A Side I Never Knew I Had

Stars On Ice

I’ve experienced a lot of emotional changes since becoming a father, but crying at a Stars on Ice figure skating show was probably the most baffling one yet. I attended the show with my soon to be three year old daughter and had no expectations about how she would react to it. As it would turn out, we both loved the show but this is far from a theatrical review.

I always consider myself to be a lucky father, in that I have a regular day job and weekends free to spend time with my family. The blogging has provided my family with further opportunities but even without that, I feel blessed to get as much time with them as I do. And as much fun as it is to do group activities, it is the one on one time with my kids that I cherish most of all. This is the time that they get to shine and it’s especially great for me because they show me sides of them I rarely get to give my undivided attention to.

In my daughter’s case, she is very excitable and also has a tremendously big heart. She is so excitable in fact, that we once had to walk out of Madagascar 3, but not for the reasons you would suspect. We had to leave because every time a new character came onto the screen she would yell, “Lion, Lion, Lion!!!” or “Zebra, Zebra, Zebra! We saw a zebra at the Zoo!!!” Hilarious and frustrating at the exact same time because she didn’t understand why we had to leave.

Watching her excitement at Stars on Ice opened up a whole new realm of emotions that I never knew I had in me. I melted at the way she would yell out when she recognized a song, clapped vigorously at the end of performances and especially when the pairs skaters hugged at the end of their routine and she remarked, “Aww, that’s so nice”. The kicker came during Kurt Browning‘s “Singing in the Rain” performance. My daughter was getting a little tired but I have always wanted to see him skate that one live, so we stuck around. She sat quietly on my lap, hand in mine, with her head resting on my shoulder and we enjoyed the final skate.

I’m not sure how to describe what happened next. I’m guessing it was a mix of the perfection of the moment, the grace of the performance and Brene Brown’s vulnerability speech stuck in my head but I was suddenly forced to fight back some tears. I still have no idea what happened but I’m pretty sure it had everything to do with that little girl and the pride I have in being her father. It’s a side of me I hadn’t seen before but is definitely something I am willing to embrace.

For those of you who don’t know Brene Brown, here is one of her Ted Talks. She spoke at Dad 2.0 Summit and I carried her message back home with me.

5 replies
  1. Amber
    Amber says:

    This was super sweet to read. My husband is one giant heart stuck in a mans body. He took my daughter to see the Justin Bieber movie, and he cried at Justin’s powerful story.

    I’m grateful that his comfort with vulnerability has allowed me to soften up too.

    Dads like you guys rock:)

    Reply
  2. Nick
    Nick says:

    Thanks for sharing this story! I can’t remember the first time I had such a reaction to my daughter’s reactions, but I know they never seem to stop. From watching Disney on Ice and seeing the sparkle in her 3 year-old eyes to listening to her sing the latest Colbie Caillat song with all the passion her 8 year-old voice can muster, this dad cries more than I like to let on.

    Reply
  3. Dr. Josh Misner
    Dr. Josh Misner says:

    Thanks for sharing this! What you experienced was in direct relation to a finding I discovered in my doctoral research, which, funny enough, I just posted about last night on my blog. In moments of mindful presence, it causes us to savor the moment, which also causes a catalyst for self-reflection. In those powerful moments, we suddenly see the beauty of our role as fathers, which is extremely moving!

    Reply
  4. Jason
    Jason says:

    In a home with three brothers and a dad that have the emotional depth of a greeting card, it’s nice to know there are other fathers out there that have heart as well. It’s not been the easiest to be a sensitive person around that kind of family. I’m good now though, as I’ve got my own crew in my own home, with a wife that loves me for me. Thanks for sharing!

    Jason
    The Cheeky Daddy

    Reply

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