Last week my wife, my kids & I underwent a major transition. We bought a new home.

And like all major decisions and transitions in my life, my father was by my side every step of the way. He embodies what a father should be — willing to move mountains to help your children succeed, no matter their age or ability.

It’s as if I was learning to ride a bike all over again. From my earliest memories, my dad has guided me, as he did at the age of 5, loosening my training wheels, holding onto my bike as I struggled to maintain my balance and cheered me on as I sped down a hill near our house. I see myself — hair flying off my face in the wind on my shiny brown bike, roaring down a hill, gaining more confidence with each trip. Dad stood there watching, smiling, enjoying my journey.

There would be other mountains to climb. At the age of 14, I faced a major decision. I had been accepted to a prestigious arts high school. It was an exciting opportunity for me to pursue a career in the theatre. I had also been accepted at a prestigious private high school that would prepare me for college and beyond. I agonized over the decision and relied on my father’s counsel and guidance to make my choice — the private school. As I reflect on how my life turned out and the skills I needed to succeed in my chosen filed, I cannot imagine making any other choice.

Fast forward to college. The night before we left for our 7-hour road trip to my college in the South, my dad popped his head into my room to say goodnight. I was studying a box of baseball cards I had recently bought. We said goodnight and he reminded me of our early wake-up call (5 am, “To beat traffic,” he told me). The next day, after we unloaded all my stuff and said goodbye I noticed his eyes  — they were filled with tears. He could barely speak. I think he was slightly embarrassed and unsure of how to handle the surge of emotions — pride, fear, acknowledgment that I was becoming a man — welling within him. Witnessing the depth of his feelings, moved me. I understood — possibly for the first time — about the bond a parent feels for a child.

Another road trip loomed for us a few years down the road. Dad drove me to my first broadcasting job in the Northeast after college. My mind and heart raced as we sped up I-95 and along the Jersey Turnpike. Could I succeed? Would I fit in? Did I know what I was doing? His confidence in me gave me the courage to face my fears and rely on my talents. The morning after he moved me into my apartment, he left before dawn (“Gotta beat the traffic,” he told me). As he walked out my door, I cried. I was on my own in the real world for the very first time. Just like allowing me to ride my bike down a hill without training wheels, Dad was allowing me to succeed or fail on my own. He had done his job — he gave me a solid education, life lessons to recall in challenging situations and the strength to be independent.

Those moments were prelude to our work last week. We painted, we installed lights, we cleaned, we hauled heavy boxes in preparation of moving into a beautiful home for my family. I see him — sweaty, shirtless and craving a smoke as we worked. Through his toil, I felt the pride he had in me in reaching a goal that I had set for myself and my family and that he helped me reach.

I am no longer a boy with a bike. I’m a man with a family and a shiny new mortgage. But I can still rely on my dad to give me the extra push I need to conquer any hill or mountain in my way.


The Beginning
About Happiest Daddy

Two boys, one wife and a ton of material. I live for family and I'm one of the most blessed people you will ever meet.

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