(Just so you know, back in the year 2013 when I wrote you this, that meant major cool points were deducted from my street cred score.)
I sincerely laughed along with my fellow blogger friends in their amazement:
“How is it that the daddy blogger of Parents.com doesn’t own a smart phone?”
We all laughed even harder when I explained to them that my “dumb phone” is brand new… I just got it like three weeks ago.
The fanciest feature my phone has is a full texting keyboard. Yeah…
But the more we talked, it made a little bit more sense to all of us: They all blog as their full-time career, whereas I have a day job in HR, in addition to blogging.
Second, I don’t know that my psyche could handle a smart phone. It would totally mess with my internal feng shui.
The thought of “being on all the time” stresses me out. I need time to mentally rest and meditate throughout the day.
In addition to driving you to school each morning (1 hour), working at the office (8 hours), then driving us back home (45 minutes), then helping with dinner and cleaning up afterwards (1 hour, 15 minutes), and writing to you (1.5 hours), it essentially means I work all day long.
What I would love is a routine, whole, solid day off each week, like the Seventh-day Adventists practice… religiously. In so many ways, I already live their lifestyle and subscribe to their doctrinal beliefs.
However, I’m not ready (if ever?) to be so literally serious about taking 24 hours off from any kind of work, as instructed in the Ten Commandments.
So until then, not having a smart phone is my sabbath.
It’s my way of having sanity throughout the day- to not have to wait and wonder who might have Tweeted me or sent me a Facebook message or emailed me.
Until I become a VIP, I will continue living with as much peace of mind as I can, not having a smart phone.
And more importantly, not having to pay for Internet on my phone when I already have it here on my $290 ASUS laptop from which I write to you.
I’m going to stop talking now, because I am losing street cred points by the minute…
[Changes batteries in Walkman Cassette player and continues listening to Collective Soul.]
As a daddy blogger, I take special effort to criticize when husbands and dads are negatively stereotyped in pop culture. Just the same, I will not be silent when I see the same thing happening to women and moms.
Here’s the irony though. If the very majority that the show attempts to satirize simply doesn’t watch the show, I can’t imagine that the program would be renewed for a second season. Mathematically it just wouldn’t make sense.
It would be nothing short of bigotry and bad taste to substitute the “C” for a “J” for Jewish or “A” for Asian. But because Christian women are the majority, they are evidently fair game.
But most importantly, according the trailer for GCB, the “Christian” women who serve as the protagonists are materialistic, back-stabbing, husband-stealing, plastic surgery obsessed gossips.
Do some women like that exist in Christian circles? Yes.
I guess I’m asking non-Christians an important question here: What is the true perception you have of the majority of Christian women you actually know in real life?
Despite there always being some not living up to major aspects of their faith, in general, is that really how Christian women should be generalized and therefore portrayed?
If so, would it be acceptable to make a show a sitcom about American Muslims who are training to be terrorists, instead of portraying them as honest, righteous, hard-working people; like the kind of Muslims I know in real life?
Ultimately, the entertainment industry wants to produce what makes money. If it takes mocking Christian women to do the job, then they will. Similarly, if they can make money off of 19 Kids and Counting on TLC, which legitimately features actual Christian women, then they will.
I don’t believe Hollywood is evil; they just want to be successful and profitable.
What’s more relevant to consider here is if there is a large enough audience out there willing to support the venture. And I just don’t imagine good Christian women wanting to watch GCB.
My wife, who is a good Christian woman, has already informed me she definitely will not be watching the show. But who knows? She’s only one of millions who feels the same way.
There is a reason why the sentimental song “God Only Knows” by The Beach Boys is always playing in the back of this dad and husband’s subconscious. Truthfully, I have to acknowledge that the days of my life are ultimately numbered; as are my wife’s and son’s. And that’s why I just can’t take one single day for granted.
If I’m being really honest, I might have to admit the song has at least made my eyes water more than once or a few dozen times, but only because of the deep and heavy subject matter that it always makes me think about. And I may or may not be the only person who has the same kinds of thoughts when I hear the song; I don’t know.
It ranked #25 on Rolling Stone‘s list of the 500 greatest songs of all time. Released in 1966, the song was one of the very first pop songs to reference God in its title, though it was not necessarily a religious song. No doubt about it: “God Only Knows“ by The Beach Boys has remained one of my favorite songs, ever since I first heard it twenty years ago on the 1991 episode of The Wonder Years, entitled “Heartbreak.”
While its nostalgic mood and melancholy emotion are what have always grabbed me, it wasn’t until a few months ago when my wife and I decided to watch the entire series of HBO’s Big Love (via Netflix) that I began to consider the value of the lyrics. The show features “God Only Knows” as its theme song, so a few times everyday for a few months, I was exposed to the powerful song.
