“The smile of a daughter is the secret purpose of every father.” — Unknown
It seems that I end up writing this same sentence every year, but it’s hard to believe one more year has quickly gone by as I enter a new chapter of fatherhood. This is the sixth installment of my annual WAG article chronicling my journey through fatherhood and the fight against the proverbial dad bod.
What I also find myself stating repeatedly each year is how much I love everything about being a father to my daughter, Juliet Rose. Every year I tell myself, “It can’t get any better than this.” And then it does. Every year I wonder how will I be able to keep up? And then I do.
New morning routine
I’ve started a new morning tradition this past year: Every morning when I get up and say “good morning” to my daughter, I pick her up and then get really excited, proclaiming, “Woohoo. I get to be Juliet’s daddy today and every day for the rest of my life.” There is nothing more I cherish and appreciate every day than the fact that I get to be a father, and I want my daughter to know that every single day. It also puts my day in perspective, reminding me what is truly important as my day commences.
I’ve also incorporated one other daily routine into my schedule. This is often at night when the house is quiet. I think about this question: “What can I do tomorrow to make my Juliet happy?” In other words, how can we celebrate and take advantage of each day we have together? If there’s one thing we’ve all learned the last two years, I hope, it is that our time is not to be taken for granted or wasted. I want to go to bed each night saying: “That was a great day. I can’t wait to do it again tomorrow.”
To me, it is never about how much “stuff” she gets. It is about the moments, the experiences, and always being there for her. Stuff comes and goes and gets forgotten. Seeing Juliet dance with Minnie Mouse until her face was red during a surprise appearance for her thrid birthday, getting a New York Mets player to say “hi “and throw her a baseball at her first game and watching Juliet play with her friends at the local park are just a few examples of times that we will treasure and remember.
The answer is always ‘yes’
Over the past year, I’ve learned that there is one question that can stop me in my tracks. No matter what I am doing. No matter what’s on my mind. No matter what type of day I’ve had. “Dada, will you dance with me?” are six of the most wonderful words that I can ever hear. She is my daughter, my dance partner, my little princess and my world.
What is interesting about parenthood is that we set an example and teach our children the best we can, but what I’ve realized is that they end up teaching us just as much. If Juliet sees me frustrated with something, or maybe looking a little stressed, she will often say, “Daddy, it’s OK.” And then I chuckle, because when these trivial situations are put in perspective, everything really is OK in the grand scheme of things. Indeed, they are more than OK.
What lies ahead
When discussing parenthood with several of my clients whose kids have grown up, they often remind me, “Little girl little problems, big girl bigger problems.” So I understand in a lot of ways these are the easy times and bigger challenges as a parent lie ahead. Another client often reminds me that there are two things in life that do not come with instructions — handling your money and raising a child. All I can do is the best I can and be there for her. She’ll make mistakes. I’ll make mistakes. However, it will be how these mistakes are handled and looked at as learning opportunities that will truly define us.
Another year in the books and another exciting year ahead. Her first year of ballet, tee-ball and kindergarten is on the horizon. And I will be there for every moment — with a big, proud smile on my face. In just a few short weeks Juliet turns 5 years old. I’ve tried to make a deal with her that she needs to stay 5 forever and stop growing up, but from what I’ve heard this isn’t likely. A father can still dream, can’t he?
Reach Giovanni at GiovanniRoselli.com.