Dan Fowlks: The Musical Dad Behind That Viral Video

(image via Dan Fowlks)

Have you seen this video? It’s very cute. I’m not going to steer you wrong when it comes to precious moments, I promise.

 

What’d I tell you? Cute, right?!

We here at The Dad like it, too. Executive Editor, Joel Willis, explains the appeal.

“I love this video so much because it shows an involved, cool dad bonding with his kid. This is what modern fatherhood is all about.”

At The Dad, we have quite a bit of absurd and ridiculous humor, along with some snark, but we also spotlight authentic dad moments. This video shows the genuine joy that comes along with all of that and makes it all worth it.

We wanted to learn more about Dan Fowlks, the man who charmed the pants off the world singing “Dream Lover” to his young daughter, Novie. I contacted him to find out what it’s like to be an involved, cool dad with a massively viral video.

The Dad: Hi Dan, we love the video! Where did the idea come from?

Dan: Over the years I have sung to my kids around the house. This particular song, “Dream Lover,” was one I was working on last year. One night, I decided to record myself so I could hear how I sounded. While my wife was taking the babysitter home from a date we were on, I started singing to my daughter, Novie. Her reaction to it caught me by surprise, so I kept singing and feeding off her energy. She was clearly enjoying it.

The Dad: It’s extremely cute. I’m usually pretty reserved but I was basically giggling and squealing the entire time. Tell me a little about how the video picked up steam on the Internet.

Dan: I shared it on my personal page in December and received some fun reactions to it on my friends list. In January, I came across the The Dad Online and figured it would probably be something they’d enjoy, so I tagged them. [The Dad Executive Editor] Joel reached out to me about posting it and I said “surely.”

Dan in the backyard with his son, Cope.

The Dad: We knew right away it was a special video. We were surprised it hadn’t gone viral already! You gave us permission to feature the video and it took off immediately. Since upload 3 weeks ago (on January 17), it has reached over 37 million people across the world, with over 2 million reactions and 17 million views on Facebook alone. Amazing.

Dan: I thought it was really nice to see so many people reacting positively to it. Then, the next day, seeing it had over 1 million views on The Dad, and then finding it on some European pages climbing over 10 million views! It started getting a little nerve-racking because it was one of those things that is out on the internet and there is no getting it back.

The Dad: What kind of responses are you getting?

Dan: The responses have been quite overwhelming. So many people watched it many times over and found joy from it, which has been quite rewarding. Some people commented that they turned off the Grammy’s to watch the video–that has the most humbling comment.

The Dad: A few people were worried that your daughter might fall off the bed. What do you have to say to ease their fears?

Dan: I knew she wasn’t going to fall off because I was literally right in front of her. Also, if she did fall off, the song would have ended and it would have been a moment that I would not have shared. It’s funny how people watching it think she is going to fall off and no matter how many times you watch the video something amazing always happens… she never falls off.

Halloween night, 2017.

The Dad: What do you think makes the video so special?

Dan: Seeing somebody so young react to good music is revitalizing and makes you wonder, where did she learn that? She was 10 months old at the time. Clearly, music is a special gift we have. Personally, I believe that we exist well before this life. Whatever other life that is, something remarkable happens when music touches our hearts and souls.

The Dad: Any celebrity feedback? Has Beyoncé seen it?

Dan: I was waiting to go in for an audition and looked at my phone and saw that Orlando Bloom shared the video to his social media. I had to take a double take at that.

The Dad: Have you learned any lessons about being a parent? Do you have any advice for your fellow dads out there?

Dan: From my experience with parenthood, I still just see myself as a “kid” who has kids (that might sound weird). Kids are not dumb; they are pretty smart and very observant. It is okay to get down to their level and simply talk with them. For instance, there have been moments when I needed to express that I have never been a parent before, so everything is as new to me as it is to them. I believe your kids will see you differently and that it is okay to make mistakes, correct them the best you can, but then move on.  

