art

My son, Garrett has a special bond with Garrett Morris. It’s gone far beyond, “that’s who you’re named after.” At this point, my Garrett demands to speak with Adult Garrett whenever he calls me on the cell.

While at a restaurant one Sunday evening, Garrett called for an update on a project. After quickly discussing the status of the film, my Garrett request my phone so he could speak with Adult Garrett. Immediately, I watched my son take on my business mannerisms and phone etiquette. And then, Garrett began to pitch Garrett:

Ok, Garrett! I have an idea for a movie. It’s a car chase movie with a Tesla. I want you to write it. When will you be done? (Turns to me) Dad – we’re making a movie. (Back to the phone.) Ok, Garrett. Next time I see you we’re gonna make this movie. Don’t forget about the Tesla car chase. Bye!”

I sat across the table from Garrett in bewilderment. He got on the phone with a Hollywood legend, told him what he was going to do, and ended the call…like a BOSS!

I probably should call Garrett and let him know that my son isn’t kidding. He wants that script and he wants it by yesterday!

starbucksWhile running errands with Garrett, we decided to stop at our local Starbucks for a snack. Garrett chose an apple juice with a fruit box and I ordered a Purple Drink. (Look it up! It’s pretty good!) As we waited for my drink, Garrett asked if he could go and find a seat. I told him that would be fine. But, he needed to make sure that he chose a table that no one was sitting at AND it had to be within view of where I was standing. Garrett took his snacks, wandered the restaurant, and then chose an empty table for two….right next to a cute college-age girl. I saw her look up, acknowledge him, smile, and then go back to what she was working on.

I sat down across from Garrett and we began to have our snacks and chat about our day. I knew I didn’t have Garrett’s full attention because he kept looking over at the woman sitting next to me – the same one he chatted with when he sat down. Garrett leaned over and whispered, “What’s she doing?” I looked at him and said, “Why don’t you ask her?”

“Excuse me. What are you doing?” Garrett inquired.

The young woman sitting next two me stopped what she was doing, looked up, smiled (again) and replied, “I’m painting a birthday card for a friend.” She opened the plastic case of water colored paints and showed him.

“Can I try?” he asked.

“Of course,” she responded. She handed him the paints, the paint brushes in a cup of clear water, and a piece of paper. Carefully, she explained how the paints worked.

watercolor

For the next 10 minutes, Garrett and his new friend were on an “Art Date.” I quietly sat there (like a third wheel) as they painted together and talked about their friends and common interests. He told her a joke that he got wrong, but she laughed anyway. She told him about a bigger art piece she was working on! I sat there in amazement watching my 5 year old son pick up a 20-something year old woman without him even realizing it.  When he was done with his painting, he put everything back together and then offered her his finished art piece. She told him she loved it. If he was 13 years older, he would have gotten her number right then and there. At 5, Garrett is more of a ladies’ man than I am at 41!

Ultimately, he decided to bring the art piece home to GWE instead. Right now, Mommy is still the only woman he cares about.

During Justin’s final weeks of third grade, one of his homework assignments was to create a comic strip using the Spanish vocabulary words he had been assigned throughout the quarter. He was very excited about creating the comic strip. But, he was not thrilled at the prospect of trying to use his Spanish words to create a story. His plan was simple: create the comic strip first and then try to ‘massage’ the Spanish vocabulary words so that they fit the images.

His comic panels were great. But, as time went on, he struggled to find the right words to use. It was at this point that he made his biggest mistake: he asked for my help.

I do not speak Spanish. After five years of Spanish lessons, I can order a Chalupa at Taco Bell and ask for directions to a library. But, that’s about it. As I’ve confessed before, had I not been sitting behind Tammy Parks or Greta Jackson all throughout high school, I would have failed Spanish. Thanks to their unprotected classwork and my keen eyesight, I cheated my way to graduation. (Hey – “If you ain’t cheating, you ain’t trying!”)

With my limited high school Spanish and a lot of help with Google Translate, I “helped” Justin with his assignment. Here are two examples of our collaboration:

Comic 1

In the first panel, a fight broke out. However, “punching” was not a vocabulary word. We decided to go with “Estoy tocando la cara con el puno,” which roughly translates to “I am touching your face with my fist.”

