Week 22 (5 months).
I’m not the kind of person who doesn’t want people to know my age. I think it’s because I’m such a chronological person- I love to keep up with dates. It’s important for me to remember where I was and what I was doing at each stage in my life. For the first months of Jack’s life, I was 29. But at 8:37 tonight, I will officially turn 30 years old.
Amidst all the other major age milestones like 16,18, 40, 50, and 60, I vote 30 as the most monumental. Being thirty means not being seen as a kid anymore- it’s a true milestone of adulthood. It means I have now lived through three decades and have made enough mistakes to learn from them and live wiser accordingly. Being 30 means having graduated through a decade of “notknowingness” (my 20’s) and being propelled into a life of definite direction.
I don’t know that I would call this a bittersweet moment. Sure, I’m a deeply nostalgic person so I always miss the past, but I say despite all the blessings so far, it only gets better from here. I couldn’t have known that 30 would come during such a transitional time in my life. Aside from the big move and welcoming my first child into this world, it’s now that my writing career is officially beginning.
Since August 2005, I have been “blogging for free.” (Though actually, during my 4 months of unemployment I was hired to write a few stories in a publication format, like this story I wrote about a local businessman.) But this morning, on my 30th birthday, I will be mailing back two contracts to Parents.com up in New York City for two different stories they assigned me to write. They gave me the titles, now I write the entire bodies. And how did they find me? “Dad from day one.”
I thank God for this opportunity. And at this point, I still haven’t gone public with what all is going on with my secret “dad from day one” spin-off. But it is why, in case you haven’t noticed, I bought the web domain names “nickshell.com” and “dadfromdayone.com”. It’s part of an important effort to establish my name as an author, as my name will soon be part of a well-trafficked byline. (The reason I originally bought “scenicroutesnapshots.com” is because at the time, in December 2009, “nickshell.com” was already taken- but it recently and conveniently just came available again.)
A few weeks ago on my Facebook wall I asked my friends for their help with naming my upcoming “dad from day one” spin-off. The winner was Diana Jung Taub, who sent her idea to me privately. Though the time isn’t prudent now for me to reveal the name of my spin-off, the time is prudent for you to meet her, on national television. A week from tonight, on April 27th, Diana will be a contestant on the legendary game show, Wheel of Fortune. So go ahead and check to make sure what channel and what time it comes on in your area.
Coincidentally, her son was born just a few weeks before my son Jack William. Diana’s son’s name is Jake William, and like the genetic miracle which my Jack has encountered, her son also has blonde hair and blue eyes, despite the fact that both parents have dark brown hair.
Her son, Jake, again. Not Jack.