Friday, January 24, 2014

It's Called Gratitude

If you are as big a Beastie Boys fan as I am you are probably imagining the bass rift of their song Gratitude right now. "When you've got so much to say, it's called gratitude, and that's right!"

I am a week away from attending the Dad 2.0 Summit in New Orleans and I am pretty excited. After all, this will be my first blogging related conference and my third conference ever in my life. I am a big thank you note guy, thanks to the training of my wife and in laws in the practice of writing letters but this post is going to be about all the people I need to thank for getting me where I am today.

First of course, is my wife. Without you Susie, I wouldn't even be here staying at home with the kids. I wouldn't have sought out other dads like myself to connect with. Without you pimping me out to other guys we saw at the playground or wherever you saw a dad alone with his kid, I wouldn't know many guys. I would have isolated myself and constantly wondered what it would be like to have other at home dad friends.  You helped me become more outgoing and you believed in me. You bought me the DADNCHRG vanity plate and you helped me own that by suggesting that I blog. For that and so many other reasons, you have helped me be a better man and father.

Next, I have to thank the National At Home Dad Network, whose members have instilled faith in me enough for me to become the blog editor and be a voice for stay at home dads. I am attending thanks to them as a representative of this organization, with six other guys some of whom will be presenting at the conference, that I consider my friends and brothers.  The convention in Denver this year was only my second but I already feel like a part of a family.

Also, to the Dad Bloggers group on Facebook which was created by Oren Miller of A Blogger and a Father. Being part of a community that helps and supports each other is an amazing feeling. The opportunities that many of you have extended to me and other bloggers is amazing. I feel that sense of community with you online and I can only imagine what that translates to when I meet you all in person. Finally, I can refer to you with my wife something other than "one of those dad bloggers" when I come back and tell her all about it.

Through that group I found Jeff Bogle of Out With the Kids, who has helped me co-found Philly Dads Group with the help and support of Matt Schneider and Lance Somerfeld of NYC Dads Group. I have also made friends like bloggers Don of Daddy Newbie and Eric of Dad On The Run whom I have already had the pleasure of hanging with at the AHD convention. Eric and I co-admin a Stay At Home Dad Group on Facebook just for dads!

Bloggers like Whit Honea and Tom Burns have helped me get my thoughts and feelings, triumphs and failures out to an audience that I may never had reached otherwise via The Good Men Project. People like Tommy Riles of Life of Dad who has asked me to be a contributor to the site and to be a part of a group that gets dads involved with brands in the best ways possible, to help dads get more recognition for the good work they already do around the world.

If I were to name you all, this post would be endless and the minute that people spend on my blog would probably decrease. But, from the bottom of my heart, thank you all. Thank you for the support, the faith, the encouragement and suggestions. Thank you for believing in me as much as I believe in all of you. You have all helped shape me in some way whether it was through laughter, your own writing, or a comment you left for me. I am full of gratitude because of your words, thoughts, or actions. I am looking forward to making connections and lasting relationships with you in person at Dad 2.0. Look for me, I'll be the tall guy trying to talk to everyone.

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