Posts Tagged ‘ The Office ’

YOLO: You’re Only Little Once

Tuesday, January 21st, 2014

3 years, 2 months.

Dear Jack,

While we were in Alabama last weekend celebrating your Auntie Dana’s 30th birthday, I heard her say something clever.

It was an interesting, parenting-related spin on a very popular catch-phrase of 2013: “YOLO,” which stands for “you only live once.”

In reference to raising your 2 and a half year-old cousin, Calla, your Auntie Dana’s motto is “you’re only little once.”

As a parent, this new twist on “YOLO” is a simple phrase to remind me that however enjoyable, or frustrating, a particular moment in parenting may be, it’s a fleeting event to be appreciated either way.

One of my favorite TV shows ever, The Office, ended last May. In the final episode, Andy Bernard had one of the best lines in the entire series, in my opinion:

“I wish there was a way to know you’re in the good old days before you’ve actually left them.”

I have always been a very nostalgic guy; yearning for the past.

Nineteen eighty-something and Nineteen ninety-something are definitely warmer, safer, easier places for me to escape to, in my mind.

I graduated high school in 1999, nearly 15 years ago. So for me, anything that has happened in the year 2000 or beyond has taken place in my adult life.

My childhood (1981-1999) ended right before the 2000s began, which is why I am the very oldest of Generation Y. (We Millennials began adulthood once the Nineties were over.)

But as for you, from 2010 to 2028 is the span of years designated for your childhood; your warmest, safest, easiest place to be alive.

For you, it’s not a collection of old memories. Instead, you’re living it right now.

And I feel like I’m your host.

I feel like the Ryan Seacrest of your childhood.

You’re only little once. You’re only this young once- when things are still so obviously magical and mysterious.

When animals can talk. When getting a new Hot Wheel car is a big deal. When just running around the room in your pajamas in front of Mommy and Daddy is the highlight of your day.

These are the good ole days. You’re far from leaving them.

Love,

Daddy

 

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I Am The Human Resources Department Of My Household

Thursday, September 20th, 2012

22 months.

Like many Millennials, I grew up with this unrealistic belief that if I simply had a 4 year college degree, I would be all set.

Instead, I entered a work force where too many people, just like me, already had a college degree. So I wasn’t that special after all.

Now I’ve come to terms with the fact I need to become more special to actually be special.

Right now, we live in a 2 bedroom townhouse. Simply put, I’m not going to be in the right mindset to even think about planning to try to have another child in home with only 2 bedrooms.

I’m just now.

Also, the part of Nashville we live in wouldn’t put our son in the school district we would want him in.

Maybe what I’m saying right now sounds a bit on the superficial side, but I’m just being honest.

I don’t care about driving a nice car or living in a big house, but I recognize the socioeconomic pressures of parenthood prodding me to climb the corporate ladder.

This is me planning my way out of “townhouse life” into “small house with a small yard in a decent school district life.”

If I was still single, I just don’t know that I would be so inspired to try this hard to “move up” in the world.

But now I’ve got two people depending on me. That sort of makes me a bit more motivated.

I have had this re-occurring dream where it’s my final semester of college and I have just realized there was this one class I forgot about.

Then the terror sets in as I realize I won’t be able to graduate on time.

Whenever I have this dream, I wake up in relief, telling myself:

“That’s funny. You graduated college a long time ago. You don’t have to worry about classes anymore. Those days are long gone.”

With that being said, last night, in real life, I started taking a course at Lipscomb University.

I will be spending 3 hours every Wednesday night, through December, in a class that will be preparing me to become HR certified.

Then I still have to pay a couple hundred dollars and spend 3 hours taking the certification test, getting at least 70% of the questions right.

All to become an official HR guy.

Yeah, like Toby and Holly on The Office.

It was only a couple of months ago that I figured this out, but since graduating college, the field I have been working in has been Human Resources; not Sales as I thought. So I’ve decided to make something of it.

Turns out, HR is one of the (few) things in life I’m actually really good at.

It involves mediating between different departments, reading people, and knowing how to motivate them in order to bring productivity up- all that fun stuff.

I have a natural talent of playing the role of a middle child; the ultimate mediator.

Interestingly, most of the responsibilities of Human Resources seem to translate pretty well in to my role at home, especially as the dad:

Educating, training, empowering, and rewarding.

I’m always in the middle of stuff, trying to help everyone communicate better and always looking for new strategies and protocols to improve efficiency in the long run.

So whether in the office and in my home, I guess I’m pretty much the Human Resources department. But I’m cooler than Toby Flenderson.

 

Top image: Career, via Shutterstock.

Bottom image: Personnel manager writing, via Shutterstock.

 

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Jack’s Sticky Situation: The “Do Not Remove” Tag

Monday, July 25th, 2011

Eight months.

The renters that have been in our Nashville townhouse will be moving out in September; in the meantime, we are once again staying with our good friends, Dave and Karen. Last Saturday morning while Jill was making a wonderful French toast breakfast (ironically with dark German bread), I hung out with Jack on the kitchen floor. He discovered a sticker on the bottom of a chair that read “DO NOT REMOVE…”.  So of course, he did exactly the opposite.

Jack was thrilled at how easily he was able to tear off the sticker.  He wadded it up in his hands, making a ball.  But it didn’t take long for him to realize his newly acquired toy was wearing out its welcome.

What had become a cool new discovery had instantly become an annoying chore. How could he rid himself of this pesky new virus? If only he would have read the tag, maybe he wouldn’t have done exactly what it told him not to.  Jack did his best to remain calm and find a way out of this sticky situation.

