Dear Jack: It’s Amazing You Drew That/Hot Air Balloons Overhead In Nashville

3 years, 11 months.

Dear Jack: It's Amazing You Drew That/Hot Air Balloons Overhead In Nashville

Dear Jack,

Today as I was driving to pick you up from KinderCare, I noticed two hot air balloons on the lawn next to the road; about a block away from your school.

As soon as I walked out to the playground where you were, your teacher Ms. Michelle made a point to show me your amazing work of art.

Seriously, I’m so impressed by this monster truck you drew today after you woke up from your nap. Ms. Michelle assured me you received no help from anyone, nor did you use stencils or anything like that. This is all you.

So as we were walking back to the car, as I very carefully handled your drawing, I looked up into the sky, then yelled, “Jack! Hot air balloons!

We obviously took advantage of the moment and admired them together. When you see two hot air balloons flying overhead like that, it sort of forces you to just stop and take it all in.

It’s almost… magical to watch.


Granted, Mommy and I actually went on a hot air balloon ride last year in Sacramento. (Click here for the story or here for the pictures on Facebook.)

Yet still, I was still in awe at the sight of hot air balloons; and of course you were too.

As we drove home, I kept thinking about how excited I was to show Mommy your picture of the monster truck. As your teacher Ms. Michelle had suggested, I was thinking we should frame it.

However, the moment we walked in the door, your top priority was having Mommy cut out the picture, like we do on the weekends when you have me draw pictures of your Disney Planes toys; to make it sort of like a toy, I suppose is the theory…

So while we can’t frame your magnificent work of art, at least we can still hang it on the fridge. Not to mention, I wrote this story for you so that it lives on as well.



My Kid Doesn’t Easily Sleep In The Same Room As Me

August 2, 2013 at 11:06 pm , by 

2 years, 8 months.

Dear Jack,

As part of our 5th wedding anniversary, Mommy and I celebrated by flying over Sacramento for our very first hot air balloon ride. Just so you know, these pictures you see of your parents were not easily obtained…

The first morning we were scheduled to launch, it was too windy to fly. Then for our second attempt a few days later, not enough riders showed up to keep the balloon’s weight heavy enough for the flight.

Fortunately, the third time was a charm.

However, that meant that for three mornings of our ten day vacation, Mommy and I had to sneak out of the bedroom we were sharing with you, while staying at Grandma’s house.

It was a concentrated effort to keep you from waking up in the process.

We both had to set our alarms for 4:00 AM to make it in time for the launch, but had to remember to set our phones on vibrate; placing them close enough to hear them, but not too close to you.

Then, we had to crawl on the floor, using our cell phones as flashlights, hoping not to bump the bed as we groped and hoped for the door knob, holding our breaths it wouldn’t squeak as we escaped.

That’s not even mentioning the fact we had to sneak in the bedroom the same way every single night, crawling on the floor with cell phones, just to go to bed.

This wouldn’t have been so challenging, perhaps, if you weren’t the kind of kid who doesn’t sleep well in the same room as your parents.

You’re the opposite of me, in those regards.

When I was a kid, I always looked for an excuse to sleep in the same room as my parents; being so desperate I didn’t mind sleeping on the floor.

As for you, it’s nearly impossible for you to fall asleep if you know Mommy and Daddy are in the same room.

You’ve been conditioned to fall asleep only if you’re in a room by yourself.

I suppose that’s a side effect of the “cry it out” method; not that I regret that decision the least bit.

It was best for you. We offered to let you sleep with us when you were an infant and you seemed annoyed by it.

You’re a solitary sleeper.

But hey, when we’re on a family vacation staying for free with family, we find a way to make it work.

I just had to ask myself, “What would Clark Griswold do?”

Mixed with a little bit of Ethan Hunt from theMission Impossiblemovies.





P.S. To see the rest of the pictures from our hot air balloon ride, go to theDadabase Facebook page and click on the photo album, Hot Air Balloon Ride: 5th Wedding Anniversary.


An Untamed Lust to See the World

Visiting the Epcot Center at Walt Disney World back in 1990 must have really left an impression on me.  Because now I want to travel the world,  for real.

Yesterday as I was driving home from work, “Who’s Says” by John Mayer came on the radio, and while it’s been in my head ever since then, there’s a particular line that I keep dwelling on: “plan a trip to Japan”.

It opens up this can of worms for me, one that I try to keep out of mind and out of sight: The realization that I will never be able to travel and see the entire world, in all its beauty and mystique. 

To see the ancient and modern wonders of the world.  To meet the people who live in those countries.  To eat their food and drink their wine.  To publish a photo album on facebook from my travels to these places.

I have seen a few countries of the world: Ecuador in 1998, Trinidad and Tobago in 2002, Thailand in 2003 and 2004, Korea in 2004, and New Zealand in 2007.  But that only made me thirst for more.

Best case scenario: I would have to earn or win millions of dollars and retire early in order to be able to see all the parts of the world I want to.

Like Norway and Switzerland and Italy and Croatia.  So basically Europe. 

So since it would be disappointing to assume I’ll end up a millionaire and be able to travel the world in this lifetime, I should consider my next best option:

That when we get to Heaven, in the likeness of a glorified Epcot Center, there will be portal we can step into and instantly see any part of the world we want to. 

Even better, in any year.  Sweden 1983, here I come!

Paul Maley, whom I’ve never met and just happened to randomly find your website, I envy you and your 30 plus years of world travel…

Click below for enlightenment: