About Me

Born in Columbus, OH. One of six children. I’m a new Dad, and created this site for my son, Atlas.
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Dear Atlas,

It’s me, your Dad.

Right now, you only know me through the sound of my voice, which you hear from the muffled insulation of the womb. You’re still inside your Mom right now!

I realized it’s never too early for me to start writing to you, to let you know how excited I am to be your Dad—and to share with you the love I have for you, your Mom, and our growing family.

I don’t know what the world will be like when you’re finally reading these letters. At the rate it’s going now, I imagine it will be pretty interesting. 2020 was a very strange year for many. Yet, it was also the year when we found out you were coming.

I wish I could write that I feel prepared for your arrival, or that your Mom and I carefully planned the moment when you came into this world. However, that’s not the way things went—or how life tends to go.

The story of you has been an interesting journey filled with plane rides, international border crossings, and a roller coaster of a relationship that sparked the love between your Mom and me.

How I met your Mom is a helluva story. I was living in Ohio, she in California. One evening I got a message from a mutual friend of ours, which read:

“Have you ever met her? I think you two would make a great couple.”

Atlas, that was how things started. Something happened when I read that note: I felt like I was ready to be the other half of a couple. It’s hard to explain, but for most of my dating life, I never really saw the “couple” dynamic as much as I saw two individuals who sniffed each other’s butts for a few months at a time before moving on their way, just like dogs do at a park.

A couple. What did that mean? I saw it as finally becoming a two-person unit that did things together, like live in one home, cook meals, and wake up on rainy Tuesday mornings and see each other. I saw it as finally meeting somebody who would hear me fart, see me cry, and accept the parts of me that I didn’t feel were good enough to offer . . . anybody.

I’ll have you know that I’ve wondered whether or not I wanted to have a family for many years now. My heart knew I wanted a family, but my head was busy trying to talk me out of it. You’ll understand the head/heart battle when you get older, Atlas.

Well, your Mom and I met in California. I flew to Los Angeles to watch her run a marathon (oddly enough, I had a dream I was running one last night) and we drove back to San Francisco together, where I moved into a small room in a shared house.

Your Mom had her own apartment, which was full of her family: her Mom and Dad, two cats, and a dog (Brindley!).

I won’t ever forget how your Mom and I had one date night in San Francisco before the city shut down due to the pandemic. You’ll understand that when you get older, too.

Those few months of being shut in were really difficult. We’d meet in public parks, take long walks, and sit by the ocean while drinking five-dollar to-go margaritas, eating Mexican food, and giving our scraps to the hordes of birds that buzzed around us.

One day your Mom suggested we take a trip and mentioned Tulum. Admittedly, I didn’t know anything about Tulum, other than hearing it tossed around as a trip idea by an old friend of mine. So, we went.

At the time, I think we were both ready to escape San Francisco and what it had become: closed-off, dying, and suspicious. The city we had both fallen in love with was no longer what we remembered it to be. So, we packed our bags and prepared to go to Mexico for a month-long vacation.

Those thirty days turned into much more than that. It’s now March 1 . . . and we went to Mexico last June.

I wish I could tell you that our relationship was perfect and without fights. However, that wouldn’t be truthful. Your Mom and I had an uphill battle getting along. When things were good, they were great. But when things were bad, Atlas . . . they were horrible, and we both did many things we are now ashamed of.

Yet, we persisted, Atlas. We kept showing up for each other, offering apologies when needed, and taking time to learn from the mistakes we made with each other.

The more time we spent together, the more I came to realize that your Mom was exactly the kind of woman I hoped to meet, marry, and have a family with. Is she wild and crazy? Yes. But so is her heart, and I fell head-over-heels in love with a woman who loved me more fiercely than any other I’ve met before.

That’s something I want you to know about your Mom: she is the fiercest Mama Bear you will ever meet. She is strong, capable, intelligent, protective, and gorgeous.

Atlas, as your Dad, I want you to know that I want you to be here. Not just with your Mom and me, but here on this plane[t].

The world is going a little crazy right now, and it’s desperately in need of good people, which is who your Mom and I hope to raise you to be.

We don’t care if you grow up to become rich, famous, or even poor. What we want most for you (and I’m speaking on behalf of us both right now, since your Mom is asleep in the bedroom with you) is to live from the heart. We want you to be somebody who lives a full life; loves others; and gives life to their ideas, passions, and interests.

We hope you will be a fun, creative, and kind young man who is respectful of others, gives to the poor, and knows how to be a good listener.

We’re both committed to creating an environment for you where you will be able to succeed, grow, and feel supported by both of your parents.

As your Dad, I want you to know I’m here for you and always will be. I hope you grow up having the experience of knowing me personally, not just through my writing, but through quality time shared together. I hope I can set an example for you of what it means to be a good person, Dad, husband, and human being. I hope your Mom and I set an example for you of how to have a loving relationship that goes the distance.

More than anything, we both hope you grow up feeling loved in your head and your heart.

In six weeks, you’ll be here with us, and we couldn’t be happier.

Until then, kiddo, I love you and I am so proud to be your Dad.



1 Comment

  • Roberta Plaat

    Reply April 24, 2021 11:22 pm

    Overtones of Opa but the love, passion, transparency, and pen is yours.

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