It’s easy to be a father, but being a dad is about men who are present in their children’s lives. I remember looking into the stands and seeing my dad at my gymnastics meets, track meets, basketball games, volleyball games, motorcross races and swim meets. In fact, he even attended many of my practices too. It meant so much to this little girl to know that her dad was just beyond the locker room door, waiting to take me home. Once in a while he’d allow me to have a special treat after grueling two-hour practices: an ice cream sandwich!
When I wanted to end my competitive swimming career, my dad encouraged me to continue one more year. He could see something in me that I couldn’t: potential. I stuck with it and the following year became a state champion swimmer!
No matter what activity I was interested in, he was there to show me love and support. He even built a balance beam in our backyard so I could practice gymnastics! Sadly, my dream of becoming an Olympian fizzled.
Instead, I was in the marching band, became a cheerleader, and of course, I wanted to follow in the footsteps of my big brother, Guy, who was a champion motocross racer. It was pouring rain during one of the races and the track was a sloppy mess. I took a spill around a corner and struggled to get my motorcycle out of the mud and upright again. My dad was there to help!
Thank-you Dad, for always being there for me and showing me how to be a parent. Your constant presence in my life, through good times and bad, has given me the confidence to try new things and challenge myself to be the best I can be. Because of you, I strived to be at all my son’s childhood activities. Anytime I questioned whether or not driving five hours to watch Rocco’s basketball games or swim meets, I remember the feeling I had when I knew you were there sitting in the stands. And on a few occasions, I took Rocco to get an ice cream sandwich, too.