Toyota, for the purpose of reviewing.

P.S. Here’s a collection of my Toyota family reviews so far; just click on title to read the full story:

2014 Lexus LS 460: 2014 Lexus LS 460 Review, From The Dad’s PerspectiveJourney To Howard’s Chapel (The Church Built Into A Rock)Ironically Driving A Lexus To See A Dinosaur Named Junkasaurus WrecksWhat Parents Do When The Kids Are Asleep With The GrandparentsGrandma Regifts As-Seen-On-TV “Perfect Polly” To Great-GrandsonI’ve Heard Of Sleepwalking, But… Sleep-Eating And Sleep-Playing?

2014 Toyota Corolla: Surviving The Polar Vortex Of 2014, Icicles And All

2013 Toyota Avalon Hybrid: 2013 Toyota Avalon Hybrid Review, From The Dad’s PerspectiveA Family That Recycles Together Doesn’t Decompose

2013 Toyota Rav4: 2013 Toyota Rav4 Review, From The Dad’s Perspective

2014 Toyota Tundra: Dad Gives 3 Year-Old Son A Monster Truck For Birthday… Sort OfNashville Dad Introduces 3 Year-Old Son To Country Music3rd Birthday Monster Truck Road Trip: Build-A-Bear3rd Birthday Monster Truck Road Trip: Little River Falls, AL3rd Birthday Monster Truck Road Trip: Mountain Driving3rd Birthday Monster Truck Road Trip: Canyon Land Park3rd Birthday Monster Truck Road Trip: Canyon Mouth Park

2013 Toyota Sienna: We’re Ready For A Family Road Trip… Minivan Style!It’s Officially Cool To Drive A Minivan Now

 

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Raising My Son To See Females As Somebody’s Daughters, Not Objects

Wednesday, December 18th, 2013

3 years, 1 month.

Dear Jack,

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?

Love,

Daddy

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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My Kid is Fascinated With And/Or Terrified By Santa Claus

Wednesday, December 11th, 2013

3 years.

Dear Jack,

In the midst of all the fun holiday traditions our family has participated in so far this season, like going on a couple of hay rides and driving around to check out Christmas lights, one thing we haven’t done this year is officially go visit Santa and let you get your picture made with him.

Last Saturday when we saw The Radio City Christmas Spectacular starring The Rockettes, we could have easily walked from the Grand Ole Opry to the nearly adjoining Opry Mills Mall and got your picture taken (for free) with Santa, at the Bass Pro Shop.

I just looked it up in my dadabase of The Dadabase, and almost exactly a year ago I wrote you a letter called “The Obligatory Facebook Picture Of Your Kid With Santa.”

Interestingly enough, I ended it with this proclamation:

“So here it is; this is the obligatory picture of you with Santa that I shared on Facebook. You may not remember it happening. Either way, I’m sure we’ll be back at Bass Pro Shop again for your Santa picture next year.”

Wrong.

Mommy and I asked you several times during the past couple of weeks if you wanted to go get your picture made with Santa again.

Each time, you calmly muttered no.

I figure, why push the issue? So don’t worry about it, kid. We don’t have to go.

My assessment of the situation is this: You’re equally fascinated with Santa Claus as much as you are terrified by him. I think that’s pretty normal for a 3 year-old boy. Santa is exciting (and safe) from a distance, in other words.

You don’t want to sit on his lap, yet you think he’s really cool and keep asking me if he (and the Rockettes) are going to give you a gift for Christmas.

Actually, I should be thanking you. You saved me a trip to the mall during the Christmas holidays!

 

Love,

Daddy

 

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