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Quote of the Day

“To become a father is not hard. To be a father is, however.”

-Wilhelm Busch

On New Year’s Day, most of us start a resolution.

Today is Father’s Day and at this very moment,  I challenge every dad to become a better father to their child.

I also challenge every son or daughter to reach out, pick up the phone and call their father.

Here’s a revised blog entry I wrote a couple of years ago; it’s a letter to my late father.

Dear Dad,

I have a hard time beginning this letter using ‘dad‘.

Maybe I should use your first name (Cono) or your nickname (Gooch)?

I always thought that was a funny nickname; and by the way, how’d  you get it?

Around the neighborhood they called me ‘Red’ because of the color of my hair.

As a proud father of an 13-year-old daughter, I have learned so much about parenting; it’s a daily process, 24-7.  The one thing that I can’t understand to this day is why you weren’t a very good parent? If they gave out grades for your parenting skills, you’d get a D minus.

Yo Gooch, I was your son.  The one you should have helped go from a boy to a man. It took me a long time to figure that one out. And trust me, it wasn’t easy.

Along the way there were high’s and low’s.  The low’s lasted longer than I would’ve liked, and maybe having you around during those low’s, would’ve got me through the tough times a lot quicker.

You were responsible for instilling discipline in this young, lost, and innocent boy. But you were nowhere to be found. You let me slide many times.

You were the one who was supposed to attend my basketball games at Holy Name. But you’d rather spend your Saturday mornings in the Cube Steak.

You were the one who was supposed to sit-down at the table and help me with my homework. But you were hanging out in Timboo’s.

How about tossing a ball back and forth to each other across the street in the schoolyard?

You could have taught me how to ride a bike.

When I became a teenagers how about teaching me how to drive a car? Actually, forget the part of teaching me to drive a car, you didn’t have your license. You took the train everywhere.

Shit, you could have taught me how to shoot a basketball! But later for that, you weren’t a very good athlete in your time.

I would have been happy with a short trip across 9th avenue to Rae and Otto’s for an egg cream.  We could have sat down at the counter and talked about basketball, baseball or even the birds and the bees.

Regardless of what anyone says, it’s a parent’s responsibility to raise their children. (Mom tried hard, she gave it all she had but there is nothing like a boy having his dad involved in his life)

I’ll never forget the time you told me you were going to take me to a baseball game; the New York Mets and the Big Red Machine at Shea Stadium. It was supposed to be for my birthday. You poked a hole through my heart that night when you were a no-show. You also taught me a valuable lesson that night.  You taught me to never let my daughter down; when I make a promise to her, always keep it.

But wait, as I think back to my days as a kid you did teach me a few things. You taught me to place toilet paper around the bowl when I have to drop a deuce in a public bathroom and you once warned me that when I carry a wallet to keep it in my front pocket so it couldn’t be picked out of my back pocket.

Two valuable lessons I never forgot!

Oh but hold on Gooch, you might have taught me the greatest lesson of all regarding parenthood;  “how not to raise a child.”

Your Son,