Posts Tagged ‘ parenting ’

Family Friendly Road Trip: SkyView In Atlanta, GA

Tuesday, June 3rd, 2014

3 years, 6 months.

Dear Jack,

In the same way I’ve been establishing myself as a car reviewer from a family friendly perspective, I will begin doing the same thing with our road trips from now on.

Here in just a few weeks, we’ll be road tripping from Sacramento to Lake Tahoe!

But for my first official “family friendly road trip,” I want to feature our visit to the wonderful city of Atlanta, Georgia this past weekend.

As we drove our Prius closer to downtown, we saw a giant Ferris wheel. While it wasn’t part of our itinerary, we were actually there just to check out the Wizard World Comic Con, Mommy and I were able to convince you to check out the SkyView Ferris wheel with us.

For the three of us, it cost about $28 to go 20 stories high; 4 turns.

I feel it was well worth the money. It’s definitely not something a family normally gets to do, outside of a circus.

It definitely provided for some pretty cool pictures and memories. Plus, it’s something that helped you build confidence in yourself. I’m amazed how much you didn’t question it at all.

You just gladly hopped on board.

Seriously, we were 20 stories high! You are only 3 and a half. Your willingness to try the SkyView, without worrying or crying, was quite impressive.

I enjoyed watching from the seat across from you and Mommy, seeing the looks on your faces as we scoped out the city of Atlanta from above, where the people below appeared as tiny ants marching. (Dave Matthews Band reference.)

Yep, our family did an unplanned, random, fun “touristy” thing in the very friendly city of Atlanta. And sure enough, you bragged about it to all your friends and teachers at school yesterday.

I have a feeling that the next time we visit Atlanta, which I hope is later this summer, you are going to ask to ride the “big wheel” again.

 

 

Love,

Daddy

Add a Comment

With Great Blessings Come Great Responsibility (And Stress!)

Tuesday, May 27th, 2014

3 years, 6 months.

Dear Jack,

In my extremely limited ability to understand the concept of eternity and life after this, sometimes I subconsciously and erroneously tend to think of Heaven as a place where I could just exist in a state of unconsciousness and it not affect anyone else; void of responsibility or pressure to perform.

Sounds like I’m not the only one in that boat, after reading the comments on the Facebook page for Parents.com when they featured my story, “Daddy’s In His Quiet Place Right Now.”

Many fellow parents (understandably) laughed at the concept of a modern day parent having any escape from the overwhelming pace of life that kicks in once you become a parent.

I used to be extremely optimistic, like all the time.

But those were the days before… responsibility happened.

That was before I was truly feeling the pressure of what life (AKA “the real world”) actually demands from a person.

Of course, I also remember feeling lost, alone, and unfulfilled back when I was still single. Not a coincidence.

That’s because with great blessings come great responsibility; and therefore, stress.

A job, a wife, and child are all blessings. However, I’ve learned to begin equating the word “blessing” with “responsibility.”

Now, before I sound like I’m going off the deep end, I want to balance this with the other side of the story.

Earlier last week, I was at of one of my good friends’ house, hanging out with him on his front porch, while his family was out of town. We talked about how nice it was to be able to “unplug” for brief moments at a time like that.

Then we talked about how if life weren’t this chaotic, and if we as dads and husbands weren’t overloaded with responsibilities like we are, we would go crazy.

Without a regular dose of being stressed out, I get stressed out.

It makes me think of a line from one of my favorite Dave Matthews Band songs, “So Much To Say”:

I say my hell is the closet I’m stuck inside.

If in this exhausted (and limited) state of mind, a seemingly reasonable version of Heaven would be a state of unconsciousness, void of responsibility or accountability, then it makes sense that my concept for understanding hell would be a place where I was conscious, alone and bored out of my mind, with no responsibility or accountability.

I’ve heard the saying, “too blessed to be stressed.” Yeah, I’m not sure I agree with that.

Because the way I see it, if I am stressed, then I am blessed.

Otherwise, I would be searching for a life without responsibility, which is what I had before I had you, Mommy, a full-time job, and two part time jobs.

And back then, I felt incomplete.

These days, I can honestly say I never feel incomplete, or alone, or not needed, or unloved. I say stress is a good thing, if it traces back to responsibility and blessings.

 

Love,

Daddy

 

Add a Comment

Man, I Really Used To Be A Cornball (And Still Might Be!)

Friday, May 23rd, 2014

3 years, 6 months.

Dear Jack,

It was three years ago today that with great excitment, I saw my WordPress daddy blog, Dad From Day One, get rebooted  and placed on a much broader stage, as The Dadabase on Parents.com.

Just for fun, I decided to go back and read the very first official Dadabase post, entitled, “Welcome To The Dadabase.”

Yeah, about that…

I do think I made some good points in that post, as I made it clear men think differently than women and that one of my objectives was to positively rebrand fatherhood despite all the classic sitcom cliches of idiot dads and husbands.

