I had a fairy tale childhood, right up until my mom died when I was 17. At that point, my dad took over as both mother and father and he did an amazing job. More than amazing. I have written many times about the greatness that is my dadΒ (including my ESPNW story about his escape from Cuba) but today, in honor of Father’s Day, I want to touch on what I call:

The Greatness of My Dad Part II – Being A Grandfather

Papi and his two best buddies!

Papi and his two best buddies!

I had two sets of grandparents when I was growing up and, I never had anything even close to the experience with either of them, that my kids have with my dad.

When we were in Italy, we had the pleasure of sharing our cooking class experience with two women from London. When they met all of us, and found out we were all traveling together as a family, one of them said “What an amazing experience for your kids to have with their grandparents!” Yes. Yes it was.

Enjoying dinner as a family in Sorrento.

Enjoying dinner as a family in Sorrento.

I know some grandparents who have an attitude of having already raised their kids and don’t want too much involvement with their grandkids. That is pretty much what my experience with my grandparents was. Boy are they missing out! My dad and stepmom are the complete opposite. If it takes a village to raise a child (or two), then they are my village and I’m so privileged to have them be such a huge part of our lives.

When I was a kid…

My grandparents didn’t take me for a walk let alone go skiing with me, even though my brother and I skied quite a bit…


On our annual trip to Okemo!

On our annual trip to Okemo!

And, my dad does not ski so he’s definitely there to just be with his boys and his family…but really he’s just there for the boys.

When I was a kid I was kind of afraid of my granddad and would never have…

Asked him how to spell penis.

Asked him to have “breakfast cookies” which are really just cookies…for breakfast.

Asked him to tell me stories about when he was a kid growing up.

To tuck me into bed at night.

To wake up with me in the morning.

To always be there and never leave.

These are all things my boys have asked my dad. And yes, they eat breakfast cookies despite Memere’s disapproval.

Papi is really just a big kid so...

Papi is really just a big kid so it works out well.

When I was a kid my grandfather never taught me um…pretty much anything…

There are so many tangible things my dad has taught the boys (fishing, how to tie a rope belt, how to swing and climb, how to tell a good story) but it’s all the intangibles that will stay with them throughout their lives. My dad is the very best person I know and the more my boys can learn from him about how to treat other people, the power of giving and how to be eternally grateful, the better off they will be.

Teaching the boys to fish in Lake Winni last summer.

Teaching the boys to fish in Lake Winni last summer. Vaughn may or may not have his hands down his pants. There’s always a possibility of that.

It’s never too late to be involved with your kids and especially your grandkids!Β I cannot tell you how muchΒ fuller our lives areΒ with my dad and stepmom in them and as a huge part of our family. My boys are incredibly lucky to have them in their lives but I know my dad (and stepmom) would argue that it is the other way around.



Hug your dad or granddad today!

Did you have a relationship with your granddad? Do your kids have one with theirs?