Music and being creative in the home has worked very well for our family, there was a time when I was doing a film that took me away for many days out of a month. Before I left, I sat down and drew a little sketch picture of me with my son and me with my oldest daughter. It was nothing of artistic merit to be hung in a museum, but they cherished it enough to hang it on their wall above their bed. Simple things like that, I feel, go a long way as a parent.

The Dad: What’s next for you, Dan?

Dan: Well, the sporadic world stage was an interesting experience, to say the least. For me, it is back to auditions, writing, and looking for opportunities to create. It has opened an opportunity to share more of my music, that I never thought would happen because I never thought so many people would ever hear me sing and play. It has been nice feedback, so I will be recording and getting some music out there, and hopefully, people will like what I have to offer.

Dan and his son watching the sunset in Southern Utah.

Dan has been a super nice guy throughout all of this. Dude’s got talent. He deserves all of the opportunities and attention he gains from the success of the video. We sent him a The Dad shirt and hope he wears it with pride.

Check out Dan Fowlks’s website and music.

 

Hero Kindergarten Teacher Continues To Teach Virtually While Getting Chemotherapy

Remote Teacher Chemo
(Facebook/M Health Fairview)

Teachers are incredible. If you didn’t think that before, you DEFINITELY think that now after seeing what they’ve had to endure to teach kids during a global pandemic. From inventive remote learning techniques to handling the flux education patterns and plans, teachers are redefining going above and beyond for our kids. And one, in particular, has set the bar at an even higher level. Kelly Klein, a kindergarten teacher from Minnesota, has continued to teach remote kindergarten DURING her chemo treatments for a second bout with ovarian cancer.

After she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer for a second time, Klein made the decision to teach for as long she could. She told Good Morning America teaching is her passion, as her three-plus decades in the game can attest.

“I’m going to make the most of my time,” she said. “I don’t take anything for granted.” So she made her treatment facility, a room at a local health care center, her virtual classroom and teaches 5-and-6-year-olds while getting chemo treatments. She literally brings her laptop and all of her supplies and gets to work.

“When you’re at chemo and you’re around a lot of sick people, it’s kind of a depressing place to be. For me, to be around 5-year-olds during that time, it’s like a slice of normalcy in an abnormal environment.”

Her principal said the teacher is beloved by students and colleagues alike, and that she did not want to take a leave after her latest diagnosis. Klein said she gets energy from the kids, and that they help her through the five-hour treatments since she’s not allowed to have any visitors with her during that time.

She’s been described as the type of teacher that students remember long after they’ve moved on, and it is not hard to see why. Just legendary, to battle cancer a second time WHILE having the energy to be there for students, which is not easy even when you’re healthy.

Truly next level stuff, and a testament to the profession.

Scientists Say Rewatching Your Favorite Shows Can Improve Your Mental Health

Science shows that rewatching old favorites can improve mental health
(Getty/Ryan McVay)

TV FOMO no joke, the “Fear of Missing Out” on shows that fill social media feeds and dominate conversations. It’s almost guilt-inducing, watching an old favorite after a stressful day instead of digging into one of the many shows on your forever-growing “to-watch” list. But in reality, is that such a bad thing? Scientists say no – in fact, they say returning to an old favorite can actually be good for your mental health.

In a study conducted by Cristel Antonia Russell and Sidney J. Levy from the University of Chicago Press, they call the phenomenon “reconsumption.” According to the study published in the Journal of Consumer Research, rewatching an old show, rereading your favorite book, even visiting a restaurant you love can trigger a feeling of comfort.

The study compares our brains’ responses to forced repetition to their responses to repetition by choice. When we choose to revisit something that makes us feel good, we essentially anchor ourselves to a moment in time where we felt at peace.

“We find that ‘connections between successive presents’ are localizable in reconsumed objects: reconsumption can serve as a ‘system of replay, resonance and echoes . . . which transcend spatial locations and temporal successions,’” the study explains. “The reconsumed objects fuel an active synthesis of individualized experiences rather than the passive synthesis of habitual reconsumption.”