Comic 2

 

And finally, one character is laughing as the other one screams, “No me gusta bola de fuego!” This translates to “I do not like it when my balls are on fire!”  (I was sure someone would notice how inappropriate this was, but no one said anything! No note from the teacher….no call from the school.)

Somehow, Justin passed Spanish. I still owe a debt of gratitude to Tammy and Greta and I probably owe an apology to whoever read Justin’s comic book.

Lo siento!

GarrettGarrett is now one step closer to Graduate School, Medical School, or Law School! I’m not sure which one Garrett will choose. But, as long as it’s not Clown School, I’ll be happy.  

Garrett is now a proud graduate of pre-school. He has spent the past school year mastering his letters and his numbers, learning the fundamentals of art, practicing some Yoga, and being reminded that we play with our friends. We don’t punch them in the face.

All in all, I’d say it was a successful experience! Up next – KINDERGARTEN!

 

 

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As a kid growing up in Atlanta in the ‘70s and ‘80s, there was rarely an opportunity to have a “Hollywood Encounter.” Occasionally, I’d see the Batmobile or the General Lee at the auto show. Or, if we were really lucky (once every few years,) the local weather man – WSB-TV’s Glenn Burns would land his helicopter at our school for a news segment. The only other celebrity in Atlanta during that time was Kids’ Beat’s Audra Lee who was on TBS…..and I married her!

Living in Los Angeles and working in the entertainment capital of the world has given us access to things for our kids that we normally would not have access to. Last year, we took Justin to one of the final tapings of his favorite show, “America’s Funniest Home Videos” with Tom Bergeron.

Last December, GWE decided to take Justin on a tour of Nickelodeon Studios. They were given a private tour of the animation studios and they got to see how episodes of “Spongebob Squarepants” were created….from script to screen.

As their tour was coming to an end, one of the sound booth doors opened and out came Tom Kenny and Clancy Brown – the voices of “Spongebob” and “Mr. Krabs.” Immediately, they began to do their character voices for Justin and he was elated.

Spongebob

Clearly, Justin is having an incredible childhood in Los Angeles. He gets to see and meet those who entertain him the most. What kid wouldn’t be thrilled to meet Spongebob?

I just hope there comes a day when he turns to me and says, “Dad – can we go to the Playboy Mansion?” And I’ll say, “Yes, son! Yes, we can!”

Family-1If you’ve been following this blog, you’ll notice that it’s very different than most of the other dad blogs on the internet. The purpose of this blog is to share stories. Hopefully, you find them entertaining or educational or (at the very least) they’re cautionary tales. But what separates this site from the others is that there are no ads. There are no banners and no pop-ups. I have chosen not to endorse anything on this site. It’s by design. If I recommend something, it’s because I really like it. Not because I’m required to in order to keep my advertisers happy.

And that’s why you need to know about our experience with Renee Bowen and Renee Bowen Photography.

Several months ago, my wife asked if we could take new family photos. I was not thrilled at the prospect. It’s never as simple as “Let’s take some pictures.” There are wardrobe changes, temper tantrums, snacks, toys, yelling, begging, and crying. (All by me, by the way.) And, all of this effort and aggravation for just 3 decent pictures.

However, this time, GWE suggested that we reach out to the wife of one of my clients – Andrew Bowen. His wife, Renee is a professional photographer. I actually liked her work way before GWE suggested it. You should really see her photographs! Click here for her website!

I put GWE in touch with Renee and the two of them planned the shoot. And, I must say, not only was it the best photography experience I’ve ever had….but, the family photos look incredible!! Here are a few of the pictures:

Us

Boys-1

Justin

Garrett

If you live in the Los Angeles area and need a photographer, I can’t recommend Renee Bowen enough! She was fantastic to work with, took exquisite pictures, and presented them to us in such a way that impressed my wife for weeks. I won’t spoil that for you. It’s a “you gotta experience it” sort of thing.

Thanks Renee! Well done!