Posts Tagged ‘ parenting ’

Dads Are Weird Car Passengers

Wednesday, June 11th, 2014

3 years, 6 months.

Dear Jack,

Yesterday on my business road trip from Franklin, TN to Murray, KY, I was a passenger for a total round trip of over 5 hours.

Seriously, I was in culture shock.

Please understand why…

Since you were born 3 and a half years ago, I have been driving you to and from school every single day. On the weekends, I drive the both you and Mommy around.

For all our road trips, to Louisville, KY, to Atlanta, GA, to my hometown in Fort Payne, AL, it’s me that’s driving; I’m never the passenger.

It’s even rare for me to be driving in a car by myself. There’s always someone for me to entertain and/or take care of.

So for me to be a passenger for over 5 hours yesterday, just sitting in the back seat… man, it was weird!

I read for a little while, I texted Mommy, I texted my friend Jarred, I took a little nap; but ultimately, the experience somehow made me feel lazy- like I was evading my role.

It’s just that I am wired to be the driver, the navigator, the one who is ultimately in charge.

I am wired for responsibility. But as a passenger in a vehicle, it felt sort of wrong; like how in my letter to you yesterday I explained that it felt wrong not seeing you all day long.

This morning, I drove you to school as usual. It was as if everything were back to normal.

I answered your questions about why dark clouds mean it’s probably going to rain and explained how the sun dries up the rain once the sun comes back out again.

As I drove you, I taught you. That’s what I do. That’s part of the dynamics of our father-son relationship.

What I don’t do is just watch the telephone poles go by as a classic 90s hit comes on the radio.

We can drive it home, with one headlight…





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Raising Jumpin’ Jack Flash, The BASE Jumper

Tuesday, June 10th, 2014

3 years, 6 months.

Dear Jack,

Ever since you took that gymnastics class a few months ago, you’ve made a habit of looking for things to jump off of, like a BASE jumper.

That’s right- you learned to jump, as funny has that sounds. And now, it’s something you take very seriously.

When we stayed at the hotel for the Wizard World Atlanta Comic Con recently, you were very excited to see there was an ottoman in front of the sofa.

Needless to say, you knew just what to do…

When you weren’t using Hungry Hungry Hippos as a toy, you were being Jumpin’ Jack Flash!

A recent new tradition you and I started is that every night when it’s time for you to go upstairs with Mommy to take your bath, I take a break from doing the dishes and give you a piggy back ride to your room.

Then, I throw you onto your bed.

For the next couple of minutes after that, you jump off the bed onto the carpet, only to have me throw you back on the bed.

Your face slams into the bedspread and pillows. You love it.

Convenient for the sake of you continuing this roughhousing with me, is the fact you have never gotten hurt doing any of this.

This whole time, I’ve never had to put up a baby gate on our stairway. You have always had a reverent fear of the stairs- which is part of why you like to ride on my shoulders while going up them.

But despite your new love of BASE jumping, you have no desire to try jumping down the stairs.

You know that if you get hurt jumping, or while I throw you on the bed, that you probably wouldn’t get to have this much fun.

Smart kid, you are.





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Boys Can Make Toys Out Of Anything, Like A Plastic Potato

Saturday, June 7th, 2014

3 years, 6 months.

Dear Jack,

Almost exactly 3 years ago on June 21st, 2011, back when you were just 7 months old, I wrote a Dadabase entry called “The Magically Entertaining Wooden Spoon.”

It talked about your ability to make a toy out of anything.

You still have that skill, by the way.

But these days, you also find a way to make a chore out of the new toy you discover.

Two weekends ago while at your cousin Calla’s 3rd birthday party, you somehow found a plastic potato container.

Apparently, Nonna (my mom) got it kind of as a joke for your Auntie Dana (my sister) to pack snacks for her lunch, back when she was in high school.

One of the things I didn’t mention in my most recent letter to you about the birthday party is that for the first hour or so, you were carrying around that plastic potato with his googly eyes.

You used the potato as a place to store the rocks you found in the backyard.

I think it would be safe to use the words “proud” and “protective” to describe the way you carried that thing around.

