Posts Tagged ‘ Star Wars ’

These Are The Years You Get To Be A Kid

Friday, June 6th, 2014

3 years, 6 months.

Dear Jack,

Back around six years ago when Mommy and I got married, I read a book by John Eldredge called Wild At Heart.

It presents the concept that everyone, at some point in the their life, endures a psychological wound.

That “wound” ultimately ends up defining some people; though for others, it makes them stronger.

I experienced mine a while back. It’s that moment in life where you realize life isn’t actually as innoncent or simple as you thought it was.

The older I get, the more I feel like Hans Solo and less like Luke Skywalker.

Or maybe it’s that I feel more like Darth Vader and less like Hans Solo.

As your dad, there’s a part of me that hopes you never have to experience your wound.

But if you didn’t, you wouldn’t be able to reach that level of understanding and maturity that is so crucial as you will eventually grow into true adulthood.

For now, though, I hope it’s something that’s far away. These are the years you get to be a kid.

You get to live in an innocent world where part of you still believes dinosaurs still exist and that Grover from Sesame Street might actually be your teacher next week at school, as I keep teasing you about.

As for me, I’ve lived long enough to have to fight off cynicism. I have to fight off being jaded, at times. I have to remind myself to be positive, despite how blessed our lives are.

The concept of working hard to earn a good living is not something you have to think about right now. You get to sleep all night and play all day.

Seriously, how awesome is your life right now?

Let’s keep it that way. But let’s face life together- with all its blessings, its curses, and everything somewhere in between.

 

Love,

Daddy 

 

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Daddy, Does My Name Have A “5″ In It?

Thursday, January 16th, 2014

3 years, 2 months.

Dear Jack,

This is the third letter in a row I’ve written you that simply tells about some of the accidentally hilarious things you have said here recently.

It’s easy material for me, I have to be honest. I’m not making this stuff up… you are.

I mean, you’re asking good questions. In fact, I probably asked my dad similar questions when I was three.

At some point, someone had to set me straight on these facts. For you, this is beginning to be that point.

A few days ago on the drive home from school, you asked, “Daddy, does my name have a ’5′ in it?”

I explained to you that our names have letters in them, but not numbers.

So you immediately followed up with, “Daddy, what about ’1′? Does my name have a ’1″ in it?”

The first thing that came to mind was Star Wars characters, like C-3PO and R2-D2.

It wasn’t until this morning when you and I were playing in your bedroom with trains that I discovered what might have led to your confusion about numbers in our names.

You pressed the button on top of your talking Gordon train:

“I’m Gordon… I’m the Number 4 blue engine!”

Got it. Makes sense now.

Still though, I think you’re secretly hoping that you’re going to meet somone with a number in their name. I’m not saying it’s completely impossible.

Between some of the off-the-wall names I’ve been hearing parents name their kids (I won’t use examples, as to not come across as judgmental) and Russians (who use what looks like a 3 and a 4 as letters in their alphabet), you may one day meet someone with a number in their name.

For now, we can pretend your name has a number in it, if you want to.

Your “number name” is J5CK.

 

Love,

Daddy

 

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Happiness Is A By-Product, Not A Destination

Sunday, December 16th, 2012

2 years.

Dear Jack,

In the capitalist nation we live in, with its nearly inseparable culture, we have this habit of always finding a new level of happiness, only after we have reached the goal we had been aiming for up until that point.

Just like Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs theory explains, happiness will always elude us as long as we chase it.

However, if we can find a way to be content with what we already have, then happiness becomes a by-product of the integrity of that lifestyle.

Yet at the same time I recognize my personal need for a materialistic goal to inspire me to work harder. Strangely, mine is a Jeep Wrangler.

Actually, you and I both have a bizarre infatuation with Jeep Wranglers.

It all started several months back when Jeep Wranglers became one of the first vehicles you could identify by name. Despite being completely content with my Honda Element that I drive you around in, I had never really noticed how, at least here in Nashville, it appears that for every 10 vehicles on the road, one of of them is a Jeep Wrangler.

Yesterday at Target I helped you, or maybe I should say you helped me, try to find a 97 cent Hot Wheels or Matchbox model of the white Jeep Wrangler with a soft top we both fantasize about the most.

(Maybe it’s because somehow they remind me of Imperial Walkers from The Empire Strikes Back?)

Turns out it was a bust. Jeep Wranglers, like fire engine trucks, are not easily obtainable in small die cast form.

After Mommy heard about us catching a case of “Jeep Fever,” now she’s on board too. It could be something as subliminal  as a Jeep Wrangler most aligning with the culture of our family’s lifestyle: simple and classic, yet low-maintenance, rugged, and even a bit quirky.

So as your dad, I’m caught between the realization that happiness is a by-product of being content with the simple, yet privileged life we already lead as a middle class American family, and the fact that I am motivated by money.

