Imagine that you’re in a hospital room surrounded by yellow splashes of light. Soft beeps pulse from an array of medical equipment almost in rhythm with your own careful breathing. Iodine, adhesive and sanitization chemicals waft steadily across almost impossibly cold air as low whispers sneak across the otherwise still, quiet world.
You dressed sensibly with Sole Protector equipped Air Jordans that seem to kick even the simplest outfit up a level or two. The shoes fade in and out of focus as thoughts drift between your precious, exhausted partner and your new, precious child. Scared, worried, anxious, happy, sleepy and testy all mix into one big messy emotion. Yes - a little of each. What you feel is massive even though your new baby weighs less than air. You’ve lifted heavier loads but somehow the tiny bundle is by far the heaviest. In those first moments between father and child, all the world stops long enough for the reality of nine months to sink in. Today - that day everything changed.
Everything changes with fatherhood - redefining long held perspectives and your own identity. In a flash - father, dad, daddy morphed into - you. Each label wraps around and squeezes like skin. It’s all involuntary, you either accept it or spend life in crazy denial. People will offer to “help” as if it's that simple. The questions you have can’t be written down like some kind of study guide for a weekly quiz. Grades? You wish! It’s all barely pass or fail. No extra credit, no makeups and no grade forgiveness. They don’t even provide a textbook for father studies. They expect you to reach expert levels on social media, finance, fashion, and tech while coaching a socially distanced pee-wee ball team. Clearly the game is rigged - right?
Most could agree that what makes a good father varies for a million reasons but without a doubt, there are also many things that any father can relate to. Rich, poor, celebrity, unknown, old or young, we can all relate to time, change, loss and dreams..
Steph and Riley Curry 📷:Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty
“I didn’t know how much that would blow up and how much of a splash [Riley] [would make] on the scene. If I could take that one back, I probably would, just because my goal is just to … give my kids the best chance at success and at seeing the world in the proper way … trying to give our kids the best chance to be successful and have a normal life in terms of treating people the right way, having respect, not getting too bigheaded and feeling like everything’s about them.” [Step Curry Press Comments about the 2014- 2015 NBA Season and the exposure his daughter received].
Everyone knows that with fame comes all kinds of challenges. When you add family to the formula, little things can escalate into very big things faster than it takes to press “send.” Even if you have a squeaky clean rep, one day you may “lose it” and voila, your kids are being hit from all angles with questions, threats, accusations and other truly damaging consequences. As a father, you always worry about safety but as a celebrity dad, it’s probably more involved than making sure they don’t talk to strangers. Yes, there are harder ways to live but the burden a celeb dad must carry deserves fatherly recognition. Remember, the cameras are always rolling and “influence” equals celebrity; so you too could become famous - no experience required. To those who make their living in the spot light with press conferences, show appearances and autograph signings - Happy Father’s day to you!
Good health is a temporary state. The same goes for just about every aspect of life. Things change - constantly with most of that amounting to “good” times and “bad.” When things are good, dads get something resembling relaxation. With the good comes understanding, patience and time. Good times are precious, so if you are enjoying a good stretch; may your streak last for many more Father’s Days. If you are working your way back to goodness, please know that you are not alone. As a man you already know this but as a father it’s essential to remember in your darkest hours. Life also has a way of throwing chaotic change into the mix. A Hurricane, a snow storm or a “pandemic” that impacts generations of fathers and their families. Becoming a father means that once again your world has changed but it also means there are others like you. People who are moving through the cycle all wanting the best for themselves and their families. As you navigate the twists and turns, we wish you a Happy Father’s Day and humbly offer 20% off your next Sole Protector purchase.
Even after you embrace the realities of time and change, loss never gets easy. Losing something small; a few dollars, a favorite tool or a foolish bet can evoke some kind of emotion. Losing bigger more meaningful things like jobs, health and family can change a person’s entire perspective on life. The last few years have redefined loss for so many, making winners and losers indistinguishable among fathers and their families worldwide. As COVID-19 peaked, reports of kids becoming orphans played across the airways with the consistency of weather reports. COVID-19 was supposed to be less dangerous to children yet many lost their lives long before their parents could even worry about funding college.Widows, widowers, orphans and generational loss have touched us all in some way or other over. So on this father’s day, we would like to acknowledge loss and its opposite - hope.
Hopes and Dreams
A child’s first step is special because it confirms something. In those first clumsy moments a father sees strength, health, goodness and the first confirmation that his child will be ok in this world. In those first steps hope becomes reality. Humans love a good story so we expand those first steps into national championships, weddings, world changing impact and our own parts that have made the hero whole. When hopes become dreams life is worth living. All those hopes and dreams in a few steps? Wait till they say their first words! The world has no idea what’s in store - do they pops? If you are alive and can still hope; you can dream. And if you can dream, the pursuit of those dreams will make life worth living.
📷: Marcus Jordan, Michael jordan, Jasmine Jordan and Jeffrey Jordan | CREDIT: JEFFREY JORDAN/INSTAGRAM
Consider two fathers; Michael Jordan and Dell Curry. Both were professional basketball players with successful careers - with Michael Jordan being the standout. Both men also have sons who played college basketball but only Curry’s sons transitioned to pro. One of Dell Curry’s sons just won his 4th NBA title as a superstar even though his brother was considered to be the better ball player. The Jordan kids have chosen to follow dad into business with their sister providing inspiration for the “Heiress” line of Nike Air Jordan sneakers. What are the odds? It’s the stuff dreams are made of.
Seth Curry, Dell Curry, & Steph Curry 📷:Sports Illustrated
So to all dads, father figures and those who care about them; Happy Fathers Day, best wishes as you maneuver through life’s obstacles and may all your hopes offset the losses.
Happy Father’s Day! Share your favorite memory below of your father (or father figure) or your favorite memory since becoming a father for a chance to receive a Sole Protector gift card. Don’t forget to use code “DAD” to save 20% off your next Sole Protector purchase. (Valid 6/17/22-6/20/22).