Of course, you did share it without whoever wanted to see it for a minute. But you kept a close eye on it, as you can see in this picture.

So in closing, you have knack for finding a way to make a toy out of just about any random thing you find. Then, your version of playing with that new toy comes across more like work; or at least a game.

Honestly, you’re a pretty low maintenance kind of kid.

Maybe if you’re lucky, I’ll upgrade you: I could just give you a real potato and say, “Here ya go, Son. Have fun.”

The thing is, I’m sure you would.




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What Does “Gods” Look Like?

Friday, June 6th, 2014

3 years, 6 months.

Dear Jack,

After our routine prayer before dinner one night earlier this week, you asked Mommy and me, “What does ‘Gods’ look like?”

That’s one of those classic kid questions. I love it.

Yet I was so caught off guard by your sincere question of what God looks like, that now, I couldn’t even positively tell you how I answered you.

I mean, you’ve grown up with prayer in our house: In the kitchen before meals, in front of the house before we all leave for work and school, and in the car before we go on long trips.

You’re very familiar with the concept of our family speaking to someone we can’t actually physically see.

Just tonight, while you were holding hands with us during prayer, you began whispering the words to “Ring Around The Rosie.”

I thought you were attempting to pray.

Actually, I guess you were- the best way you knew how.

Still, you have the ability to understand that God is real and invisible; unlike monsters, who you know are not real and only visible on cartoons.

I love admiring the way you are attempting to understand God; because I’m in the same boat, just about 29 years ahead of you.

Of course, speaking of years, the way I see it, time only exists as we know it because of the rate at which the Earth spins and the rate at which it rotates around the sun and the rate at which our temporary bodies age.

That’s how we measure time here on Earth.

But beyond us, greater than us living on this planet, I wonder if time really exists?

Is it true that my Italian grandfather who I was so close to growing up is actually waiting to meet us in Heaven? Or in the “Heavenly Time Zone,” will we pretty much just appear there about the same time he arrives?

So many questions I have about God and Heaven and what life really is like outside of our version of life right now.

With that being said, just know that when you asked what God looks like, it’s something I wonder too.

I think a lot of people are going to be shocked if He doesn’t have a long white beard and a robe.





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Family Friendly Road Trip: Wizard World Atlanta Comic Con

Thursday, June 5th, 2014

3 years, 6 months.

Dear Jack,

I have learned that there are certain things that are just so much better once a child is introduced to the equation.

Swimming would be a great example. The only times I’ve bothered stepping into a swimming pool in the past 3 and a half years has been because of you.

Having a child has also introduced me to new experiences that I might not have otherwise been exposed to.

When I was invited to attend the Wizard World Atlanta Comic Con, to my surprise, Mommy said she wanted to go too, and of course, we brought you along as well.

Turns out, it was a really good idea to take a 3 and a half year-old little boy who loves Spiderman and Captain America to a place where there would be a lot of people, many of them who were dressed up as Spiderman and Captain America.

So we loaded up the Prius and took the fun drive from Nashville to Atlanta. When you’re in the presence of so many adults dressed in impressive costumes of comic book characters, it’s only natural to want to get your picture made with them.

In fact, I got the feeling that’s part of the culture at Wizard World Comic Atlanta Con: It’s as if there is an unspoken contest going on the whole time in which those who show up in costume are seeing who can get the most “uncostumed” people to ask to get their picture made with him.

And of course, we helped many costumed attendees gain points from us.

In addition to the array of Captain Americas and Spidermen, we also saw many scary looking villains and zombies. The funny thing is, they were some of the friendliest to speak with.

You just went along with it, no matter how scary or creepy; Mommy and I explained to you beforehand that the Wizard World Atlanta Comic Con was kind of like Halloween.

Our road trip proved that Atlanta is a very friendly and fun place to visit, and this was easy evidence of that.

In fact, Mommy suggested that we go to the Wizard World Comic Con when it comes here to Nashville in September.

Only, we wouldn’t be going as spectators… we’d be going as a family dressed up as comic book characters.

I think Halloween might come early this year for us…





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