The Naked Truth

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Dear Son, You have taught me so much…

Dear Son

You came along in my life six years ago.  I still remember the day you were born like it was yesterday.  I have always been told that time flies when you have your own kids, and that statement is a very true reality.

As a father I am supposed to guide you, teach you, and point you in the right direction.  I have tried to instill manners, character, honesty, integrity, and responsibility.

However…

You probably don’t know this, but you have taught me more in the past six years than I have taught you.

You have taught me to love without conditions:

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In every relationship I have ever had, there were always “deal breakers.”  In every relationship I have ever had, there was something I did or something that was done to me that would end a relationship.  When it comes to you, my love for you is unconditional.  There is literally nothing you could ever do that would make me love or support you any less.  I may get frustrated with some of your decisions from time to time, but it is only because I don’t want to see you hurt or disappointed.

You have taught me to strive to be better than I was yesterday:

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I know you learn best by the examples you see in front of you every day.  Knowing that has forced me to strive to be my best.  There are days I struggle.  There are days that I am not my best.  However, knowing you are there always watching, always learning, always observing, it forces me to keep striving to be better.

You have taught me that grades are important, but learning how to think and make decisions are critical.IMG_0975

Grades are important.  Good grades are critical if you want to excel and get into a good college.  However, school is more than just grades.  School teaches you to think.  It teaches you how to make decisions.  It is an environment that forces you to grow both intellectually and socially.  Our society puts a lot emphasis on grades.  However, learning to think and make critical decisions are extremely important in all areas of your life.

You have taught me what it’s like being a kid again:

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One of the most rewarding aspects about being your Dad is being able to watch you grow up. I have been able to relive my childhood all over again just by watching you.  You have taught me how to play again.  You have taught me the importance of quality time together.

Son, whether you know it or not, you truly are my inspiration.  I am so thankful for everything you have taught me.  Watching you, guiding you, and being a part of your life has truly been the best six years of my life.

Love you,

Your Dad

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The Lego Movie and 2 Critical Life Lessons For Dads

Lego Movie Spoilers Below:  Alert!

This past weekend was the opening for The Lego Movie.  My boys and I were definitely excited to see it.

To be honest, I am a big fan of animated films.  Being a Dad of three boys, I cannot tell you the last time I saw a movie that was not animated.

I even have a couple of animated films that are my all time favorites.

“How to Train Your Dragon” was such an amazing story.  Moreover, it really illustrated the struggle and connection between a Father and Son.  “UP” was another that will always remain in my top 10 because it truly showcased several life lessons.

As we walked into the theater this past weekend to watch The Lego Movie, I didn’t expect much.  I thought this would probably be a typical animated film with some cool special effects and some laughs here and there.

I was wrong…

Not only was the movie extremely entertaining, but  the ending of The Lego Movie really blew me away.

The movie was filled with hilarious moments, fantastic special effects, and an engaging storyline.

The Lego Movie Plot:

The whole story is about a little Lego man by the name of Emmet.  Emmet is an everyday construction worker (builder).  He has a pretty good outlook on life.  He is pleasant to everyone around him and he thinks everything is “AWESOME” (including his $37 latte).  Emmet always looks at life as the glass is half full.

On the other hand, when it comes to his own self-worth and confidence, he struggles.  He doesn’t view himself as anything extraordinary.  He doesn’t view himself as someone who can make a difference.  As a result, he sells himself short.

Critical Lesson 1: 

Throughout the movie, Emmet is reminded by those around him that simply believing in yourself makes all the difference.  It reminded me of the classic saying, “Whether you think you can or you can’t…you are right.”  The Lego Movie truly drove this life lesson home in a big way.

It reminded me as a Dad to always be my kid’s biggest fan and not their loudest heckler.  It also reminded me to always find ways to instill and pass on self confidence, positive self-talk, and the attitude of believing in yourself.  The critical difference between an enjoyable and fulfilling life and a life of struggle is the belief in ourselves.

This holds true for us as Dads.  We are important.  We are critical.  Sometimes we don’t realize how important we are and how much we matter.  Our kids desperately need our attention and affection, even if they don’t always say so.

So, if you are here and reading this, here is your reminder:

You are critical and important.  Don’t sell yourself short.  When you start to hear that negative self-talk, you need to silence it.  Look at all the positive things you do for your kids.  It may not feel like it, but you are probably doing a much better job than you think.

The Ending:

The ending of the Lego Movie definitely hits a sentimental cord with Dads.  At the end of the movie, you find out that the entire movie was actually in the imagination of a little boy.  The movie villian, President Business, is actually representative of the little boy’s father.

The Dad, played by Will Farrell, is an avid Lego collector.  So much so, that his entire basement is a massive Lego City display.  The Dad is extremely particular about his collection of Legos. He actually uses crazy clue to hold the entire city together.  He comes home frustrated to find his son playing with pieces from his collection.  The little boy used his imagination to build all sorts of different cars, motorcycles, robots, and other creations.  When the Dad sees what his little boy has done, he becomes very irritated  because his display is no longer “perfect.”

The two argue a bit back and forth.  The father stating his case that his Lego City is not a toy for imagination.  The son stating his case that Legos are meant to bring out the imagination and to build something personally unique.

Critical Lesson 2:

In the end, the Dad sees his son’s perspective.  He realizes that his Lego display doesn’t have to be perfect.   He realizes he doesn’t have to take life so seriously.  His son convinces him to not only allow him to play with Legos, but they should build things together.  You can literally see Will Farrell have a moment of enlightenment.

The final scene of the movie is the two of them playing together and enjoying each other’s company.

This was such a great reminder.  Our kids will only ask us to play with them for so many years.  It’s our job to take advantage of those times.

The Lego Movie sends us three strong messages.  It reminds us to embrace our imaginations, to believe in ourselves, and to spend quality time with our kids.

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If you enjoyed this, you may also like:  Star Wars and Being a Good Dad

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Patience: A Dad’s Confession

I have been a Dad for seven years.  I am blessed with three amazing boys from seven years old to eight weeks old.  I have a loving wife whom I have been married to for just over 10 years.  From the outside looking in, I feel extremely blessed.

However… Read more

Farts, Underwear with Holes, and 4 Additional Things Your Woman Finds “Not So Sexy.”

Let’s face it, Farts are funny.  Actually, farts are downright hilarious.  I don’t know many guys (me included) who don’t snicker at the sound of a “blast.”

To be honest, even as I write this article, I cannot help but have a smile on my face when I think about it.  From the time we are little kids, we think that farts and burps are hysterical. It never really seems to fade with age.

There are a lot of things we men do that we think are “ok.”

However…

Believe it or not, our wives, girlfriends, or significant others may not think some of the things we do are the sexiest.  Many of them will not actually let us know how much things we do (or don’t do) really turn them off. Read more