Sunday was Father Appreciation Day…which is cool, but if I were president (or the guy that’s in charge of the national holiday calendar) I would declare every year, “Father and Mother Appreciation Year.” I believe we should celebrate our loved ones daily and not wait for a date on a calendar date to remind us to do something nice for someone. It’s almost as if having a holiday gives you a pass on the other 364 days in the year. “I’ll wait till your birthday or Christmas to get you a gift.” July 4th is when we celebrate independence, and so on. My appreciation cannot be expressed in 12 hours. It will take a lifetime for me to show those close to me how much I appreciate them.
To truly appreciate, we must live in the NOW. Just the other day I was running late for work, and Jett and I locked eyes. Looking in her eyes is kind of like staring at the ocean flowing through the sky, it’s so easy to get lost in them. Eventually, I realized that what I thought was only a couple of seconds, was in fact, thirty minutes. I've had this happen twice in my life now, the first time being when I met my wife. It really feels as if time stops when I look at my daughter, like I can feel a piece of my ego dying and my heart growing bigger. Somewhat like the Grinch. Later, it occurred to me that time doesn't really exist, it's just man's way of not having to live in the Now; not having to truly be awake. We’re constantly living in the past or worrying about the future, all while forgetting about the Now.
On Father’s Day, I looked at all the old pictures people were posting of their dads on pretty much every social media outlet, and it got me thinking, “What would Jett post and write about me in her 140 characters?” There’s only one term that I would want her to use to describe me, and that’s “inspiration.” I want to inspire her throughout her life, every day. I don't want my daughter to have to have to think back and remember how great last week’s adventure with Daddy was. My goal as a father is to always have her think about how awesome right now with Daddy is. I want her to live here, in the Now, with me and endlessly sort through her favorite memories after I'm gone.
The point is, I never want to put off making a great memory with her until tomorrow, and I want to encourage all fathers to spend every day creating these memories with their children. Don’t just rely on the old ones to get you, or them, by.
Figuring out this parenting thing is different for everyone, but the number one thing I’ve learned so far is to be there, be present in the NOW. Because NOW is when it is happening.
Chicago Bears tight end Martellus Bennett and wife Siggi are living the #JettLife.
See more of Martellus's stories here.
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