As I spend 40 hours a week working my real job as an Employee Relations Specialist, then 12 hours writing material for The Dadabase, then on top of that, studying at least 5 hours preparing for my HR certification, it helps knowing that all this work is going towards growing my career opportunities…for our family.

Sure, it’s a paradox. All that really matters is spending time with you and Mommy, yet most of my time I have to spend working.

That’s why when the three of us are all awake, I make sure the time we spend is quality time.

Of all the life lessons I will be teaching you, perhaps the truth that “happiness can’t be chased” is one of the hardest for me to consistently teach by example.

But I can’t show you that we’re already happy with what we have now, I’ll definitely never be able to show you if we ever get more than we have now.

 

Love,

Daddy

 

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7 Tips On How To Start A Baby Blog

Thursday, May 24th, 2012

A year and a half. 

It was a year ago yesterday that The Dadabase officially premiered on Parents.com with “Welcome To The Dadabase.”

Today, I want to share some advice with any mom or dad out there who is considering, or at least curious about, starting their very own mommy or daddy blog.

If you’re wanting to start blogging about your kid mainly just to share with friends and family, then I simply recommend going to WordPress.com and get to typin’. That’s all the advice you need from me.

But if you are like I was back in April 2010, recently having found out I was going to be a parent and wanting to be the best darn baby blogger I could be with hopes of “going pro,” then this article is perfect for you.

Here are my top 7 tips on how to start a baby blog:

1. Be both personal and international. You want to engage two different types of necessary readers: Friendly Followers-family and friends who read your stuff because they love you and your cute kid. And Cosmic Crashers- people who don’t care who you are but want to learn about some buzzing new topic you’re covering in the world of parenting.

2. Be different. Before I started my blog, I was determined to find my “schtick.” I wanted to be the first ever daddy blogger who documented his thoughts from the moment he went public with the pregnancy, on a weekly basis.

Even now, I don’t know of any other dad who has done this. You can go back for over two years and find between one and seven blog posts each week about my son and my thoughts as a dad. What’s your schtick?

3. Be willing to be wrong. I am constantly wrong when it comes to my opinions and viewpoints regarding all those polarizing, controversial parenting topics from circumcision to raising a vegetarian child.

Not only am I wrong at least half the time, I’m totally cool with it. I don’t mind being crucified one day and praised the next. I am both the good and the bad guy.

4. Be consistent. Can you commit to writing at least one blog post per week? If not, stop reading now because this isn’t for you.

Just like with advertising, your work needs to be omnipresent. And just like with the news, it needs to be fresh.

5. Be egotistical. Speak with authority. Assume your story is interesting, then prove it. Ever heard of what’s called “the blogger’s ego?” Well, I depend on it.

6. Be weird. In the midst of sharing the chronologically predictable advancements your child experiences each week, make each event special by pointing out the strangest aspect about your kid learning to eat solid foods or learning to walk. “Quirky” sells.

7. Be named well. You have to come up with a really cool name for your blog; one that represents you well. Consider your kid’s name or your last name or something people won’t be able to forget.

Good luck and may the force be with you.

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When Kids’ Messes Are Really Deconstruction Learning Exercises

Sunday, May 6th, 2012

17 months.

Jack is finally learning how to actually play with his Lego-like blocks. He likes to see how tall he can build his tower or sword or lightsaber or whatever it’s supposed to be.

But for Jack, it’s just as much fun to tear down and break apart as it is to create.

For the past couple of weeks now, I have noticed that during his playtime, he likes to make messes… for fun.

It’s been nearly a decade since I took a Child Psychology class back when I was in college, but I have to assume that right now my son is working out the engineering part of his brain.

He is teaching himself how to deconstruct things so that he can rebuild them.

My wife told me that Jack likes to abruptly swipe all his bath toys off the tub’s ledge into the water, only to carefully place them back in order.

I’ve said it before, but I truly think Jack is going to be the opposite of me when it comes to his motor skills. He will be a clear-thinking, math and science guy; whereas I’m a deep-thinking, abstract, communications kind of guy.

That’s a good thing. We’ll have plenty to learn from each other.

Of course, that’s not to say that Jack won’t end up being a very sociable little boy, because it’s seems to me he already is.

Yes, I could have allowed myself to become annoyed when Jack started his new daily game of emptying his six different toy caddies in our living room.

But I just remind myself that my son that is becoming his own mechanics teacher.

I can’t believe I just now thought of this, but why am I cleaning up his toys when playtime ends? After all, I shouldn’t deprive him of the very valuable reconstructive lesson of placing his toys back where they belong.

He’s not a baby anymore. He’s a lightsaber swinging toddler who is sure to get better math and science grades than I ever did.

 

 

 

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