It’s very possible to love “God Only Knows” without actually understanding the meaning of the lyrics. Admittedly, the lyrics do seem to be a bit confusing and conflicting. For example, the first line is, “I may not always love you but long as there are stars above you, you never need to doubt it-I’ll make you so sure about it.” Up until recently, I just assumed the speaker was doubting the future of his relationship with the woman he loved at that point in his life.
But the only conditional phrase in the sentence is “as long as there are stars above you.” The reference is to the love of his life still being alive. If the stars are above you, you are on Earth. If the stars are below you, you are in Heaven.
So as long as the two of them are still alive together on Earth, he will always love her. Because despite the grandiose idea that two people can romantically love each other forever and be married eternally, the popular rabbi Jesus taught his followers that “in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels of God in heaven.” Though it’s difficult for me to grasp and to deal with, I realize I will only romantically love my wife in this life, not the afterlife as well.
So much hangs on that phrase “as long as there are stars above you,” when looked at from an eternal (and Christianized) viewpoint. I want to be married to my wife forever, not until one or both of us dies. So when I think about how my romantic love for her is limited to this life and this Earth, it makes me sad. And the song “God Only Knows” always points that out to me.
There is one other particular line in the song that I thought was peculiar: “If you should ever leave me, though life would still go on believe me, the world could show nothing to me so what good would living do me?”
My interpretation is that the lyricist is saying suicide would not be an option for him if she died before he did, but in essence, life would lose its flavor and he would have to essentially find a new purpose in life. Because she is his life.
I think about that concept; probably nearly everyday. Yes, I have been blessed with my ideal wife and one magical son, but for how long? I don’t sit around and worry myself sick about them, knowing that any of us could encounter an accident or random freak medical condition or unseen poisonous spider bite. But in the deepest of subconscious ways, there is a part of me that does always worry about something happening to them, or myself.
I just can’t imagine my life without my wife and my son. Yes, my eyes are watering as I type these words. So what can I do? I can make sure through my actions, communication, time, and presence, that they know how much I love them. That they are truly, literally the world to me. With or without the stars being above us.
The word on the street is true. And we couldn’t be any happier about it!
Three weeks ago my Mexican grandma (who has always been very religious-superstitious) called my sister, saying, “Do you have something to tell me?”
“Are you sure? You don’t have anything to tell me?”
“Nnnnno…” (more hesitantly than the first time)
“I had a dream. I had a dream where I saw your grandfather in Heaven and he was so happy. He was pushing a baby stroller.”
In other words, my grandma assumed the wrong grandchild. She also told my sister about another dream she had where she saw “the most beautiful little girl in a rocking chair”. We’ll know in about eight more weeks whether or not that second dream is true.
Something I never realized about finding out you’re going to be a first time parent is that it has to stay a secret for a while. Long enough to make sure it’s not a false alarm. Long enough to confirm with a doctor. Long enough to get a sonogram.
We’ve known for over a month now. It’s a huge secret to keep from the entire world for that long. What a relief! Hey, we’re having a baby!
Expected arrival is on my dad’s 54th birthday: November 11th.
Obviously I’ve got a lot more to say about it all and I will continue to encounter plenty more as time goes on. Therefore, this is the first of many in my new series I call “dad from day one”. While it seems pretty easy to find material out there for expectant moms, not so much for expectant dads.
Expectant dads don’t encounter physical changes, but they do experience psychological ones. In this new series I will be journaling the whole process, from the time we found out we’re having a baby, until… well I can’t say until the baby is born because that’s only the beginning. And speaking of the beginning, when is day one?
Was it the day of conception? The day we found out? Today, the day I’m publicly telling everyone I haven’t already told in person or on the phone? I don’t know. Day One is the beginning of this new person I am becoming.
In the likeness of a TV show I’ve never seen but heard good things about, How I Met Your Mother, another goal of “dad from day one” is to create an archive for this kid to come. To show him or her what was going through my head during all this.
Eighteen years ago, I was given a blank journal by a classmate from school as a Christmas present. Inspired by my favorite cartoon show at the time, Doug, I remember my first entry:
“Dear Journal, I will be writing everyday so that in the future when I have kids of my own one day…”
Then I stopped. I embarrassed myself with the phrase “kids of my own one day” because it wasn’t the way I actually talked. It just seemed too weird. I threw the journal in the garbage.
Here I am 18 years later, seven months away from the big day. About to have a “kid of my own”. Let’s do this thing.
All pictures with the “JHP” logo were taken by Joe Hendricks Photography: