San Francisco stole my heart

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I have read my friends posts about their thoughts on the Dad 2.0 Summit and I am at a loss. How do they sum it up so eloquently? Fresh from the most amazing weekend of my life and I am finally left without words. I have no words to describe my new-found motivation, how full my heart is from the love of new friends, or how much I am going to miss being around like-minded people. Words sometimes can’t do a feeling justice. So there is no try.

Reading an article about one of the most personal and raw moments of my life was freeing. It is a heavy burden carrying those feelings around on your shoulders for 7 years only to set them free into a crowd of peers who hold no judgement. I am told by many that everyone was here to support me. This is  often  something said to make people feel better but in this case it was so true. Nothing but support, high fives, hugs, and pure unfiltered love.

So what I am left with? What is the takeaway? Or simply “What are you going to do now?” as my new (and amazing) friend Mike posed. A powerful and important question that has resonated with me in the days since the conference. I must admit I sit in worry because of how well people have received my writing. What if I let them down? I am after all a delusional man with questionable writing skills.

In my best efforts to answer that question I think back to everything I have learned, the moments, friendships, panels, keynotes, hugs, and shop talk. I feel I have been given something great and powerful and it is my duty to do things differently.

We are the voice of modern fathers, our weapon is our words and the way we live our lives. We converged upon San Francisco to make the effort of bettering ourselves. So it would be less than  responsible of us to leave San Francisco without having a major takeaway.

The real takeaway for me comes in a form I never expected. Hundreds of men rally together and give their hard-earned money so 6 people who otherwise could not afford to go to San Francisco now could. I am one of those men.

Takeaway.

The scholarship is now named after a man whom I owe so much to because he started the Dad Bloggers group. To be awarded something with Oren Miller’s name attached to it is an honour I am not sure that I will ever consider myself worthy of. But I will humbly accept it.

Takeaway.

My roommate Mike leaves the conference early, sick himself but his true intentions are tending to his kids who have high fevers. He does this despite looking forward to 2.0 all year and missing a highly coveted event at Lucasfilm. That is fatherhood.

Takeaway.

My other roommate Victor gets a Facetime call where his kids miss him so much they are crying and wanting him to come home with every ounce of their beings. Fighting back his own tears he calms them down and assures them everything will be fine…from many miles away. I have chills listening to him. Later he Facetime’s his girl back so she can jam with her favourite Star Wars character, R2D2. Something she will remember forever.

Takeaway.

Real fatherhood shows itself in the trench’s. These words I write? They are just words. Words on a screen do nothing to better my kids lives. They are just words.

I have a takeaway from almost every Dad/Mom I met or spoke with. As these takeaways manifest themselves I will slip a private message to each guy/girl but until then I will sit in a state of contemplative reflection. I said it before and I meant it, life long friendships cultivated over the weekend.

The message is so important. This weekend will not retire from my brain or heart. Not for a long time.

 

 

 

Weekly Web Roundup!

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After a hiatus this series is back! Every Friday I show you the most awesome things I have found on the web in the past week! Eventually this column will make its way to my YouTube channel but that is an announcement for another time.

JUSTIN JUST SHOW US THE STUFF YOU FOUND!!!!!

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My fatherhood story.

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I have thought about posting this for years but could never find the words. Today I just sat and wrote and the words came. This is my unconventional story of becoming a father.

I walked down the quiet and empty hallway of my dorm building for the last time. My fingers lightly grazed the wall as I walked, almost as if I were trying to soak in all the remaining memories I could through my finger tips. It was a place where I felt accepted and loved. All of it was ending. I didn’t want to leave.

A few hours earlier I found myself driving.  A million thoughts collided through my head as I tried to comprehend what was happening. I remember telling myself “this is a moment you will remember for the rest of your life” as my white knuckles gripped the steering wheel. I was right.

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Minification is an Art

Life in 140

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I wanted to re-launch sooner than this. Seriously I did. I wanted to come back here and with my first post tell you about how I have been intricately planning every minor detail of the new blog. How I was working tirelessly for months choosing the right design, picking the typefaces, planning the structure, setting up guest bloggers, filming YouTube videos, and lining up sponsors.

I wanted my website to become huge and make my mark on the dad blogger world. A Canadian magazine on life and culture, yes I could be king. If only there were not things called kids, bills, and life. That pesky threesome always gets in the way of my best plans.  So there I sat one day, completely overwhelmed at the scope of what I wanted to do vs. what I could do. I often face this crossroad in my life and I bet if you look deeply inside you can relate on some level. I tend to over commit and try to go big. When I want to do something I have to be the best at it and I focus all of my attention and energy in its direction until the wheels start falling off everywhere else.

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