Dear Jack: You’re Becoming Aware of a Sense of Fashion

9 years, 2 months.

Dear Jack,

As you’re now in the 2nd half of your 3rd grade school year, I am noticing the acute progression of how you are starting to care more about what you wear… and your hair.

I am sensing that halfway into 3rd grade, part of the culture is to start trying to stand out with what you wear to school.

So when you proudly wore your new WWE wrestling shirt to school, I knew to immediately ask you when I got home, “Did anyone notice your new shirt?”

I see this is as the beginning of you discovering the fine line between presenting yourself as an individual, while at the same time between aware of what is current and trending.

Love,

Daddy

Dear Jack: We Saw WWE Wrestling at Monday Night Raw in Nashville on December 2nd, 2019

9 years.

#WWE

#WWENashville

@carbonhouse

Dear Jack,

Like clockwork, the moment you turned 9 years old (just a couple of weeks ago), you instinctively knew to trade in all of your interest and fascination of Pokemon, for WWE Wresting.

It’s amazing how much trivia you know about all the wrestlers already.

Mommy looked up online to see if by chance, a WWE event would be coming to Nashville anytime soon.

We were in luck: Monday Night Raw would be taking place at the Bridgestone Arena on December 2nd.

Needless to say, Mommy immediately bought the tickets (just $15 each)!

Your favorite wrestler is the masked Mexican-American living legend Rey Mysterio. Naturally, you had your hopes up that he would actually be at the event we would be attending.

When you looked up the roster the WWE website, he was not featured as one of the wrestlers for that night.

But our amazement, this past Monday night, we were pleasantly surprised when Rey Mysterio made multiple appearances throughout the night!

We could not have planned it that way had we tried.

The event started at 6:30 PM and it wasn’t over until 4 hours later! I had never been to a WWE wrestling event either, so I had no idea we would be getting so much bang for our buck.

It was definitely a coming of age milestone for you and I am so proud to have gotten to share it with you.

Love,

Daddy

Dear Jack: “Naughty Nick”- My Awesomely Bad Video Series on YouTube

5 years, 9 years.

I Dedicate My “Naughty Nick” Video Series to a Special Boy Named Hatcher, with Down Syndrome

Dear Jack,

You and I spent hours working together on our Jack-Man superhero video series (23 webisodes) on YouTube.

Additionally, I spent even more time on my children’s program Uncle Nick’s Enchanted Forest (27 webisodes). Those were shows I created that I truly cared about.

But over Labor Day Weekend, I decided, on a whim, to make a fake WWE audition tape… just for fun, while our family was at Nonna and Papa’s house. I therefore invented and became the wrestling character, Naughty Nick.

After I made that first video with my phone on selfie mode, I decided to make 4 more webisodes. Papa helped out with the 4th and 5th, serving as the villain.

I suppose my motivation in making this series is ultimately to add to my Rolodex of sketch series on my YouTube channel. I believe it’s important to showcase my abilities as an actor, director, and writer.

The Naughty Nick series is admittedly a farce of the media’s perception of masculinity, with a throwback to 1980’s professional wrestling.

Naughty Nick presents his own fictional YouTube audience with his fantasy version of reality; though to him it’s actually real. In his world, no one can ever be more masculine or American than he is; nor can anyone ever defeat him. These are things of value in the character’s life.

With nearly 700 videos uploaded on my YouTube Channel and 540 subscribers, I am building The Nick Shell Network. I want serious stuff and I want silly stuff. I want something for everyone.

My hope is that one day, I can catch the right person’s attention with my amateur, yet ideally popular, videos.

Now that you’ve seen the first 5 Naughty Nick videos, you now want to be a part of the series. So I suppose we’ll make that happen in the near future; like maybe this weekend!

