There are things I swore I’d never do as a dad, and this is one of them. Right here, right now, sitting the grass, watching my daughter begin to cry — she’s fighting back tears and trying her best to keep it together, as her friends toddle off back to the soccer — I feel like the lowest human being in the world.
Scum. Garbage. Santorum.
Who makes his daughter tear up over a stupid game?
I swore I wouldn’t be “that dad” — the one who takes things like sports so seriously that he ruins the very essence of sports itself: fun, camaraderie, learning to be a good sport. But in the heat of the moment, I said something stupid about her lackluster playing and turned a glorious, sun-kissed day into one of the worst of my life. I watched her take the criticism and turn it over for a moment before beginning to cry. She’s five.
This is not the introduction to the sporting world I had envisioned, for either of us.
I always thought I would be more chill, more of a roll-with-the-punches type of sideline dad who revels in hard work and having fun. This little moment was a life lesson that I know will stick with me for the rest of my child-watching sports days: It’s a game, lighten up, dude; it’s supposed to be fun. I just wish that I didn’t have to learn it the hard way, as the one who really suffered was my daughter.
The episode got me thinking about all the things that I swore I would NEVER do as a dad. And yet, I wound up doing all of them any way. This is, indeed, the most dramatic and the one that constantly plagues me. But there are other, thankfully much lighter things, that I find myself doing now, despite the fact that my pre-kid self would probably shake his head in disbelief. (If not come right out and mock me altogether.)
So here you go, the things I never thought I’d do as a dad. I’d love to hear yours in the comments.
Slideshow photos: Morguefile