The German poet Wilhelm Busch once said, “To become a father is not hard. To be a father is, however.”
Today is Father’s Day.
I have had so many people wish me a happy father’s day and I did the same. Reaching out to many of my friends who are fathers, it’s a special day for sure.
The stories I read on social media from these men about their dads are heart-warming. You can feel a real connection. When I look back, the only stories I can honestly tell you are sad ones.
My father left our family when I was five, maybe it was six. I might have been seven?
He left my mother alone… to raise three kids. She didn’t have a high school diploma.
The year was 1969. Or wait, maybe it was 1970? Regardless, it was a great year if you were a sports fan in New York City. I loved sports, especially basketball. The Mets, Jets and Knicks all were able to capture championships in their respective sports.
Despite being absent from of our lives, my father, whom everyone called ‘Gooch’ would come around on Saturday mornings to take me with him to Timboo’s down on fifth avenue. These trips began when I was around 11, maybe 12?
But it was all bullshit.
I think he was trying to make my mother happy by getting me out of the house.
He gave me money from time-to-time. A five-spot here, sometimes he’d throw a twenty my way.
I was happy, but not for long. Soon as the money ran out, I was miserable.
Gooch gave me a little bit of his time but the most important thing I needed was love.
The Gooch didn’t know how to love anyone. All he wanted to do was chase women, drink and gamble. He had a big mouth, but like John Wayne once said in “The Cowboys,”
“A big mouth doesn’t make a big man.”
But it’s alright. The Gooch has been long gone. I won’t write anymore about him, you can paint your own picture. Good luck with that.
The one thing the whole experience did teach me was to be the best dad I can be to my daughter. I never thought I would be a parent.
But I learned how to be a outstanding and caring father to my daughter Taylor.
Gooch showed me what NOT TO DO.
I’m begging you, a parent can’t let their children down; especially if the father has a boy/son. The minute you stop being a father, you’re hurting the kids.
The fantastic author, J.R. Moehringer once said, “For a boy to become a man, he first must see a man.”
As a kid, I never saw a man.
Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there.