Friday, June 15, 2012
My favorite day is upon us: Father's Day! It is the one day of the year that we Dads can crack several beers while watching the US Open and the NBA Finals in peace! It is our day to provide work/life balance to the toughest job there is: being a Dad!
I remember the 9 months leading up to me being a Father. I was scared shitless! I cannot say before my son was born that I was fully capable of taking care of myself (I would venture to guess that my wife had accepted that going in). With the ultimate responsibility looming, I got tons of advice....all of it discouraging. Everyone told me how my life was going to drastically change and that I was in for a major wake up call. None of that advising made the forth-coming "second job" any easier to accept.
Then, my friend Matt Clizbee called me. He told me that being a Dad was easy and not to worry about it. We didn't get into a long drawn out conversation, I trusted his words, and I ran with them. He may have been over-optimistic in his encouragement but it meant more to me than anything anyone had told me in the previous year! I was ready!
Fatherhood is a privilege not a responsibility, and the sooner you accept that, the easier it gets.
All of the anxiety was shattered when my son emerged from my sweetheart's body with a full head of hair. The doctor handed him to me! What a privilege, to be the first person in the world to have my hands hug the future President of the United States.
Just last night, I had a similar privilege to take in the film, "The Other F Word". This movie documented the lives of Punk Rock Dads (a few of which I can call friends). It is an extraordinary shared journey of men who made a life out of youthful revolt becoming part of the system, by becoming Dads. A truth revealed: the best way to help your children accept people for who they are is to be yourself.
I am fortunate enough to have a Dad who provided an example for me that lead me to be the man I am today...not through my effort but by hereditary default. I know many people who are not so fortunate.
The greatest love story between a father and a son was told by the Great Artie Lange. He conveyed that his father's love for baseball and its place in their life made their union invincible. I think about my Dad and Artie Lange every Father's Day!
Just a few days ago my son and I were walking in the park. I was immersed in thought...one of those moments where you lose time because your thinking process is so intense. A voice called to me...
My son raised a question that seemed to be lingering for a while, "oh hey Dad, I forgot to ask you, how is your working going?" I will admit it seemed like it had understandably been a while since anyone had taken time to ask ME how I was doing. I told the 6 year old Gentleman that my work was going great and I thanked him for asking.
"I knew it", he said with all the confidence in the world, and we kept walking....
I can tell every Father reading this blog one thing with great certainty:
Your best work is behind you and they will carry your legacy long after you are gone!
Happy Father's Day, Gentlemen!
Don't Forget to Remember!