The first time I failed as a father
Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate,
Ok, so it wasn’t the “first time I failed”, but it felt like it. 8 years ago when you were born Izzy I swore to you that I’d always be there for your activities. And for 8 years I kept my word. I was there for every doctors appointment, school open house, preschool graduation, music program, parent/teacher meeting, gymnastics practice, lost tooth, and swim meet. It wasn’t always easy, but I made it…and I kept my promise.
This Tuesday was the first time I felt like I failed you. You had a swim meet in Fairview, but we were short staffed at work during a week that’s our busiest time. It’s a 70 hour week for me that only happens once every 6 weeks. In the past I’ve found a way to get to your swim meets even during my busy work week. But this time, with our team short handed, I made the hard decision to let mommy take you without me. You didn’t seem to mind, but I was broken-hearted.
While I was driving to work mommy called me in a panic. She was crying. I listened through her sobs as she told me that you two were suddenly throwing up all over the van, Max and Kate. She was an hour from home by herself with no changes of clothes and I was another hour away headed into a busy work week. And then there was you, Izzy. The first swim meet of the year and I wasn’t there and now Mommy was stuck without my help and two sick 3 year olds.
I talked to my leader at work and explained that I would likely be leaving for the day. Family comes first – no matter what. I’m lucky that my employer gets that and agrees. Just as I was about to leave, Mommy called me back and let me know that another of the team parents would keep you at the meet and bring you home, so that she could take Max and Kate home. So I stayed at work, but I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that my mind was on you the entire day.
I wondered how the meet was going. I wondered if you were doing well after focusing on gymnastics over the winter instead of swimming. And I wondered if it bothered you not having me there to hug you after every event – it’s always been that way. It bothered me. I called mommy throughout the day asking for updates on how the meet was going.
It’s a slippery slope for parents. Once you miss that first “thing” for your child I’ve heard that it becomes easier. I never wanted to start down that road and so I did alot of soul searching on Tuesday and once again vowed to myself to never miss your events. I can’t promise you that it will never happen again, but just like the promise I made to you 8 years ago, I hope and plan to keep my word. It’s my job, as your dad, to be there. There’s nothing more important than making eye contact with you as you get out of the pool after a race or smiling at you and mouthing “good job” after you practice your tumbling routine.
As it turns out, you did great at the meet. You did 4 races and won them all – without me. No surprise, you’re turning into quite a little athlete. The little girl who fell and broke both of her arms in the first grade – nothing holds you back. I’m proud of you, but not because you’re good at what you do, but because you’re my baby and you show such grace win or lose.
It turns out you were okay without me. It was me who wasn’t okay without you.
Last night we came home to an awesome surprise. Your new Louis Garneau tri suit came in the mail. You immediately put it on and started asking questions about which races you could do and how soon we could start practicing riding and running “fast”. All in due time baby.
Here you are modeling your new Louis Garneau tri suit:
Daddy got some new Garneau and Rudy Project toys too:
Look for video reviews and high def images of these products on TriFatherhood.com in the coming weeks.
I love you,
Sunday: Biked 1:10 / Ran :50 BRICK
Tuesday: Swam 1100
Wednesday: Ran 3 miles
thursday: Swam 1100
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