He tried crawling with the sticky ball stuck on this hand, hoping it would lose its stickiness, and in the process, latch on to the floor.  But that didn’t work.

So Jack tried to convince himself that he still wanted to play with the tag.  But the look on his face told me different.

Sometimes in life, when you just stop trying so hard to do something, that is when you get exactly what it is that you want.  After all, on the night I met my wife for the first time at the taping of the CMT Crossroads episode with Lindsey Buckingham and Little Big Town, I wasn’t expecting to meet anyone.  It was just a random Thursday night in Nashville and I only went because The Office was a rerun.

Jack put the sticky label up to his mouth.  I had a choice: Either take a picture of the next part of this story, or keep him from trying to eat it.  And that is why you do not see a picture of Jack with the sticky label in his mouth.

It’s funny how if you simply have a camera and a baby, then you automatically have a limitless library of stories to tell.  Writing for The Dadabase is just a part-time job for me.  But with all the amusing little things Jack does everyday, I could without a doubt, do nothing but just share stories of him as a full-time job.

Jack really does provide great material. What a cool kid.

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The First Time Dad at Age 29 Club

Tuesday, April 20th, 2010

At 8:37 tonight, I will turn 29 years old.

I can think of three 29 year-old first time dads right off.  John Krasinski playing Jim Halpert on The Office.  Zack Braff’s character, Michael, in the movie The Last Kiss.  And Kevin Bacon playing Jake Briggs in the movie She’s Having a Baby.  And now I shall be among them.

Of course, I’m not an actor or a character in a movie or TV show.  But it’s natural  to look at them and think, “Hey, I can relate to them. And if they can pull it off… so can I.”

I have a habit of subconsciously giving myself reassurance based on the lives of actors and fictional characters.  The truth is, we all do.  I admit I used the characters of Stephanie Tanner (from Full House) and Winnie Cooper (from The Wonder Years) as the standard of the girl I wanted to marry.

Mission accomplished.  My wife is a fun-loving all-American middle child from northern California (like Stephanie Tanner) and sweet, respectful, and passionate (like Winnie Cooper).  I can’t deny that my personal life is affected by fiction.

So I put myself in the shoes of the average guys I see on my TV screen every week.  I am average, like them.  Arguably normal, like them.  Clueless to fatherhood, like them.

And from what I’ve learned so far about being a first time parent is this: Being clueless is sort of the whole point.  No one actually knows what they’re doing.  It’s a character building experience, just like marriage.

I think of this banking commercial that was airing a few months back.  A first time dad brings his newborn home and holding the baby up to his eye level he says, “I know.  It’s not about me anymore.”

Yes, my life as I know it is ending.  In November I will begin Life: The Sequel.  I will instantly be transformed from Married Guy to Married Guy With a Baby.  Totally cool with me.

Because I can easily admit that the transition from Single Guy to Married Guy has done nothing but make me a better person.  I’m less self-centered and more easy going because I have less personal expectations to be met.  My expectations revolve around someone else, as a Married Guy.  I am a helper and a partner.  I don’t mind those roles.

So how much more will I improve in my journey of becoming a more giving person once the baby gets here?  I can only imagine: that much more.

Born into this world as a baby who was completely dependent on others for everything, I have spent 29 years learning to do things on my own, having no choice but to realize it’s not all about me, more and more each day.

I had nay sayers trying to warn me before I got married how much I would miss the single days of answering to no one.  But almost two years into being married, I don’t feel that way at all.  I was not cut out to be a Single Guy.  So glad those days are over.

While I am fully aware that having a baby changes everything, I welcome this change.  What good would it do to spend the next five or ten years just trying to save up money to try to afford to have a kid? I would never reach that point of affordability or personal readiness.

I was married at age 27, the average age for an American man to be married.  And I couldn’t find Internet research to back it up, but I would have to assume that it’s safe to say that age 29 is the average age of a married, first time dad.  Despite my overawareness of my own quirkiness, I live a pretty normal life.

And that’s what I want.  A normal life.  Dirty diapers and all.

All pictures with the “JHP” logo were taken by Joe Hendricks Photography:

Blog- www.photojoeblog.com

Website- www.joehendricks.com

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Baby Bean

Friday, April 16th, 2010

Ten weeks.

Our kid is currently the size of a small strawberry.

This baby is growing everyday inside of my wife.  A living being.  Or as I think of it, a living bean.  We already love this little 10 week old baby though it decides to spend all its time inside my wife’s womb.

Yesterday officiated Week 10 of the pregnancy.  Here’s what all is forming right now: ears, nose, neck, hair follicles, muscles, nerves, and fingerprints.  And the baby’s testicles or ovaries.  Things are happenin’.

Anytime we do something for the first time since my wife has been pregnant, we acknowledge it is the first time our baby experiences it.

Like a few weeks ago (at that point the fetus was the size of a kidney bean) when we went on a four mile hike:  That was our baby’s first hike and boy were her/his little legs tired.

Followed by baby’s first quesadilla at Ruby Tuesday’s.  And baby’s first episode of The Office.

It’s gotta be a cute little thing inside there.  I told my wife that I wish we could take it out and play with it.  And set up a little carriage for it the size of a cotton ball.  And it could sleep next to us.

But if it got cold, we could put it back in the womb for a while.

Though I bet once the baby bean experienced life outside the womb, it would rather just stay outside with us.

All pictures with the “JHP” logo were taken by Joe Hendricks Photography:

Blog- www.photojoeblog.com

Website- www.joehendricks.com

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