Sunday, August 19th, 2012
It’s rumored that some of my not-so-distant Italian ancestors had ties to the 1940′s Chicago mob scene.
Based on the mannerisms that my son Jack does, I could very easily see that to be true.
Thinking back on comments people tell me when they meet Jack in person or even just when they see his pictures, they people say he looks (and acts) either very serious or extremely happy. But not not much in-between; not much of an emotional transition.
It’s basically how Robert DeNiro, Al Pacino, and Joe Pesci act in every movie I’ve seen them in: They never smile… until they do. And by that point, once they’ve reached their giddy stage… watch out!
Because by that point, the insanity has set in.
Yeah, that’s Jack.
He’s sort of a little mobster.
Besides “mine,” his favorite word right now is “UP!”
Jack has a deep, raspy voice. And when he says the word “up” he says it slowly and with that extra syllable at the end, like a native Italian speaker.
So I’ve got this mini-man now telling me “UHP-PEH!” (Like a baby boss!)
I have to admit, it’s almost intimidating.
We can be playing with his toys on the carpet in the living room and all of the sudden, he says to me: “UP!”
That means he’s ready to go outside or play in a different room or if nothing else, I have to hurry and find a new way to entertain him.
The thing is, I sort of have to do what he says. If he’s tired of an activity, even if it’s eating, and he says, “All done!” then I have to act on it.
It’s not like the kid is going to patiently wait for me to finish what I was doing first.
The more I think about it, I really am a henchman for a mobster; who happens to be only 21 months old.
I serve him. I feed him. I dress him. I drive him. I tuck him into bed. I do his shopping for him.
Even though I make him say please first, he’s still ultimately telling me what to do. (Like a baby boss!)
And I do it.
My son is the Todfather. But you didn’t hear that from me.
Thursday, July 15th, 2010
I blame it on my Italian heritage, which trickled down to me throughout my life thanks to my grandfather Metallo; of course, since I grew up in the South, he was simply “Paw Paw”. I’ve inherited an instinct to incorporate just a little bit of peculiar character in purchased items. It’s a careful balance of finding items that are slightly flashy and clashing, yet still classy, but not trashy. (Bet you can’t say that phrase five times real fast…)
In this American generation, the idea of a man caring much about his shoes is often considered to be related to gay or metrosexual culture. But I don’t subscribe to that mentality. In fact, I believe an important part of being a man is how he dresses; and as everyone should know, his shoes are the most important part of the wardrobe, since they ultimately set the tone for his clothing.
My mindset is more of an old-school class American idea; yet it is still a staple concept of any movie or TV show portraying Italian culture. From The Godfather movies to The Sopranos, the way an Italian man dresses is well planned out. Never an accident. Italians are not slobs.
Paw Paw Metallo
Being that my wife and I both are one quarter Italian, our son Jack will also be one quarter Italian as well. That means he will not get by with the typical American guy’s shoe collection: a pair of black dress shoes, a brown pair of boots, a pair of running shoes, and a pair of flip flops. No, not my son.
Jack will be like me. I own no less than 15 pairs of shoes, some of which are at least 10 years old, yet you would never know it because I take such good care of them. And while Jack won’t be born for another three months, he already has two pairs of essential “flashy, clashing, and classy yet not trashy” shoes awaiting him.
Last week as my wife and I were registering at Target, we found some shoes on clearance that not only meet the criteria, but also are essentially identical to shoes I already own. A pair of Kelly green sneakers (6-9 months, in time for Summer) and a pair of white leather loafers (12-18 months, just in time for Christmas). Like father, like son.
*Jack is still the size of a papaya; no major change in fruit size this week.
All pictures with the “JHP” logo were taken by Joe Hendricks Photography:
Official "baby bump" picture
Categories: Health, People, Storytelling, The Dadabase | Tags: American, baby, Christmas, classy, dad from day one, fashion, father, green, Italian, life, man, men, men's fashion, metrosexual, papaya, parenting, parents, shoes, soon, South, The Godfather, The Sopranos