So this morning I woke up a day older, but something was different. Something tugged at my heart strings. I looked to my left and baby Selena was sprawled out on my bed taking up all the space of course, I look at the clock and its 550am and 4/25/2019 and I just cant stop the memories from flowing through my mind. 18 years of memories flying though my mind, I cant tell you how long my eyes swelled this morning just thinking about today. Today my first love turns 18 years old. Yes we raise our babies to be successful adults and “leave the nest: so to speak. But this is getting real very fast. She leaves to summer college on 6/14/2019 and then she will be back home in 6 weeks to prepare to go back to school in august. I don’t know how to live any other way, yes I have my wonderful wife and youngest daughter and of course my main man nix. But I’m so lost right now just thinking about it.
All of you who don’t know, Vanessa saved my life. She is my savoir, the reason I am here today and the reason I am the man/father I am today. You want to talk about life teaching you lessons? try being a dad before you get your high school diploma and have a job making 5.80 and hr with no sense of direction or responsibility. In all reality I thought I was going to be the worst dad ever!, I could barely take care of myself, I wasn’t concerned about raising a life I was concerned about living to see the next day. Crazy how life works huh? I was just happy to wake up the next day, and all of a sudden I’m a daddy?. I’m not going to sit here and lie to you and tell you I have always been the perfect dad because I don’t think I have. Being a great dad was a process for me, understanding what being a father meant was more than just kicking it with my kid. I made some very bad decisions in life and to be here to tell this story is because Vanessa taught me what life was really about. My family is also a huge part of this, because They were there to not only help me with Vanessa but to help me realize what being a father is all about.
Vanessa is truly my best friend, because when came to the realization that the only thing in life that mattered was Vanessa. She is all I had which was perfectly fine for me. I struggled when she went to her moms because I had no idea what to do with myself, I cut a lot of people out of my life and just focused on me, so I rode my bike or hung out on a friends porch and talked but I stopped going out. So when it came time to pick my baby up again I was ready! when Friday came I was at school waiting, I never missed anything! I made sure to be there no matter what! we have a daddy daughter connection that can never be replaced.
There are times when I lost my cool because I was very short tempered and the only thing that kept me leveled was Vanessa would grab my hand and talk to me. Transitioning from the life I used to live to being a dad was hard for me. I had to learn to turn the other cheek, and to walk away and to learn to pick my battles. But if I felt someone made a choice and that choice somehow endangered my child I would lose my shit and Vanessa was right there to keep me leveled. I don’t know if she knows how many times she has saved me, how many times I was close to losing it and she has saved me from making the wrong choices. The older she got the better she got.
When Vanessa started playing softball it created a new level of bond between us. We are both competitive so we always wanted to be better, not my older blogs will tell you how hard I was on her. I look back and if I was a better coach I could of done it differently but I wasn’t, so I had to use straight up old school drill sergeant tactics. I made her cry, I pushed her and pushed her and she always loved me more and more. I sometimes thought to myself that she would one day hate me because of it, but I think she is stronger because of it. She is a OLD SCHOOL type player that takes no shit from anyone and will put her body on the line for you if you ride for her!
Vanessa has been through more than she will ever tell in her life. Although she wont admit it I know she carries a huge weight on her back because of some of the things she has went through, and I remind her to outwork everyone! because when she looks back and that weight is finally off her back she will breath freely and enjoy the success of all her hard work! remember that sometimes those who smile the most, are hurting the most. That goes for all of us! one thing I taught her was never let anyone know what your thinking because if they see emotion they use it against you, and that’s a life lesson not just a softball lesson. To be prepared to be hated for no reason, the better you get the more they hate. Don’t ever give anyone the joy of cracking your foundation, because all in all that’s what they want even if they sacrifice themselves to do it. To meet people learn from people and find the rare friend that you can call family, because everyone else is going to use you to either piggy back off your success or try to hurt you from within.
I have tried my best to raise her to be everything I am not, but I have failed. Because I can proudly say she is everything I am and although it scares the life out of me, she puts her leadership to a different use that I did. Vanessa is a 5 star general! she is the leader you want leading your pack! age means nothing when it comes to true leadership, her presence is felt when she is around. That’s the truth, not me just being a dad, ask the many that have met her or played against her? she is everything that I wish I was. She is the reason my heart beats she is the reason I smile, she is the reason I am who I am today, she is the reason I go to work, the reason I’m a good father, the reason I am who I am today.
Vanessa today you are 18, its a new chapter in your life and I am so proud of you! you will forever be my little girl. I know I can get overwhelming sometimes but I love you! and I know you are going to kick ass as an adult! Everything you do and have done in life I have tried my best to be there, I hope that I never fail you, I love you more than emotions can feel and words can say! Happy Birthday