I want my children to learn through you that one person can make a difference and that the most effective way to lead is not through words, but through one’s actions.
Some people will talk about you behind your back because they’re jealous of you. But some people will love you because of who you are. They will love you because your daddy took the time to help their son or brother when there was no one else that wanted to deal with him.
My Dad sacrificed time with his own children to help raise others, but what I hope he knows is that I and my sister were watching and learning how important it is to love those around you and show that love through action.
Always remember that I learn from the examples that I see. You are my first heroes and who I want to be when I grow up. Please set out large shoes for me to fill. I am counting on you.
They will grow up on the field, awaiting the end of the 4th so they can run into their daddy’s arms and the hugs and kisses will be just as sweet regardless of what the scoreboard says.
Then there are nights when he rushes in the house as if he is on fire and asks if the kids are awake. When I say no his face drops and the disappointed is written all over him.
They look to us, they rely on us to set the tone. We are their guide through this busy season and how we steer them will determine whether they grow up respecting or resenting their fathers.
Your dad and I will be your biggest cheerleaders no matter what you do and no matter where life takes you. We love you more than you will ever know, and nothing will ever change that.
Not every kid has a team full of older siblings who care about what happened in school today or who will listen to the plot line of your most recent favorite Disney episode. You get to have them over for dinners or make them snack bags for the road. You get to make them signs, cheer them on, and even get a high five after the game. You get to travel and tailgate.
What I do know is there will be many more days filled with tears as we drive away from the field. There will be many more missed moments and milestones that have to be sent to our coach via video. And there will be more days where 40 minutes is all we can get.
But there will be many more highs too.
I get excited when the last quarter rolls around and that clock starts winding down. Mommy reminds me that football minutes are a little longer than REAL minutes. But even if my eyes are getting heavy, the excitement around me keeps my energy up.
Dear Coach Daddy,
I know you worry about me.
I know you wonder if you’re doing alright at this Dad thing, if you’re gone too much, if you’re striking the perfect balance between work and family.
But I just want to tell you something, Daddy.
I love that you’re my dad.
I love running out onto the field after games and leaping into your arms, trying to catch my breath as you toss me up into the air, sure that I’ll hit the stadium lights from flying so high.
I love playing hide-and-go-seek in the field house and sneaking candy from the coaches’ stash and hiding under your desk as I try to unwrap it with my tiny little mouse-fingers.
I love running the bases after baseball games, up and down the court after basketball games, and into the end zone after football games.
I love the anticipation of a team dinner, getting to color pictures for “the boys” before a game, and waiting to give them high-fives after a win … or a loss.
I love watching you and telling everyone in the stands, “That’s my daddy.”
I love that I have a dozen big brothers (or sisters) who tickle me and give me hugs, who know my name and make me feel special because YOU’RE my dad.
They love me mostly because they love you.
And yes Daddy, I miss you sometimes.
But I see how hard you’re trying to be the best dad.
I see when you walk through the door and your eyes light up when you spot me sprinting your way, but your body is a half-second behind.
I see when we wrestle on the floor after dinner, and you let me pin you down a little easier every time, but we go another round anyway.
I see when your eyes grow heavy while you read me books, but you barely make it to the end just so you can tuck me into bed and kiss my forehead.
Someday, these will be my childhood memories. And I won’t want to trade them for anything in the world.
Someday, I’ll thank you for teaching me things, like determination and coachability and the difference between roughing the kicker and running into the kicker.
A couple of those things will come in handy in life.
I love you. And I’m so proud to call you Daddy.
You could lose every game you ever coach, and I’d still be your biggest fan.
I’m Always and Forever,
Your Coach’s Kid