04/01/2013 04:13 pm ET Updated Jun 01, 2013

Grab Your Moment, Dad

Ask me what I like about being a dad. Seriously, ask me.

Because I think I finally have an answer.

I've always liked being a dad. But I've never quite felt like I could explain why I like being a dad. Hitting the nail on the head with the perfect answer has been hard for me. If pushed for an explanation in the past, I'd probably talk about how much fun it was to have kids. Or maybe I'd discuss the joy of teaching little tykes new things. For some, kids complete the family. That's certainly the case for me. So I might tell you about that.

And you'd probably be fine with any of those answers.

But they wouldn't have gotten to the core of what I really value in fathering.

In the past few years, however, I've noticed that the golden nuggets of fathering are often found in those unexpected nook-and-cranny moments of every day. Those seemingly insignificant sound bites of parenthood. They aren't really the things many of us discuss. They just happen. But I've come to learn the importance of absorbing them. And letting them sink in because, quite candidly, cumulatively, those are the things I like most about being a dad.

I started thinking about this the last couple of weeks as I've watched a new ad campaign by Dove Men + Care. Featuring basketball greats Dwyane Wade and Jay Bilas, the series of commercials shows these celebrities doing the normal activities familiar to dads everywhere. Bilas is shown teaching his son how to tie a bow tie in one commercial. In another, he has that right-of-passage driving lesson with his daughter. And Wade? He's shown playing with his brood.

End of story, right?

Dove Men + Care calls them "Real Moments."

WATCH: Real Moments

But after seeing these spots several times during March Madness, I've come to realize that they hold the key to what I truly treasure about being a dad: the moments that are mine and mine alone.

  • I was out of town on business yesterday and my teenage son sent me a text. Out of the blue. "How art though?" was all it said. A moment. Mine.
  • I was doing laundry the other night. And in the bottom of the clothesbasket was a shirt my college daughter accidently left from the prior weekend. And, oddly enough, I loved finding it. Just a fleeting moment. But it was my moment.
  • With all my kids, when they ask me to wake them up, I always try to take a nano-second before I nudge their shoulder and just look at them. I don't know why. I always have. It's a moment for me.
  • Crazy, huh? But these are the things I like about being a dad.

    They're fuel. They are reminders that the bad stuff will pass.

    They're my stripes. Badges.

    And my tether to another human being who has given me the gift of fatherhood.

    So the next time you ask me why I like being a dad, I hope you have a moment. Or two. Because I actually have plenty to tell you.


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