Watching your children grow, and discover their passions, is easily one of the greatest feelings a parent can experience; especially when it’s in something competitive, like sports. It’s almost electric when you hear your child express joy over their new passion. You can feel the energy and excitement it gives them; the flames of passion have been ignited, and the fire is just waiting to be stoked. And as a parent, you want that feeling for your children, and hope it never ends.
But some times, we parents want it a little too much for our children, and risk ruining that experience for our children. How? Well, let me ask you this…how many times have you been to a kids sporting event, and have seen that parent? You know who I’m talking about; the parent that is, usually, decked out from head to toe in team apparel; maybe even with their kid’s name on their back. They’re usually posted up as close to the sideline, dugout, team box, or home plate, as they can be. It’s kind of hard to miss them; mainly because they’re usually screaming the coach, the umpire, their kid or the other team’s kids at any given moment…and it typically lasts the entire length of the event.
Earlier this year I had a grand idea of starting a Dad Blog. This idea is nothing new to the blog universe, but it was for me. You see, my Wife was pregnant with our son, Ferris; the first child for both of us. Now, I must admit our son’s name is not actually Ferris, but for the purposes of this blog it will be, plus it gives me a chance to pay homage to one of my all time favorite comedies, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, because honestly I think that is exactly how the Nug is going to be when he becomes a teenager, but more on that in later posts. I mentioned I had this idea of the blog earlier this year to emphasize how long it has taken me to get around to starting it. Ferris was born in mid-January, and we are now in late March, and I am just now typing my first words on this topic. To be completely honest, I can be a bit lazy, but not this bad. It has really has taken me 10 weeks to finally muster up the energy, motivation, and just sheer focus needed to start something that doesn’t completely revolve around the 12 pound monster that lives in our apartment now, and has utterly absorbed our lives. Trust me, that is not in the least bit an over exaggeration. The Wife puts it perfectly when she says to Ferris, “Where has the day gone? Oh yeah, that’s right, you have sucked it away.” Well, she’s also referring to something else, but you get my point. I’ve come to realize that during the pregnancy I never gave the amount of time and attention this kid would require on a daily its full respect, but I believe no new parent ever really does. One positive note out of all the time sucked away during the past 10 weeks is that it has also given me time to experience things; get really immersed in being a dad. Plus, it’s given me a lot of material to write about. So, here we are 10 weeks late, but here is my letter to our newborn son:
WELCOME TO THE WORLD BUDDY!!! Your mother and I are so happy to finally meet you. There are so many things we can’t wait to teach you.
Your mom is a very smart lady, and your dad….well, he’s pretty swell. To be completely honest upfront, you will most likely get 95% of your intellectual knowledge from your mom. But that last 5%, well that’s where I come in. The knowledge I bring, while small in comparison to your mom, is in my opinion some of the most valuable knowledge a boy needs to become a well-rounded man.
While I may not be as book-smart as your mom, your dad excels in some very, let’s say, very specialized areas. Here’s a list:
#1 Sports – As your dad I am charged with teaching you any and everything about sports. I’m going to teach you how the Slider revolutionized the game of baseball; how to throw a tight spiral, and how to properly wrap-up and tackle; how to drain a 3-ball on that sucker playing loose and not respecting your perimeter game, or how to drive it to the hole and dunk on that same joker in the paint; you’re gonna learn the beauty of the triple deke and slapping a one-timer into a goalie’s 5-hole; I will even teach you how to lace in that nice corner kick on a lazy goalie in the net.
#2 Movies – Your dad is a movie fanatic. You dad will introduce you to the best that cinema has to offer. You will learn what it means to make someone an offer they can’t refuse. You will also learn such other valuable things like how one ring can rule them all, as well as how you’re so money and you don’t even know it. But most importantly, and I stress MOST, you will know of the way of the Force….and the Shwartz, lol.
With that comes the art of quoting movies. Learning to quote movies at the right time and the right place is an art form my friend. Trust me when I tell you this, there is ALWAYS a movie to quote in any situation, and don’t let anyone (your mother included) tell you different.
#3 Manners – Boy, if I can stress anything to you it’s this, your dad is a stickler for manners. Nothing irks me more than a kid that acts unruly in public, and even worse the parents that just act like they don’t see it. You will not be allowed to act up in public, throw fits in the store, scream “NO” when your mother or I request (that’s putting it nicely) you do something. Just so we’re clear, if you ever hear us “ask” you to do something, know that there really is no choice; do it, or pay later. The same applies when we are at the dinner table; manners are non-negotiable.
Now, your mother might try and chime in on this and say that your father’s table manners are less than stellar, but trust me, everything I do is well within the bounds of acceptable behavior…..when you’re older that is.
#4 The Art of Telling a Joke – Your dad does not “toot his own horn” very much, but one thing that I know for sure, I’m pretty damn funny. Your pop can spin a good tale or two. It’s all about timing my boy. Whether it telling a simple joke, jones-ing on your friends, or telling a story, it’s all about timing kiddo. Eventually, when you have mastered the art of timing, I will teach you the single greatest line you can use in any occasion…“That’s what she said!” Ahh hell, who am I kidding? I’m going to teach you that from Day 1, lol.
#5 The Bro Code – This is for you and me alone to speak of. If nothing else, you will learn of the Bro Code. You will learn the hallowed code of all men that is passed down from father to son, from generation to generation. This is not optional son. I urge you, never break the code. The consequences could indeed be dire.
Well buddy, that’s about it. Oh wait one more thing. In all seriousness, your mom and I will give you the greatest gift of all, and that is the knowledge that family, and the love of family is always first. Will we always agree? No. Will we always get along and like one another? Certainly not. But we will always love each other, and be there for each other in times of good and bad. And kiddo, you have no idea how much family you have waiting for you to love you to pieces.
So yeah, that’s the letter to my boy. Is it as cool as the dad on the Google commercial that sends his daughter emails from the time she was born; no. But you know what; this is me, and I’m cool with that. Our Ferris is a pretty lucky kid. He doesn’t appreciate it yet; hell, he doesn’t appreciate much right now. All he knows is breastfeeding, poopy diapers, and crying like nobody’s business. Like I tell him, he’s so damn lucky he pretty cute. Until next time.