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.
Quote of the Day
“To become a father is not hard. To be a father is, however.”
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.
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.”
If you happen to be a dad-I wanted to take this time to wish you a Happy Father’s Day. It’s a special feeling to be the proud parent of a child. I sometimes take it for granted but today I am going to improve on my parenting skills and make sure Taylor has one of the best dads in the world!
I wanted to send out a sincere, short Happy Father’s wish day to all the dads of Windsor Terrace and to those who read the blog who have children.
As a proud father of a nine year-old daughter it’s such a joy to be able to help shape and mold a young, innocent child into something extraordinary. For starters, to always be there for her, to love and nurture her. basically never letting her down or disappointing her.
Teaching her to ride a bike when she was five years old, so now we go on wonderful bike trips together; taking her to the library to apply for a library card so now she is able to check out many books helping her to improve on her reading and writing – to be able to take her to a baseball game so she can soak up the atmosphere of a baseball stadium, munch on popcorn, eat a hot dog and drink a soda. Teaching her how to play basketball, how to swing a wooden baseball bat and catch a ball with a leather glove. Taking her to the local swimming pool, a book store, to grab an ice cream or to sit in an outdoor coffee shop slurping chocolate milk and eating a vanilla donut. And of course, helping her with her often times difficult homework.
For some, being a father means different things. Being understanding, loving, encouraging, involved and supportive are five very important traits that you need to possess as a dad.
We can always improve on our current situation with our children – every day you should make a valiant effort to become the best father you can possibly be.
Fathers come in all shapes and sizes. I recall some outstanding dads in the neighborhood while I was growing up. If you had a great dad, you know what I’m talking about.
My relationship with my father wasn’t the greatest, you might say it was non-existent. I’m not going to bore you with details. But of all the negative things that occurred in the typical ‘father-son’ relationship, I have taken them and applied them on a positive level to being an outstanding father.
Applause must be sent to my father in-law Marty, who has been an amazing person in our lives. He has come to our rescue on many occasions and has also been involved in his granddaughter’s life – forming a special bond between the two. The grandfather-granddaughter relationship is an often-times underrated part of the child’s development.
To conclude, have a great father’s day and keep on striving to be the best dad you can be!
HAPPY FATHER’S DAY!