However, I feel like I was pretty cheesy about it:

I am a guy, so I don’t do “cute.”  I do practical. With the name of this daddy blog, I wanted to allude to the idea that a man’s perspective of parenting is a bit offbeat when compared to the more easily recognizable viewpoint of the beautiful and poetic female mind.  So for you moms out there who wonder what your hubby is really thinking about this whole dad thing, I might be able to shed some light on the subject.  Granted, I’m not claiming to represent all or even most husbands and fathers, but I’m sure I will often hit close to “the dadabase.”

Wow. I must have really thought I was clever or something. Of course, that was back when you were only 6 months old and I was still writing to a social media audience, instead of you directly. That narrative change didn’t occur until your 2nd birthday, which I definitely think improved my writing style as a daddy blogger.

For me, it’s so much more natural and real to write about parenting when it’s to the very kid who is the reason I am a parent; if that makes sense.

I also had to laugh when I read my unofficial disclaimer from my first Dadabase post:

Sometimes, you will totally agree with my opinions and my take on fatherhood- you will appreciate what I have served up that morning for “blogfast” (note to self: copyright the destined-to-be-trendy word, “blogfast”) and you will “like” it on Facebook, and/or Tweet it.  Other times, you may feel I am so quirky that I’m kooky; disagreeing with my “wrong opinion” so much that you throw your shoe at your computer screen.  In either case, I’m still the same guy you either liked or didn’t like the day before.

But here’s the thing. While I see the 2011 version of myself as a bit of a cornball, I am very mindful of the fact that there’s a very decent chance that 3 years from now, I’ll be saying the same thing about the 2014 version of me.

Let’s find out.

 

Love,

Daddy

 

Add a Comment

The Pet Store Is The Cheap Version Of The Zoo

Wednesday, May 21st, 2014

3 years, 6 months.

Dear Jack,

This past Saturday afternoon, as Mommy was gone for a few hours to explore the possibility of becoming a demo singer on the side (we do live in Nashville, after all…), you woke up early from your nap.

We were both in the mood to explore; not to play Legos, cars, or trains.

I decided it was a good time for us to have a fun, free dadventure. It was even more fun because I let you stay in your pajamas.

While our zoo pass is still good for another week or so, I decided to take you by the exotic pet store right down the road from our house, called The Aquatic Critter.

Good call.

So much so, that Mommy decided to go with us again on Sunday.

One of our family favorites was the “Black Dogface Puffer.” It reminded me of Falcor, the flying dog from The Neverending Story.

But for 199 bucks, I have a feeling we won’t be making him our family pet any time soon; even if he was the perfect mix between a dog and a fish…

Strangely enough, the pet store also has some “not for sale” pets that they keep on display for the potential customers.

You know, like an alligator and some rhino iguanas.

I’m always looking for new ways to introduce you to the world. I want to find ways to mix things up.

Sure, the exotic pet store is technically the poor man’s zoo, but it’s a hit.

We’re not at the right place in life to actually consider having a pet; except possibly a beta fish.

But for now, it’s more fun (and a lot less responsibility) to just visit the pet store and pretend all those cool (and weird) animals are your pets that you visit on the weekend.

 

Love,

Daddy

Add a Comment

I Guess I’m Supposed To Hate Common Core…

Saturday, May 17th, 2014

3 years, 6 months.

Dear Jack,

You’re still a few years away from us having to worry about this, but there’s something called Common Core, and apparently, you and I are supposed to loathe it the way vegans across America cringe when they hear the word “Monsanto.”

From what I can understand, in an attempt for America to compete with the rest of the world in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (also referred to as STEM), 45 of 50 of the United States have adopted a teaching system which is intended to help students understand complex problems by picking them apart, rethinking them, and building solutions.

It’s also meant to prepare them for college and work expectations.

In other words, I suppose the theory is that America is too “right-brained.” We need to become more “left-brained” to compete on a global scale.

Maybe we need to start thinking more like computers and less like poets? (That’s my attempt at being sarcastic, by the way.)

I should be very clear to say, I cannot truly be a critic of Common Core, because I am not experiencing it daily, like so many parents are; who I see complain about it on Facebook and Twitter.

Seriously, I can’t scroll through my Facebook feed on any given day without at least seeing one complaint about Common Core.

So from that, I will just assume that you and I both will learn to hate Common Core within the next few years when the time is right.

However, something I will always teach you is to be open-minded. On paper, I love the concept of Common Core.

The question is, “Is it actually more effective?” I don’t know.

It makes a lot of sense to me, though. In school, I never did well in math or science; which ultimately led to me getting an English degree, because by default, it was the one thing I was good at.

Perhaps I could have benefited from Common Core when I was a kid? Maybe it could have taught me to think in a way where I would have actually liked math.

We’ll find out with you.

You know how I am. If I am believe it is ineffective, I’ll let you know. 

But as for now, I want to like Common Core. I can’t dislike something I’ve never tried. We’ll give it fair shot.

It’s not like we really have a choice anyway, right?

 

Love,

Daddy

 

Common Core
Source: TopMastersinEducation.com

Add a Comment