By Danny Deraney
First Time Feeling Like Dad….
I am not really sure if anybody remembers their first Father’s Day. I do because it was only 2 years ago. I had the privilege to spend the day in my hometown with my wife and child along with my parents. It was nothing spectacular, as I assume how many Father’s Day Holidays rarely are. But one thing I can remember is how long it took me to really feel like a Dad.
Once your child is born, it is pretty surreal. Of course you know in your mind that you are responsible for this child. You know immediately you will protect them with your life. But to me, like so many of us men, their Dad is THE Dad. I am just, me.
My Dad to me is my hero. Why? Well my Dad’s father was never really around. Ok, he wasn’t around period. However, my father vowed that whenever he had children he would make sure to be the best parent he could and have lots of fun along the way. I think because of that, I approach life and of course being a parent that same way.
The first time I really felt like a Dad (as always) has to do with food. I say as always, because most of my background is of Lebanese ancestry. We revolve around food.
So one day, I was thinking of what to make my daughter Lily for lunch. She is extremely picky and I did not want to give her what I know she will always eat. So then I thought of the meals my parents made. The first thing I thought of was my Father’s infamous Super Duper Pizzas!
What are Super Duper Pizzas? Very simple. Pita Bread, Tomato Sauce and Mozerella Cheese. Bake for 5 minutes, 350 degrees.
Growing up, these were practically staples on the weekend. So I figured why not give it a shot. So when Lily started to eat one piece, two pieces, three, etc. I really started to feel that giddiness and warmth like when you are really in love. Ok maybe drunk too, but the point is, I really felt like my father. The feeling since then has never stopped.
First Time Sounding Like Dad….
Another first that I can relate to was when I began to sound like my father at Lily’s bedtime. This was always a great time for my brother and I. Any parent knows that after reading Goodnight Moon for the 236th time, you tend to wish the book never existed. Because of that, I remember my father taking your average well-known story and make the farthest left turn you could imagine. This would make my brother and I hysterical.
There were Three Bears, Papa Bear, Mama Bear, Baby Bear, and look it’s their long distance cousin Samuel.
So one day, here I was, reading to my little girl the story classic story of Runaway Bunny, also the 236th time. Then out of nowhere, I started talking in a silly voice and completely changed the story. A few minutes went by and I realized I was doing what my Father did to us. So when I mention to my daughter that I love her to the moon and back, I come off sounding like Gomer Pyle and say, I love you to the moon and back, then once again because I forgot Mommy and back. Without fail, my daughter laughs on cue. At least somebody thinks I am funny.
First Baseball Game with Dad….
Till this day, not sure who won, but I can remember going to my first baseball game, Dodgers and Giants. We grew up in LA and except for my mother; nobody in our family was a Dodger fan. It was the Yankees or the Mets. But without fail, my Dad took us anywhere from 5-10 games a year. Usually it was against our beloved teams.
My Dad, raised on the east coast, happened to be in New York during the 1977 World Series. The first game I recall was Game 6, when Reggie Jackson hit three home runs. I was mesmerized by the crowd and the scoreboard flashing, REGG-IE, REGG-IE. Then I remember my mother telling me that my Dad was there. I thought that meant at the game, but in reality, it was just in NY for business. When my Dad came home, he brought home Yankee Jackets and World Series Champion T-shirts for my brother and I. From that point on, I was a Yankee fan.
So you can imagine my excitement when last year, I took Lily to her first Yankee game at Yankee Stadium. There we were, eating ice cream, hot dogs and pizza and she sat still there for 8 innings! Heaven! More than once was I thinking of that day my father was in NY and all of the games we have gone to together and continue to.
It is hard to think of all the firsts with your family. Thankfully, with modern recording devices, you can do it more conveniently. Lily can now share her first blueberry, pizza and of course her first Yankee game with her child. The fact is that each and every day is really a first.
Every day is a first because of what you get to experience with your child. To watch it all go by and not have fun along the way is a waste. Once you have a child, you realize like I did that it is the little things that connect us with one another. I am so happy, it’s the connections like that, as small as they are, are bigger than anything we could have imagined. The fact that I can bring the values he gave to me, to my family, is worth everything.
Happy Fathers Day Everybody!
Danny Deraney became a first time father two years ago and is looking forward to sharing many more firsts with his daughter. Deraney is a Publicist and PR Executive for Deraney Public Relations. Please follow on twitter @dannyderaney or visit http://www.dannyderaney.com.