Normally I never write anything about personal feelings online, but for some reason I have the urge to right now. Maybe it’s because it is past midnight and officially the beginning of my 5th #FathersDay as a #father and 35th as a #son .
I always have great days with my daughter, Siena, but tonight I think watching #TheManOfSteel with her brought back a lot of memories of my own childhood ( #Superman was my favorite). I started to remember a lot of moments that mean a lot to me, they were good times and those snapshot memories always bring a smile when I think of them.
I remember when I was 2 or 3 standing (or being held by my mom) on my parents bed looking through the window while waving and yelling hello/goodbye and watching my dad come/go in his silver Opal GT (this isn’t it, but looks like it: http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3275/2907036111_e5f7d99989.jpg). I remember him watching me ride my horse on springs pretending I was the Lone Ranger (in full costume), and putting my Big Wheel together for me to ride. When I was around 4-5 and we lived in New Jersey I remember getting to ride in limos to and from airports and watching The Jeffersons on the tv in it (thanks to dad’s job). It was around that time we started playing catch and he taught me how to throw the perfect spiral. He was like Superman to me because he could throw a ball so high in the air!!
When we moved back to California in the middle of kindergarten he put me in karate so I would learn how to defend myself because I was getting picked on (I’ve always been short, small, gravitational challenged..whatever). Then he coached my soccer teams and taught me a lot about the mental aspect and anticipation, anticipation, anticipation, anticipation…that worked, too….it helped me make all star teams. Playing catch, shooting hoops, watching sports on t.v….he did it all for me. I don’t think he ever missed one of my baseball games or soccer games growing up. He watched me water ski every chance he got and always took the time to tell me how he thought I could improve (at everything in life).
He took me to A’s games, Giants games, 49er games, Warrior games, World Cup games….he even took me to meet Muhammad Ali (how many people can say they’ve met him?!?!?). He got me on the field for a Monday Night Football game at Candlestick Park to watch the Chicago Bears vs the Forty Niners…back when Singletary and the Fridge were still playing. That game he saved my life by pulling me out of the way when Steve Young ran a bootleg and was chased out of bounds at the 10 yard line…and nearly ran me over. He flew me to Minnesota so I could watch the Vikings (my favorite team) play Sunday Night Football against the Bears…and got me on the field (that was the season the Vikes went 15-1 with Randall Cunningham throwing to a rookie named Randy Moss). They beat the bears to clinch the division that night. I’ve been lucky enough to watch a Raiders game in Jim Plunkett’s sky box, thanks to my dad. These aren’t all of my good memories, there are just way too many to list (what a great thing, right?!).
I’m not saying everything was roses…we had our battles (what father/son doesn’t?)…and plenty of them. Looking back I can honestly say it was my fault most of the time; just being a selfish kid who thought he knew everything. My dad never backed down though, he never walked away…he was always there when I needed him and he still is. He’s a great father anyone would be lucky to have, and he’s mine…and my sister’s…but mine first 😉
These days I have an even greater appreciation for how great of a father my dad was and is. Being a father myself has opened my eyes to a much larger picture. It has humbled me, challenged me, worried me, motivated me…but most of all…being a father has rewarded me.
Rewards like tonight. It wasn’t anything huge, it was a simple pleasure…but frequently those are the best kind. Getting to spend an evening out with my precious baby girl and smile at the things she says, the expressions her face makes and the hugs, kisses and “I love you’s” she gives me out of the blue. She even “painted” me a picture in one of the apps on the Kindle tonight. She painted the ocean, an island with a palm tree, the sunset (complete with orange, yellow and red colors…and white clouds in front of it). (She and I love to look at sunsets together when the sky has cool clouds that turn different colors as the sun goes down). Yeah…simple pleasure = great night with my daughter!
There’s also the pride when Siena wants to do things I love doing. She has always loved my cameras, and she loves taking pictures. She has a pretty good eye for composition, and not just for a 4 year old…even for an adult! We got her a VTech camera for kids (a pink one) that has a 1 megapixel capacity for her birthday last year. She loved it and took tons of pictures…but eventually she caught on and didn’t seem to be thrilled with the quality of the images it produced (I don’t blame her). She always wanted to take pictures with my Canon EOS 7D because she is keenly aware of the difference…and I’ve let her a few times, under careful supervision. She LOVES it! Could that possibly be because she knows it is daddy’s other baby?? About a week ago I sat her down and showed her how to use our little 8 megapixel Canon PowerShot A630…and explained how to take care of it. I think I created a monster (in a good way…I think)! She takes it everywhere we allow her to!! I cannot express how much it touches me to watch her get so much joy out of something I am so passionate about!!!
Thank you +Bob Machado for being such a great father and a great role model. You provided me with a good road map for my own quest in being a good father to Siena. As long as my compass doesn’t break she should turn out okay (she’s a hell of a lot smarter than I ever was…so I have an advantage!). Happy Father’s Day dad!!!
Okay…I’m done with my sappy post….hopefully it made sense…I rambled and it’s now 1:45am, so it might all be gibberish when I wake up and read it in the morning. Oh well!
I will post more photos of Fleet Week, including the Blue Angels soon.