THANKS, OBAMA. SINCERELY.

It was about this time ten months ago. Our 8 1/2 week old baby daughter Jean Louise got her first piece of mail delivered — and it was from the White House. Now, I don’t know what sort of mail I was getting at that age, if any, but I’m sure that it wasn’t from the Leader of the Free World.

The note read:


The White House

Washington

Welcome to the world! we know the great joy your proud family must feel, and we are pleased to join in celebrating your arrival.

As you grow and learn, we hope you are blessed with rich experiences, unwavering love, and tremendous opportunity. May you always dream big dreams.

Sincerely,

Barrack Obama     Michelle Obama

That was rather nifty. A card from the President of the United States. Jean Louise isn’t more special than any other child, in which the President decided to mark the occasion by sending a note of welcome. Any child can receive a card in honor of their birth from the White House by sending a birth announcement. Luckily, my wife had the foresight to send a birth announcement to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

It is this father’s opinion, and an opinion that he will be sure to instill with his daughter, that President Barack Obama was not only a great man, but one of the finest — if not finest — President this nation has ever had, and a helluva good father. Obama signed the Babies Act, a mandate requiring that changing stations be available to dads as well. Among many worthwhile and honorable achievements, Obama proved the age-old adage that anybody can grow up to become President of the United States.

Unfortunately that same age-old adage held true for the soon-to-be forty-fifth President of the United States. My wife and I plan on having another child sooner than later — in the foreseeable four years to be sure. But I’m certain that my wife will not be quick to send a birth announcement to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue — nor 721 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY — with the arrival of Jean Louise’s little brother or sister.  While it was an honor to receive a note from President Barrack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama that will hang framed in Jean Louise’s room for as long as she lives under our roof, the same cannot be said in regards to the forty-fifth President. Jean Louise is only one. So my hope is that we’ll be able to get through the next four years relatively unscathed as far as having to explain how and why of the  administration from now until January 20, 2021.

I am grateful for the eight years that Barack Obama served as United States President. While I had hoped that as a father of a girl that the final result of the recent presidential election would have gone the other way, I can hope that when the first woman is elected President my daughter will be able to comprehend the significance of the event and that even she can grow up to become President someday.

On a side note… Richard M. Nixon became the 37th President of the United States when I was only one year old — and I turned out okay. (I think.)

As a final thought to this post, please let me reiterate… Thanks, Obama. Sincerely.

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DAD DND

While most posts here at DAN a.k.a. DAD are going to be kid related, this post is more about “dad.” This is a cross-post with DanTaylor.Blog — read it here, or read it there. Today’s post is not about my adorable daughter Jean Louise. It relates more to one of the hardships of being a father — managing to still be able to enjoy the other things in life, like hobbies and camaraderie. In this case… Playing Dungeons & Dragons. As rewarding as fatherhood may be… The call to explore dungeons and slay dragons must be answered.

No, the title is not “DAD DNA.” It’s “DAD DND,” and it refers to Dungeons & Dragons. Dad DNA is a whole different subject for a whole different kind of post. So, what in the hell is DAD DND? In addition to being a forty-nine year old father of a one year old daughter, I began playing Dungeons & Dragons over forty years ago. Playing DnD (or D&D) and other role-playing games were a big part of my life for the following two decades. Over the last twenty years, while I have played here and there, I haven’t been able to sneak my teeth into a good ol’ regular DnD game for awhile now. And with being a dad now, my time is even more limited. My DnD experiences are now lived vicariously through others on various Dungeons & Dragons game podcasts. Having co-hosted a podcast for over a year and a half now (Starmageddon — a podcast for fans of Star Trek AND Star Wars) I figured why not get together four or five other dads that are itching to play, utilize an online virtual tabletop, record the shenanigans, and produce a podcast called DAD DND? So… That’s what I plan to do.

I posted the above “recruitment poster” in a Facebook Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition group and the response has been overwhelming — positive even. Many other dads who play Dungeons & Dragons think that it’s a nifty idea and are asking how they can be a part of the podcast. Obviously, I can’t run a DnD game that includes everyone who has expressed interest in participating. We’re talking well over a hundred or so DnD dads. I’m not that good of a Dungeon Master. I’m going to have to figure out a fair and reasonable way to determine who’s on board. As pretentious as it sounds, I might have to run some sort of audition process.

If you’re thinking that you may want to be part of the DAD DND podcast. Awesome. But first you might want to get a better idea of the kind of podcast that I (Dan Taylor, your host and DM) run. While the format for DAD DND will be actual gameplay of Dungeons & Dragons by four or five additional player dads, and not news discussion and interviews, you might want to give my other podcast Starmageddon a listen. It’s a Star Trek AND Star Wars centric podcast that can be found at the following podcast feed providers: iTunes, Podbean, Stitcher, and/or your favorite podcast provider (maybe.)

For more info on DAD DND please check out the DAD DND Facebook page and/or follow @daddndcom on Twitter. You can also bookmark dandnd.com and be on the ground floor when the site launches in full.

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