Love,

Daddy

Why It’s Important That Wrestling Is Fake

September 11, 2012 at 8:50 pm , by  21 months. Two Saturday nights ago my wife and I turned on the TV in hopes of a catching a creepy episode of Dateline featuring yet another typical, captivating story where a seemingly normal husband or wife murdered their spouse and tried to cover it up. Instead, we happened to catch the very beginning of Wrestelmania 28, which for some random reason was airing on NBC. And we couldn’t turn it off. We were reeled in by the mini-documentary profiles of both The Rock and John Cena. Before the match began, we were already rooting for John Cena, dressed in his token jean shorts. Yes, professional wrestling is fake. Sorry. No, not every single move is choreographed, but the basics of each match are predetermined, as I assume the wrestlers practice with each other for hours before their televised event. Sure, certain parts of the physical wrestling are real, like slamming each other down on the stage. But if all those “punches” to the face were real, there would obviously be some instant red marks and/or blood to prove it. Why is it important that professional wrestling is fake? Because that’s what draws a crowd. People love exciting entertainment, even when they know it’s over the top and less than realistic. (Ever heard of a show on TLC called Here Comes Honey Boo Boo?) This concept was also part of the story lines to boxing movies like Cinderella Man and Rocky, where the fight planners and promoters acknowledged the need for not only an underdog the people would root for, but also the need for a good long fight. That’s not to say that Mike Tyson biting off Evander Holyfield’s ear wasn’t exciting, but there’s only so many times fighters can bite off their opponent’s body parts before it hurts the integrity of the sport. Therefore, professional wrestling is fake. It’s much safer that way; not only for the well-being of the wrestlers, but also for the faithfulness of the spectators. My 21 month-old son is at least subconsciously aware of this fact, too. On a daily basis, we wrestle in our living room. And every weekend, at the park. He knows I won’t actually hurt him, yet he screams as I straddle him like a hungry lion tearing into a delicious zebra. All of my growling and barking and shouting “Jack, come back here!” as I chase him across the room has to be perceived to him like being in the middle of a WWE wrestling match. Even my toddler knows that wrestling is fake. But that doesn’t make it any less entertaining.

dad from day one: Monkey See, Monkey Do

Twenty-six weeks.

It’s not so much that I will relive vicariously through him as it will be that I will raise him according to what I know boyhood to be; therefore, Jack’s youth will in certain ways resemble mine.  And not only will I influence him regarding what it means to be a boy, but also by what it means to have a dad, based on how my own dad influenced my life.  Looking back, I can see that my dad was extremely patient with me and willing to spend his free time with me doing whatever goofy thing it was that I was into.

Whether it was helping me make the perfect Pine Wood Derby car for Cub Scouts, going exploring out in the woods, playing “Ninja Turtles” with me (I still have  an impressive collection of those action figures at my parents’ house), or playing Nintendo for hours at a time.

Being a dad to a son also means confronting potentially dangerous situations and keeping him safe through it; whether because he has to, or for fun.  And in the process, the son learns to trust his dad to take care of him, knowing his dad wouldn’t allow him to get hurt.

Like when he was leading our family in a 5 mile hike in Mentone, AL and he encountered a Copperhead snake- he killed it by throwing a huge rock on it.  Then when we got back home he skinned it and displayed it for all of us Cub Scouts.

And like when I was really young, my dad would put me in a pillow case, hold on to the open end, and sling me around the living room.  And because I was a boy, I loved it.

I also would sit up on his shoulders while he stood under the ceiling fan, in front of the mirror, so I could see that my head was just inches away from the spinning blades.  He called the event “The Head Chopper-Offer”.  And because I was a boy, I loved it.

And I always liked to wrestle my dad.  Obviously, it was impossible to beat him.  He was way too strong and way too big for me; not to mention he had a black belt in karate.  And because I was a boy, I loved it.

It was about testing those limits of danger with someone whose job it was to keep me safe.  Ironic, yet necessary.  My dad and I wrestling on the brown shag carpet represents what being a dad to a boy is all about.  The typical “play fighting” allows a boy to test his own strength and power against his own protector and guardian.  And it’s a very natural way for a father and son to be physically close- without even realizing it.

Dads and sons are close in their own unspoken ways.  And as a dad, part of my job will be to initiate some of these weird ancient rituals.  Even if it means confronting danger- it’s part of the journey of becoming a man. And these types of adventures are a rite of passage meant to be passed down from father to son.

Baby Jack is the size of an eggplant.

Here’s what The Bump says about Week 26:

Let your spouse put an ear to your belly — he might be able to pick up baby’s heartbeat (no stethoscope required). Inside the womb, the formation of tiny capillaries is giving baby a healthy pink glow. Baby’s also soaking up your antibodies, getting the immune system ready for life outside the womb. Eyes are forming, and baby will soon perfect the blink — perfect for batting those freshly grown lashes.

http://community.thebump.com/cs/ks/blogs/2ndtrimester/pages/weeks-25-28-month-6-eggplant.aspx?r=0

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

Blog- www.photojoeblog.com

Website- www.joehendricks.com