In simplified terms, no matter where we are in life – no matter what stressors, challenges, and uncertainty we’re facing, we can more or less re-center ourselves. The connection to who and where we were 5 years ago can be connected to our present selves and eventually our future selves by revisiting something that holds meaning to us. The experience of reconsuming things like movies and TV shows actively invites our brains to combine and organize those experiences, finding comfort in them repeatedly over time.

“Unlike the survival motives that drive evolutionary psychology, we find that consumers who chose to repeat hedonic experiences even just once are expressing and affirming their individual experience and its special meanings to them,” the study concludes.

While some repetitive behavior is driven by our desire to survive, behaviors we choose to repeat simply because they make us feel good can reinforce who we are. If you’ve ever been in the car when a song that’s meaningful to you comes on the radio, you’ll understand this idea in real-time. Often, you’re transported back to the time the song gained significance for you.

You may feel things that aren’t relevant in the moment, but were impactful at one point in time – and those thoughts and emotions are forever tied to that song (or TV show, or movie). Those feelings are real though, even as you drive along the highway far removed from whenever that song first gained a special meaning to you. And as the study explains, you’re welcome to revisit those moments as often as you need them.

So yes, Netflix may have hundreds of new movies every month. Social media may be buzzing with talk about a new show every few months. But as we all know, those trends are fleeting. It’s ok to pass on “the best show ever” (how, even, can there possibly be 5,000 best shows ever?) – sometimes the best thing for your mental health is holding onto your security blanket of a show, immersing yourself in the moment, and embracing the comfort it brings.

Brady Throws TD Pass to Brees Son in Dad Moment After Legendary Playoff Matchup

Brady Brees' Son TD Throw
(Twitter/Jpalmertv)

It was one of the most hyped NFL playoff matchups in recent memory, as Tom Brady took on Drew Brees for the first time in the playoffs. Two of the best quarterbacks to ever play the position, with more than 150,000 passing yards and scores of touchdowns between them during their decades of play. But after the dust settled, they were just dads, and one of the coolest moments of the season was seeing the two of them hang out on the field long after everyone else left.

Two legends, just kicking it, with their kids playing around them. Brady embraced Brees, and the two spoke for a while kids bandied about, and then Brady threw a touchdown to one of his Brees’ sons.

Brady and the Tampa Bay Bucs won the game, which may have likely been the last of Brees’ outstanding career. For Brady, game recognizes game, which is why the two of them sharing a special moment after the game resonated with so many fans.

Despite a game and season full of highlights, it’s two dads talking and throwing a football to kids that got millions and millions of views. The throw, for what it’s worth, was actually right on the money and pretty incredible to do it so nonchalantly (although the young defender could’ve pursued more aggressively, perhaps…still a sick pass either way).

The touchdowns you throw to your kids may not mean the most to everyone else, but it’s bigger than any other to them, and it’s cool that even the two legends get it.

Hammerin’ Hank Aaron, Baseball’s Longtime Home Run King, Passes Away at 86

RIP Hank Aaron
(Getty/Tom Lynn)

There aren’t a lot of heroes these days, not in a world in which everyone’s lives are on full display, flaws and all. And now that baseball legend Hank Aaron has passed away, we’ve got one less.

The legendary slugger from Mobile, Alabama got his start in the negro leagues, and went on to become a mythmaker from baseball’s golden age, capturing the all-time home run record long before steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs started inflating numbers and sullying the record books. Aaron, 86, played for 23 seasons, 21 with the Braves (first in Milwaukee, then Atlanta), and hit 755 home runs, surpassing Babe Ruth’s record and hanging onto his own place in the books for 30 years (before finally being broken by Barry Bonds in 2007).

Aaron did it while black, in an era when black baseball players, especially one on his way to dethroning one of the game’s earliest icons, provoked anger and violence in the form of hate mail and death threats.

