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Challenge…Accepted…Sort of

January 6, 2011 1 comment

WordPress, the service I am using for this blog, has challenged it’s users to write at least one post a day or one post a week during 2011 and I have been mulling over that for the last 24 hours, debating whether I should take up the daily challenge.

I’ve decided to take up an expanded version of the once a week challenge and challenge myself to write something for this blog three or four times a week.  I have been neglectful of this blog over the last few months and missed out on a couple of good opportunities and themes.  I want this to be more consistent and this time next year, I want to look back and be proud of a full years worth of posts.

The reasons I want to do this is complicated, but at the core are two things.  The first is that I want to be a writer and not just a person who writes something on rare occasions and decides to call himself a writer because it sounds cool.   It’s what I want to do for a career.  It was what I wanted to do in high school.  It is what I sort of did in college.  It was my identity, but now it feels like lost opportunity and time.  Now I am rusty with my writing and in desperate need to develop good writing habits.  As WordPress put it in the opening line of their challenge, “to write more, write more.”  I have other goals around writing this year outside of this blog that I hope to also tackle, but this is where I begin.

The second reason is really two reasons in itself…Benjamin and Matthew.  I firmly believe that even if they were 35, they wouldn’t understand what a “Intranet Community Liaison” is, because I have very little idea what it is.  However, they love books…they understand books and I want them to understand me.  I don’t really hang my heart out on my sleeve and I often struggle to speak my thoughts and feelings.  However, give me a computer or a pen and paper, and I can express who I am and what I feel.  I think Benjamin and Matthew deserve to know what goes on in their daddy’s head, when they are old enough.

Not to mention that this blog is about them and for them and the growing relationship between them, Andrea and I.  They bring me such joy in my life that sharing that with them, through this blog (and time, of course) is the least I can do before the memories fade away.

So, that is what I am challenging myself…three or four short posts a week and one longer one.  And I hope all of you enjoy it.

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It’s The Papa!

June 22, 2010 Leave a comment

One day, when my son Benjamin was about two years old, I went to his daycare to pick him up.  He was just coming up the stairs as I entered the foyer of the school when he caught sight of me.  A huge smile came across his face and he pointed at me with his little index finger and yelled, “It’s the Papa!”  There was such a joy in his face and eyes and I don’t think I will ever forget that moment.  He is just about five years old now and when I think of him being a toddler, it is always that little face on him and the shine in his eyes that I think of.

In the past I have defined myself with a number of words and phrases…A husband, a son, a brother, a friend, a Mets fan, a Giants fan, a writer, a computer guy, a webmaster, a Media Relations intern, an Intranet Community Liaison (yeah, I have no idea what that means either), a kid from Jersey, a New Yorker, a Pennsylvanian, a shy guy, a kid at heart, a spiritual man, a Youth Minister, a Roman Catholic, an Irishman and the list goes on and on.  Some of these I have been good at and some of them, I haven’t, but it is being a father that, now, is more important than anything else in this world that I succeed at.

Being a father…being a good father…well, what could possibly be more important to me?  There is so much at stake in this role.  And I am so far from perfect in that role.  There are some days where I am so far from perfect, make bad judgments or punish them too harshly and I just want to crawl into bed and hope that one day my sons will forgive me, when, they probably have already forgotten it.

The funny thing is that every one of those other roles, from husband to Mets fan to Irishman, are absolutely crucial to being a good father, I think.  As a husband, I need to show them, by example, how to love and respect others, especially their mom.  If your a Mets fan, or even a Royals fan, embrace it and pursue it with the passion you feel.  Know your heritage and history…know where you came from, because it can help you figure out where you are going.

This is the journey that I am on…The journey of learning who I am and how to be a good daddy…learning how to be “The Papa” and to live up to that light that was in Benjamin’s eyes that  day.  And that’s what this blog will be about.

In a way, this is a blog into the future…a blog for my sons.  They can’t read it now and won’t understand it for years, but, it is my hope for them that one day, they too will be daddies.  It’s my hope that my journey as their daddy will help them when they are feeling less than perfect in the role and it helps them through a tough time.

I am the papa to Benjamin Thomas, 4 and Matthew Robert, 3.  In the coming weeks, months and years, I am going to be sharing with you, that journey.