Growing up, the one thing I wanted more than anything was to make my family proud. To do something so outstanding that it would carry my family’s legacy. I was always a timid little boy that wanted to please my mother and father. I think we all are like that, even when we get older.
Ever since my mother passed away more than a year ago (my dad passed when I was 16), I’ve been very emotional. I can’t thank them enough for how they provided for me and gave me the best life they could offer. I didn’t have toys or nice clothes to wear, but obviously they gave me ENOUGH. If I had had everything I ever wanted, then why would I have pushed so hard to accomplish everything I did in the past? It’s nice to be spoiled by your parents and to have them do everything for you, but then why would you work hard? And would you learn anything?
My parents gave me what they could, and I created a work ethic that put me in a position to do amazing things. Don’t get me wrong; God blessed me with my physical abilities and the will to succeed. But my parents allowed me to participate in sports and gave me a platform to achieve my goals. How? They allowed me to make mistakes. They did NOT enable me. They let me fall on my face and forced me to pick up the pieces and press forward, by myself.
Many parents are afraid to let their children make mistakes, and allow them to quit when they could grow stronger. For example, when a child plays baseball, has a horrible game, and tells their parents that they don’t want to play anymore. That is exactly when my mom and dad would have stepped in and said, “You’re not quitting at ANYTHING!! You will stick with it until the end of the season. You’re not a quitter.”
So to this day, I keep pushing myself to make my parents proud. And it has shown me what kind of father I want to be. So Kyra, Kody, Giulia’na, Sophia and Baby #5, I will absolutely do whatever I need to do make your lives successful. You will have to work hard, and when you fall, I will be there. Not to pick you up and dust you off, but to be your #1 cheerleader so that you can do it on your own. I promise all of you that it will make you stronger.
Thanks Mom and Dad. I miss you both. It’s damn true.