“On the field, Blacks have been able to be super giants,” he once said. “But once our playing days are over, this is the end of it and we go back to the back of the bus again.”

Aaron’s perseverance in the face of racism and work as a civil rights leader are as much a part of his legacy as his athletic prowess, as were his efforts to support his community and his commitment to philanthropy, facts acknowledged by the Braves organization in their statement.

“We are absolutely devastated by the passing of our beloved Hank,” Atlanta Braves chairman Terry McGuirk said in a statement. “He was a beacon for our organization first as a player, then with player development, and always with our community efforts. His incredible talent and resolve helped him achieve the highest accomplishments, yet he never lost his humble nature. Henry Louis Aaron wasn’t just our icon, but one across Major League Baseball and around the world. His success on the diamond was matched only by his business accomplishments off the field and capped by his extraordinary philanthropic efforts.

“We are heartbroken and thinking of his wife Billye and their children Gaile, Hank, Jr., Lary, Dorinda and Ceci and his grandchildren.”

When he eventually broke the record, the footage became almost as legendary as the moment, with a pair of fans running onto the field to congratulate Aaron as he rounded the bases, before he arrived at home plate to a mob of teammates and family.

Aaron was the National League MVP in 1957 — the same year the Braves won the World Series — a two-time NL batting champion (1956, ’59), a three-time Gold Glove winner in right field (1958-60) and a record 25-time All-Star.

Another Game of Thrones Prequel Series May Be Coming To HBO

Tales of Dunk and Egg
(Jet City Comics/Bantam)

Game of Thrones fans are still waiting for George R.R. Martin to finish the last two books in the Song of Ice and Fire saga, and without the mega-popular HBO series to hold them over (even the bad seasons), they must be going crazy. But we have some good news.

Not only is HBO moving full speed ahead with the House of Dragons prequel series, which focuses on the Targaryen dynasty centuries before Daenerys arrived on the scene (the show has been adding to the cast and plans to start filming soon), now there is news of another prequel series in development.

According to Variety this series, still in the very early stages, will be based on George R.R. Martin‘s series of novellas, Tales of Dunk and Egg, which takes place a mere 90 years before the first HBO show that lit the world, and the ice zombies, on fire.

There have been three novellas in the “Tales of Dunk and Egg” series so far: “The Hedge Knight” in 1998, “The Sworn Sword” in 2003, and “The Mystery Knight” in 2010. They were collected and published together as “A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms” in 2015.

The series follows the misadventures of Ser Duncan the Tall (aka Dunk), and a young Aegon V Targaryen (Egg), two figures who end up becoming very important to Westeros. Dunk is the eventual Lord Commander of the Kingsguard, and Aegon eventually ascends to the throne as the future king of Westeros.

Whether this series actually makes it all the way to our TV screen is yet to be seen, but it’s clear the HBO wants to stay in the Game of Thrones business.

Arcade1Up Is Adding X-Men, Killer Instinct & Dragon’s Lair To Cabinet Collection

(Arcade1Up)

I have fond memories of spending all my (parents) quarters at the local arcade when I was a kid.  Classics like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Street Fighter II & Mortal Kombat would take up my free time and I long for those days again.  Unfortunately, time machines haven’t been invented yet, but Arcade1Up is doing the next best thing.  They have been re-releasing these timeless & nostalgic arcade games for the masses to scoop up, and it looks like X-Men, Killer Instinct & Dragon’s Lair will join their gorgeous officially licensed cabinet collection.

Announced during this year’s all-digital CES, each cabinet has been faithfully recreated and features the original artwork along with some extra games.  There currently aren’t any prices attached to these, but I assume they’ll go for $369.99 USD like the other ones in Arcade1Up’s roster.

