The ways the world changed when I heard my son cry for the first time were imperceptible at first. A commercial where a father hugged his child would give me chills, a diaper commercial would glass my eyes. The news became unwatchable.
But bit by bit, I grew into fatherhood, alongside my husband and son. Our son Gabe is now 18 months into the world, and from that very first moment in the hospital when his voice filled the world for the first time, I knew my life's job was now a protector. I was Gabe's Daddy.
Alex's Lemonade Stand found itself on my radar at a time when I was grateful that our son was in good health, growing stronger and bigger every day. I knew other children, other Gabes, other Daddies, maybe didn't get the same roll of the dice that we did.
And in our community, now, it is more important that we reach out hands to those who need it than ever before. The world gets smaller if you let it, if you build walls around yourself. But we must actively reject the inclination to turn inward. Gabe needs to learn to hold doors, to say please, to meet eyes and faces with smiles and humility.
The best way we can teach our children how to love is by doing it ourselves. This fall, I'm running two races to help support kids who need that love and support. Partnering with Alex's Lemonade Stand, I'm raising money for kids who can't grow as big and strong as Gabe on their own, who need our help to cross finish lines of their own.
And so I reach out into our community to ask those to join me, to teach our children how to care for others and to lead by example. If we're born with legs that can run, with voices to be heard, we ought to use them.