Vail Valley success: The awesomeness of being Dad |

Vail Valley success: The awesomeness of being Dad

What’s that thing that happens between the time your children are three months old and falling asleep peacefully, lovingly, and contentedly on your shoulder and they they show up past their curfew and in possession of their third speeding ticket?

Oh yeah – it’s called life.

It seems like we go from bottles and bibs to part-time jobs and college in the blink of an eye. It all happens so very fast, like some kind of wild ride, far beyond what Six Flags or Disney can compete with. The warning sign on the rides could be the same, though – “If you are pregnant or think you might be pregnant, if you have back problems, suffer from a heart condition, have low threshold for pain or anxiety, need more than five hours of sleep per night, become dizzy when faced with drama, or if stubbornness causes nausea, please avoid this ride.”

If we took that advice or obeyed that kind of sign, we would surely miss out on the awesomeness that comes with being a dad. You see, somewhere between all of all the heartache and worry, there will be hugs, homemade cards, handcrafted gifts, notes tucked away in suitcases and briefcases, butterfly kisses, and unconditional love.

What if the entry sign on the ride to fatherhood read something like, “If you love the feeling of pride, enjoy giggles, have shoulders made for occasional tears, cherish random and untimed hugs, can play card games, board games, monster, or hide-n-seek, and can provide hope and encouragement while being firm yet fair, please enjoy this ride!”

My daughter recently shared a picture of the two of us that she had created as her background for her cell phone. It is a picture of her as an infant lying in my arms. She is now 15 soon to be 16, and when I think about any of the stress and heartburn that comes along with being a parent, those feelings shrink away as all I have to do is think back to the time when each one of my children rested on my shoulder and the amazing feeling of, well, just the pure awesomeness of being a dad.

Happy Fathers Day to all of you awesome and incredible dads out there. Enjoy this week leading up to that day when our children remind us how much they love and appreciate us. But more important, when we are reminded just how much we love, respect, and appreciate those curfew-breaking, ticket-getting, touchdown-scoring, terrain park-riding, dating, drama-filled, stubborn, butterfly-kissing, hiking partner, and golf-buddy children of ours.

Thank you for sharing your stories. I love the e-mails and can’t wait to hear about your awesome dad’s day at and make it a better than good Fathers Day week!

Michael Norton is a strategic consultant, business and personal coach and motivational speaker, and CEO of He writes a weekly motivational column for the Vail Daily.

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