I’ve talked about it for almost a year now. I’ve started a fan page on Facebook; I’ve written blogs about it; I’ve hosted charity events; I wake up each morning with a picture of two precious daughters staring at me with smiles that would make anyone want to pinch their cheeks. As I am writing this, I realize that this time last year, Day With Daddy did not exist. In fact, this time last year (February 9th), I was celebrating my Dad’s birthday who was called to the Gates of Heaven 35 years ago.
Although only knowing my Dad for a short time, I have grown a stronger connection to him as an adult and father. Throughout my childhood, I would always ask myself, why was my Dad taken away from me at such an early age? I struggled with it for years until I became a father myself just 8 years ago.
I like to subtly refer to my Dad in my adult life as “Pops”. Why Pops? Because I have grown a bond with him over the past 36 years – I converse with him, and he answers me as if he is here. As an adult, I feel that I have earned the right to refer to him as Pops, you know, like that you are now on the same level and you can now talk father to father.
What do we talk about? Just what a father and son talk about over a cold beer – football, cars (I remember his 1973 Buick LeMans), travel, hunting are a few. But many of our conversations lately have been about living life through God and raising a family that will remember you through eternity, which is what I remember about Pops. Hard working, dedicated, no excuses, never complained, just did what needed to be done. I also know that Pops was human and not perfect, but who is? More importantly, he molded me from a boy to man, simply through the short years of his life on mortal earth and the 35 years of discussions that I will have for eternity.
February 18, 2012 was a day that I vividly remember. It was a short 2-day weekend with my daughters, Lenea and McKenna. I had a well-thought out plan for a picnic on this day, but was quickly welcomed to not-so-pleasant weather shortly after leaving our home. As we were driving, I can remember my youngest one, McKenna, asking, “Dad, are we still going to do a picnic?”. Without saying no, I had to quickly come up with a Plan B – and Chuck E Cheese was no longer a Plan B option
I pulled over to Google Austin kid activities for that rainy Saturday – I was stumped that I couldn’t find anything or maybe I didn’t know where to look. But I am sure every Mom in Austin had the black book for kid activities. Through my frustration, I had a private talk with Pops and said it sure would be nice to have just one “day with my Daddy” right now. He answered back and said, “Each day that your daughters have a day with their daddy, you are having a day with me.”
“Day With Daddy” was born, but I had no clue what it meant. After almost a month of thinking back to that memorable rainy Saturday, I remember my reactions when I didn’t have a backup plan but was quickly reminded that the little time in the car was quality time with my girls. I didn’t have to do anything fancy, elaborate, or grand. Being present made them happy.
I never intended to conceptualize my one-day experience into a social cause. It was a natural progression that has provided me the opportunity to share my personal experience with hundreds of Dads and also learn from Dads that are doing their part in being the best Dads that they can.
During the past year, I have been introduced to some incredible people that have pushed me, encouraged me, and provided hours of advice in structuring my concept into a meaningful platform to provide resources to co-parenting fathers and mothers. Giving back feels good so why not do something that I love doing to help others?
I plan to continue to be an advocate for fathers in the great city of Austin through my vision and will use every opportunity to extend my reach through my supporters across the U.S. This year I am vowing to double my time in serving our community. This is my commitment to you!
On Saturday, March 9, 2013, we will be celebrating one year since Day With Daddy was conceptualized and will be hosting a launch party. We are still working on the specifics of the event and will share updates as soon as things are confirmed. I owe each of you the world and this would not be possible without you.
If you want to know more about how you can be a part of this great movement and receive updates on our future events, sign-up to our email list at http://www.daywithdaddy.com