One day, when my son Benjamin was about two years old, I went to his daycare to pick him up. He was just coming up the stairs as I entered the foyer of the school when he caught sight of me. A huge smile came across his face and he pointed at me with his little index finger and yelled, “It’s the Papa!” There was such a joy in his face and eyes and I don’t think I will ever forget that moment. He is just about five years old now and when I think of him being a toddler, it is always that little face on him and the shine in his eyes that I think of.
In the past I have defined myself with a number of words and phrases…A husband, a son, a brother, a friend, a Mets fan, a Giants fan, a writer, a computer guy, a webmaster, a Media Relations intern, an Intranet Community Liaison (yeah, I have no idea what that means either), a kid from Jersey, a New Yorker, a Pennsylvanian, a shy guy, a kid at heart, a spiritual man, a Youth Minister, a Roman Catholic, an Irishman and the list goes on and on. Some of these I have been good at and some of them, I haven’t, but it is being a father that, now, is more important than anything else in this world that I succeed at.
Being a father…being a good father…well, what could possibly be more important to me? There is so much at stake in this role. And I am so far from perfect in that role. There are some days where I am so far from perfect, make bad judgments or punish them too harshly and I just want to crawl into bed and hope that one day my sons will forgive me, when, they probably have already forgotten it.
The funny thing is that every one of those other roles, from husband to Mets fan to Irishman, are absolutely crucial to being a good father, I think. As a husband, I need to show them, by example, how to love and respect others, especially their mom. If your a Mets fan, or even a Royals fan, embrace it and pursue it with the passion you feel. Know your heritage and history…know where you came from, because it can help you figure out where you are going.
This is the journey that I am on…The journey of learning who I am and how to be a good daddy…learning how to be “The Papa” and to live up to that light that was in Benjamin’s eyes that day. And that’s what this blog will be about.
In a way, this is a blog into the future…a blog for my sons. They can’t read it now and won’t understand it for years, but, it is my hope for them that one day, they too will be daddies. It’s my hope that my journey as their daddy will help them when they are feeling less than perfect in the role and it helps them through a tough time.
I am the papa to Benjamin Thomas, 4 and Matthew Robert, 3. In the coming weeks, months and years, I am going to be sharing with you, that journey.