Posted on May 21 2017
Road to Fatherhood
When I was 12 years old I established a calling to the world of theater, I set a goal for myself...to be on Broadway! Well, who knew that just 7 years later that would become my reality. I kept setting new goals and then I would meet them, and the pattern continued. Now, at 38 years old, I feel that my life has been a huge success. More than I could have ever wished for, really. But my world has recently been turned upside down. I’m going to be a PAPA! My new vision of success is the child that I’m going to mentor in this world. I’m about to take on the greatest role I will ever play in my entire life!
I find it interesting how people study, prepare, and practice to succeed in certain fields... Doctor’s go to medical school, Race car drivers spend countless hours on the track, Actors learn monologues and study character, movement, etc.... But most people don't study to be a parent. They just figure things out along the way. I guess there’s not really a manual that tells us how to do it, but I’ve found myself simply doing work on ME. Not sculpting myself into something ‘better’; simply taking away what doesn’t work, shedding the layers of bad conditioning, unconscious behavior, and disempowered choices. I want to go into this adventure with a clear vision of the father that I want to be. Children will listen! They learn by example. Like a plant needs sun and water, a child needs love and affection. And, like a plant growing towards the sun, a kid will grow towards love and affection.
Every child has a father, and present or not, I don't think there is a single one of them who is perfect. I have wounds from my father that will stay with me forever, we all do. But as I write this, I’m filled with so much compassion and empathy for my old man. My father worked a lot, and at the same time he was going to school to try and better himself. And as a young child, I took his absence personally. Of course I did, he was my hero. It’s not until now that I see all the sacrifices he made to better our circumstances. I will make mistakes, I won’t always be there to hold their hand, but my children will know my deep heart and inner workings. They will know my true purpose, my essence, the soul of me. But most of all, they will know my undying and unconditional love that I already possess.
I’ll admit, I always thought that I would be a father one day, but I never really put much thought past that. I see a lot of expecting fathers (and fathers of infants) who don’t know their role. They are timid, scared, trying to stay out of the way. That doesn’t sound like much fun to me. I know that sometimes before I go out on stage I might be nervous, my hands sweat, my mouth gets dry... But when I get on that stage, all of that goes away. I’m locked into my performance, totally present and clear minded. That’s how I see myself as a Father; present, proactive, and the most inspired I have ever been.
When I think about the legacy that I will leave behind, I look to one of my idols...Paul Newman. Newman's greatest work of art might simply have been his ability to lead a fulfilled life outside of the glamour of being an actor. He found his true passion in being a father, as well as in his philanthropic work. This sense of selflessness is what led me to co-found SHERPAPA Supply Company. Our desire is to create high quality gifts and gear for the modern family
man. However, this company isn’t simply about selling products, it’s about inspiring men to handle responsibility, set a great example, and to ultimately keep their cool. Fathers today are more involved with the day-to-day raising of children than ever before. Our company’s mission is to support and celebrate this new generation of family leaders.
So here I stand, at the precipice of this incredible adventure. Ready to open a new region of my heart that has been dormant for all these years. Ready to laugh, ready to cry, ready to fly! I’m ready to look my child in the eyes, the eyes I feel I already know, and say, “It’s nice to meet you”!
Stay tuned for more stories of my Road to Fatherhood....