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.

Time seems to be moving at a million miles an hour, while standing still at the same time. It feels this way because you are coming. Soon.

Usually, moments of finality are accompanied by unpleasant things. However, that’s not the case with you. I feel a tremendous amount of excitement for the day you arrive, and for all that will follow as our family dynamic comes to life.

It’s a complex emotion, though. And I wish somebody had given me a better explanation of what to expect as I prepare for your birth and take on the responsibility of being a Dad. Since nobody gave me “the talk,” I hope I can impart some of my experience to you years before you ever have a family of your own.

When somebody asks me if I’m excited about your birth, there’s always a slight pause before I give an affirmative answer. Why the pause? Because I see the infinite number of things that come along with your birth.

Having a child isn’t the same as buying a house or a car. However, I think a house is a good example to use.

A new homeowner is incredibly excited to walk into their new house. However, they also have a realization that behind the doors of their house is the responsibility to maintain, furnish, appreciate, and live in the house. It suddenly becomes a very real part of their life experience with a sense of finality they probably didn’t have while they rented.

You look at the house and begin to wonder about all of the memories that will occur inside of it: eating a family dinner, inviting guests over, experiencing the inevitable fights/disagreements and the simple joys that come with occupying a space with somebody you love.

You know, things like cooking together, having coffee in the mornings, relaxing after a long day, being there to watch your partner say “Ahhh” when they take their bra off after a long day (and the joy that comes with that moment as a man . . .).

I digress. Back to you, Atlas.

There’s a lot that comes with you entering our lives, and I’ve never, ever felt the way I do now as I prepare for your arrival in my mind, body, and spirit. I see you being a tremendous participant in our family’s happiness—not the source, because that’s a lot of pressure to put on a child.

Rather, I want you to know that you are an integral part of our family. After all, the word family wouldn’t really be the case if you weren’t a part of it. Rather, your Mom and I would be a couple, as many people are who don’t have children.

I used to think having a child would only be a lot of work or responsibility. So, the notion of having a family really worried me because I didn’t associate it with the joy and memories that also came with having a child.

Honestly, kiddo, it seemed like nothing more than a burden and something to be terrified of.

I’ll tell you when that moment changed for me, because I think you ought to know.

One evening, your Mom and I were going to dinner at one of our favorite places in Tulum (we live there, by the way!) and she mentioned she had a surprise for me.

It had been a very long day for me, and I didn’t know what sort of surprise she had in store. Would it be a gift? A back massage? A new pair of underwear? Yes, these were my initial thoughts . . . you’ll understand someday.

Instead, she pulled out a small piece of paper with an intricate symbol drawn in black marker on the back of it. She slid it across the table, and I began to read the note by the light of the candle.

Someday, you’ll read the note, which has gone through many evolutions and repairs.

It was the announcement of your gender.

Here’s a paraphrase since I don’t have the note in front of me: “. . . two pairs of Plaat footsteps walking in the sand . . . Father and Son.”

“We’re going to have a boy!” I said, looking up from the paper. Instantly, a wave of emotion hit me, and I began to shed tears of joy.

A son! You! Another Plaat!

The moment was incredibly special, Atlas. We couldn’t contain our emotion as the waiter came to the table, seeing the excitement and tears in our eyes. We shared with him that we were having a son, and he offered his congratulations—and even gave me a hug, right on the spot!

A hug from a stranger during the pandemic was a rare treat.

That moment, Atlas, was the moment when all of my worries about having a family were met with the joys that would inevitably come with you. I wish I had an answer for why they didn’t come until that point. However, I don’t.

Timing is an incredible thing. And, in our case, I’m glad all of the anticipation and joy waited its turn before showing up.

The story of you has been an incredible one, Son. I’d venture to say it’s more like a miracle than a traditional birth story.

Every child is special, Atlas. But I think you are especially special—after all, our taxi driver called you “El futuro de Tulum.”

The future of Tulum.

I love you, Atlas. Your Mom does, too.

Te veo pronto, hijo.


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