In 2016 the Chicago Cubs ended the longest championship drought in sports history; finally winning the World Series after 108 losing seasons.
This week another championship drought ended. After 17 long years of tirelessly blogging late into the night, publishing my wild and erratic thoughts and ramblings onto the web, I won the Canadian Dad Blogger of the Year award presented by SocialDad.ca.
(if you know me at all, you’ll know that the entire previous paragraph was written with my tongue in my cheek and a goofy, sarcastic smile on my face as while the details are true, there was no “championship drought” for me because this is the first year the award existed and I’m so honored and grateful to even be nominated!)
My first blog was published on Tuesday, August 13, 2002. I know this because it’s still there on Blogger.com. (no, I didn’t link to the actual post... that’s just too embarrassing!) Prior to that, dating back to 1994 I filled diaries and journals with pen and paper.
In addition to having eight blogs over the years, I’ve written a dozen or so scripts (many of which were performed in high school), a Christmas musical, a couple of screenplays (one being virtually identical to The Last Man on Earth - just conceived and written a full decade before Will Forte had his version produced on Fox), the syllabus and all class content for two college level courses and I’ve got the page numbers written already in my forthcoming, best-selling book.
I’ve always loved writing. I always have so many thoughts rattling around, that writing is the only way to release the pressure that keeps building up in my head. But what I’ve lacked in my writing for so many years has been purpose or passion - which are the vital ingredients for quality content.
Then microblogging emerged (and I know many of you reading this launched your platforms WITH Twitter in and around 2007/2008) and while it made the allure of blogging that much easier and better, it made the issue of having quality content that much worse. Almost overnight, everyone suddenly had the opportunity to publish publicly what they ate for lunch.
Fast forward a decade and I found myself as a Dad to three kids under the age of two. I found myself as a Dad to twins. Not long after my twins were born, I found myself as a stay-at-home Dad supporting my family by raising our kids, changing the diapers, doing the shopping, cooking the meals, cleaning the house and doing the laundry.
Then just this past year life took multiple detours and I found myself as a Dad to three special needs children; two with an official diagnosis of Autism. Then a couple months later I leveled up a notch when my two year old daughter got a Rett Syndrome diagnosis too - a rare debilitating disease that no one has ever heard of before. To top it all off, somewhere in there my body started to shut down and it was determined that I’m at the beginning of my own fight with MS.
And just like that, I’ve got quality content to write about. If I can’t find purpose or passion in an evolving story line like this, I’ll never find it anywhere. Just one of those story lines would have been enough… but to combine them all has been overwhelming to say the least. And maybe this is my purpose. To be a voice for Dads who can relate with any of the above.
Because in the end, I’m just a Dad.
Well, I’m not “just” a Dad, but what I mean is that I’m no different than you. You have challenges and triumphs in your day that you’re navigating just like I do. We’re no different. You’re doing the best you can for your family just like I am for mine. And when you put your kids down to sleep at night and look up at the moon, I’m looking up at the exact same moon that you are looking at.
You’ve got a story too. I’ve just decided to write about mine and share it publicly. If you aren’t already, maybe you should consider joining me. Because it’s through sharing our stories with each other that we realize we’re not alone in this exhausting journey of fatherhood. And together we find the strength to change another diaper, answer another question, listen to baby shark one more time, cook another meal, load another minivan, fix another toy, wake up at 5AM and still find the time and strength to write a blog about all of it.
And you never know… if you DO decide to join me in blogging, maybe next year YOU will win the Canadian Dad Blogger award.