Of All The Little Boys In The World, I’d Pick You Every Time

December 30, 2012 at 12:32 am , by 

2 years, 1 month.

Dear Jack,

Last night I saw the new “momantic comedy” The Guilt Trip starring Seth Rogen and Barbara Streisand. While I acknowledge the movie hasn’t received the best of reviews, I personally loved it all the way through and already want to see it again.

It made me think of you:

At the beginning, as well as, the end of the movie, the mother tells her son that if all the little boys in the entire world were lined up and she had to pick just one to be her son, she would pick him… every time.

That may sound like a simple and passing statement, but to me, it holds a lot of weight.

I think of this heavenly adoption room where parents go to pick out the kid they want to be their own. As I walk through the hundreds of rows of little boys, I just keep looking.

Then as I begin to experience being overstimulated by all the bright lights and unorchestrated voices, like the way I do anytime I have to go to Wal-Mart, I finally see you at the end of the row, despite squinting my eyes through the dizziness.

It’s you, Jack! It’s you!

I’d know you anywhere, even if I’d never seen or met you before. I know that barely makes much sense, but it’s true.

If all the little boys in the world were lined up, and I had to just pick only one, I’d choose you… every time.

To say you’re special to me is an understatement. Maybe the best way I can say it is that you’re… mine.

And I know you feel the same way. You tell me in the way you pat me on the back as I carry you to the car when I pick you up from daycare, proudly saying, “My daddy.”

That’s right. I am your Daddy.

While you often liberally use the word “mine” to describe so many things that definitely aren’t yours, I’ll definitely be yours.

After all, I picked you out of all the little boys in the world.

 

Love,

Daddy

 

A Dad’s Letter To His Son On His 2nd Birthday

November 16, 2012 at 12:03 am , by 

Two years!

Dear Jack,

I know you still won’t be able to read this for a couple of more years, but I wanted to write you a Happy Birthday message on your 2nd birthday anyway.

Since your Mommy and I found out we were having you, back in April 2010, I have been writing a blog entry at least once a week, and often once a day.

The rest of the world has had access to virtually every moment of your process of growing up, but the words were mainly written for the rest of the world.

However, this is just for you. I’ve never written directly to you, until now, on your 2nd birthday.

This day is especially monumental for me. It signifies you officially leaving the days of being a baby and entering the days of being a little boy.

I noticed recently you started calling me “Daddy” now, instead of “Dada.”

Right now as I look at your picture of you holding your birthday balloons and wearing your necktie, which you very willingly wore to be like me, I am so proud of you and love you so much that… it comes out in the form of sadness, somehow.

Everybody told me not to rush any stage of your life. I tried not to.

Of course, the younger you were, the more difficult being a dad was. I was so clueless, even a year ago.

I’ll never forget when you turned 15 months old. That was the first time you really asked for me. That was the first time you wouldn’t cry if Mommy left the room.

Since then, I could tell so obviously that you wanted me and that you loved me.

So while I’ll try not to rush your life along too quickly, I have to admit, I love seeing you grow up.

The older you get and the more you come to life, the stronger of a connection I feel with you. I’m pretty sure it’s a father/son thing.

I love taking way too many pictures of you. I love writing about all the funny things you do and say.

I love you, son. So much.

Though you probably never see me cry, if you could be here right now as I write this, you would see a 31-year-old man who can barely keep himself together.

It’s funny- I didn’t cry a single tear the night you were born. You were just a strange baby who couldn’t talk. My job at that point was basically just to keep you alive.

But today, I can’t hold back the tears for anything. This is the first time I’ve simply been overwhelmed by my love for you.

What most fathers seem to experience the day their son is born, I guess I’m experiencing right now. To me, this is you being born.

That’s because you and I have gotten to the point now where I can actually see my influence over you. Like with wanting to wear the necktie, you want to be like me.

Man. That humbles me and breaks me. Thank you.

Thank you for being my son. I can’t thank God enough for you.

Today you will receive gifts from Mommy and me: some metal trains and tracks to ride them on.

I know you’ll really like them. You’ll carry around your trains with you everywhere you go. But eventually, they’ll be at the bottom of some drawer.

What I will remember most about your 2nd birthday is the way I feel about you right now. And that’s why I’m writing you this letter. I want to be able to capture what I’m feeling right now. That’s what I think is the best gift I can give you today.

Maybe it’s a dad thing, or maybe it’s just me, but in the likeness of a learning curve, I’ve had a “loving curve” with you.

Two years into this, I am experiencing love for you that I have never felt for anyone in my life. So different than the way I love your Mommy.

The love I have for you is wrapped up in some unspoken bond I can’t quite express in words right now. But I promise you I will spend the rest of my life trying to.

Happy Birthday, Son. I love you with all I have.

 

Love,
Daddy

Show Me That Smile Again, Don’t Waste Another Minute on Your Cryin’

There’s no around it.  We  lived through a couple of decades of gathering around the fake wood grain Zenith TV on shag carpet to watch what we knew as the American sitcom.

Laugh tracks.  Freeze frames to conclude the episode.  Inspirational advice during the 23rd minute of the episode accompanied with soft and cheesy keyboard music (made famous by Danny Tanner and Uncle Jesse).  Annoying catch phrases like “Did I do that?”  And most importantly and best of all, their wonderful theme songs that are so just you just want to cry, which featured a few seconds of footage from each main character for that season as the show came on.

That was 1977 through 1997.  Two solid decades of pure delight.

But these days, what do we consider to be the 30 minute sitcom?  The Office.  30 Rock.  There are others, but certainly the list doesn’t go on like it did in the days of Mr. Belvedere.

Now the theme songs don’t have words.  And we have to figure out on our own when to laugh.  And typically there’s no moral lesson to learn.  Just ironic humor.  By the 28th minute of the episode, the characters are not necessarily any better off than they were when the plot was introduced at minute 3.

But those good feelin’ sitcoms of the 1970’s, ‘80’s, and ‘90’s can never be revived.  Because we as an American audience have outgrown them. We couldn’t take The Office seriously if there were laugh tracks and if at the end of every episode Michael Scott gave Jim a heart-to-heart talk about what it takes to be a good leader.

Our preference of comedy has evolved from lighthearted insults and sight gags to dry humor stolen from the British.

Speaking of irony though, we live a double standard.  What we will not accept in modern comedy, we still accept in reruns that come on in the evenings right before our new shows.  Shows like Friends and Seinfeld which followed much of the old-school traits of sitcoms, though they weren’t family sitcoms.

We differientiate:  It’s 6pm and laugh-track infused Friends is on.  Something in our subconcious says, “It’s okay, that was the ’90’s.”  Then a few hours later 30 Rock is on and we hold it to a different standard.  We’re more sophisticated than we were at dinner.  Because we have to be clever enough to get the jokes of our dead-pan humor queen Tina Fey.

What caused us to change what we accept as humor?  The dynamics of the modern family.

Something that has a lot to do with explaining why classic family sitcoms have disappeared from cable TV is The Disney Channel, which is now included with basic cable.  But when we were younger, it cost extra every month.  So back then ABC, NBC, and CBS had to make sure the majority of their comedies were family sitcoms. 

Now, kids can watch their corny shows like iCarly in their own bedrooms while their parents watch something cooler in the living room.  Man, I miss Tony Danza.