Here’s what comes with each cabinet:

X-Men includes:

  • X-Men
  • Captain America and The Avengers (used to play that on Sega Genesis)
  • The Avengers in Galactic Storm

Killer Instinct includes:

  • Killer Instinct
  • Killer Instinct 2
  • Battle Toads Arcade

And finally, Dragon’s lair includes:

  • Dragon’s Lair
  • Dragon’s Lair 2: Time Warp
  • Space Ace

If you’re not fond of the Dragon’s Lair cabinet, a Space Ace version that features the same games is also an option.

I think it’s really cool to see these classics getting the red carpet treatment so if you are interested, be sure to sign-up on Arcade1Up’s website to be notified when pre-orders go live because I’m sure these will go fast.

Father Figures: Most Rewarding Job

“This is my husband, Ian.

He used to spend his days and evenings producing amazing work for clients as a graphic designer at a small design firm in Chicago. He went to fancy industry parties, worked on nationally recognized projects, and loved his job.

But, since having our first baby five and half years ago, he exchanged his dream job to be a stay at home dad. Four kids total, and he’s been rocking this gig with patience, grace, lots of coffee, and love.

Ian isn’t a normal stay at home dad guy, though, he’s always taking them out to coffee shops, parks, bike rides, library, dance classes, and does it all with a smile on his face.

Being a stay at home parent is extremely hard, but he says he wouldn’t change it for the world and it’s his most rewarding job he’s had.”

– Michelle Merrill

Want to share a story about fatherhood? Email [email protected]

12 Funniest Parenting Tweets of the Week 1/22/21

Funniest Parenting Tweets 1-22-2021
(Getty/Photography by Rayleigh, Twitter/CrockettForReal)

The parents of Twitter are back with another round of hilarity. Every week, the parenting corner of Twitter is filled with the most memorable (and sometimes, the most questionable) parenting moments, and we’re here for it all. The hilarious, the cringe-worthy, and the just plain ridiculous – here are 12 of the funniest parenting tweets this week.

Painfully relatable

We have to take full advantage before the inevitable day that they beat us fair and square

Even Alexa is tired of your shit

And then in a couple years, throwing down the “draw four” in Uno

This dad joke unlocked the skill, “Super Sneeze”

What’s it like raising a genius

Parenting is a dang conundrum

Has to be the truck, right? Right?

*Tearing up* It’s gotten so big

Game night is canceled until further notice

Hire kids to fix the world. They can do it

It’s nice to dream

Did you miss last week’s funniest parenting tweets?

Family Takes Turns Sleeping on Couch With Senior Dog Who Can No Longer Use Stairs

Family takes turns sleeping on couch with senior dog
(Instagram/spikethespringer)

The only bad thing about dogs is that they don’t live as long as humans. It’s impossibly hard to reconcile the fact that we used to have to gate off the kitchen so our sneaky pups couldn’t jump up on the counter and steal snacks – it seems like yesterday, but before we know it, they struggle to even climb the steps to the front door.

Nine years ago, Catherine Morris and her family adopted an adorable dog named Spike. Young Spike was nimble and energetic – in fact, he decided early on that he preferred to sleep with his humans. The determined pup jumped the gate every single night until the Morris family stopped trying to prevent him from crawling under the covers with them.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Spike Morris (@spikethespringer)

But at 14, Spike has slowed down considerably. In recent months, he suffered two strokes that forced him to re-learn how to walk. His family tended to him, cared for him, and worked with the elderly dog to gain back some of his strength. Though Spike no longer needs to be carried around, he is still unable to climb the stairs.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Spike Morris (@spikethespringer)

After nearly a decade of sleeping side-by-side, the adjustment to sleeping downstairs was challenging for Spike. Fortunately, he didn’t have to do it alone.

“We take turns to sleep downstairs with him,” Catherine Morris said on Instagram. “He’s happy because he still gets his cuddles, and we’re happy because we still get our cuddles.”

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Spike Morris (@spikethespringer)

Morris shared a video on Instagram showing the adorable arrangement. Some days it was her snuggled on the couch with Spike, and other days her dad slept peacefully by his side. Despite two strokes and the typical struggles that come with aging, Spike is still one lucky dog.