Sunday, June 15, 2014
ROLE MODELS START WITH DADS
My dad worked at Yankee stadium with he was 15 years old. He'd travel by himself to and from the Bronx on the subway. There were no cell phones. There were no parents driving back and forth. There was just good ol' fashion responsibility, work ethic and the desire to prove your worth in society...even at 15 years old.
He tells the stories of him learning the ropes from the veteran ushers at Yankee Stadium. They taught him how to jiggle his pocket full of change when you sat the patrons in hopes to get alittle tip. He worked hard, even at 15 and over the years, after the service and marriage to my mom, he taught my brother and I the same about working hard to earn your keep. It took. That's a role model. That's my dad.
I could tell you dozens and dozens of stories about my dad. All of them are important. Most of them would be considered life lessons, because that's how my father operates. It's by the book. It's honest, it's clean and it's admirable.
Today is Father's Day. I'm not gonna lie, I'd like to just do nothing, but because I'm usually full of nervous energy and anxious... I'm sure I'll man the grill. Although, truth be told, my wife makes probably the greatest pulled pork sandwich on the planet... and I know that will be a must for me.
The kids will run around and my parents will come over for that pulled pork and macaroni salad and maybe a few pops. My dad and I will talk and drop the F bomb like we're having a sit down with the boys in Bayonne.
It's like Sopranos, except we're not connected... we're just Italian.
Now that I'm an adult, and I have my own family, my old man and I can relax a bit. We talk shop, life, kids, baseball. Hey, we even talk BYB. I think in the back of his mind it's a huge accomplishment, even though he doesn't get Twitter and social networks and all of that. I mean, this is a guy that, as a kid, would go out on summer days on his bike and was told, "Be back by dark."
I'm in a different place too. It's a much different time than when life was innocent and I was little and I had zero responsibilities years ago. People depend on me now much like my brother and I had depended on my dad years before. It's a cycle, a life cycle and it's been said that as each generation grows, they are to be more well off, and doing just alittle better than their parents before them. I'm not sure about any of that. All I know is that I do my best because my old man taught me that. I'm simple that way. I just know that when I look at my kids and my wife, they make me the happiest and richest man in the world. The other stuff just doesn't matter as much.
These days, raising my own, I can't keep up, but damn I'm trying. Times have changed and I take the advice of my parents to make the right decisions that are in the best interest of my family, but there's always those bad days where we think that maybe as parents, we blew it. Parenting is tough, no lie, but when I stop and think about the situation and take a deep breath, I see it clearer, and have a solution. That's because I was raised right.
I leave you with some important words my father once said to me. Now granted, I cleaned it up for my BYB audience, because if you REALLY heard what my dad told me the morning I came home after an all nighter of partying in the city, you'd never come back to read BYB... you'd be shocked like I was that morning, but I cleaned it up and it means exactly the same thing. He said:
“You can be a champion all your life, but you miss 1 commitment, you lose trust in 1 person… and the rest of your life, you lose.”
That line has been a thread in my every move from that day forward. It's made me what I am today. It's what I have become, it's what my family has become and it's what Bleeding Yankee Blue is today as well. It's an important statement. Use it and live it. Stay true to the ones around you. Be dedicated. Be committed. Gain trust. Be nice. Fight for what's right. Work hard and never give up, not on yourself, not on your family. The grind is brutal, we know that, but when you understand respect, commitment and dedication, it all comes together nicely.
Today is Father's Day. Hug your old man... and give him a "buy back." Remember all those days in years past when he told you that he was proud of you? Give him a hug, and let him know your proud too.
Dads are where role models begin. I know... because I have one.
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at 10:00:00 AM