To the most special boys in my life: Jaxon Jet and Conway Bo,
Although you are nowhere near able to read this on March 4th 2018, one day when you are old enough, you will. Your Dad has had quite the journey up to this point. A life of uncertainty and what is happening next. I’m on my way to Bradenton, Florida to start my first ever spring training for the Pittsburgh Pirates. It’s been 5 years and I have preparing my ass off for this moment. I can honestly say I am filled with every emotion in the game right now. Love, anxiousness, pride, and focus to top the emotion filled plane ride.
I have heard all my life that I wasn’t a natural baseball player, I wasn’t smooth, I was just a football player out there trying to keep up. I NEVER believed any of the critics. I loved this game too much. Stepping away was extremely tough to do, but I saw a life opportunity for a game that I knew I wasn’t number 1 in my heart, but at the time for a 22 year old, was number one in my bank account!!
The universe has a funny way of doing things. Your mom is a big believer in the secret power of the universe. She has told me that, I left baseball back in 2012 to come back to Stanford to meet her. Football then didn’t work out as planned due to injury, but it was so I could come back to Baseball and play for the love of the game. Lastly, both of you were born when all the stars aligned so that you guys could be a part of this process and a part of this amazing journey.
This trip is all about following your dream. Since I was 4 years old, I absolutely loved the sport of baseball. I played it all my life up until I played in the NFL for the last 4 years. I would be remised if I didn’t follow my dream. Because as a parent, all I will tell both of you is to follow yours. It will be the most important thing you will ever do. Follow your passion. I not only wanted to teach you that, but I wanted to lead by example in hopes you do the same. You guys are the most important things in my life. I will fight everyday to make sure you can follow your dream. Don’t let anybody ever tell you anything different.
Love: this is an easy one. Since you both walked into my life 19 months ago and again 8 days ago, I have discovered a love that I never knew possible. I was age 24 and had my fair share of experiences, and figured I had most of life figured out. I have loved before, the Gaffney family emits loves from their pores and that was a foundation for me. Next, I wasn’t even ready for a relationship when I met your mom but I fell in love with Mama and I fell hard. Boy was I not expecting to have you, Jaxon, but it was the best thing that I never knew could happen. You opened my eyes to a love that only parents get the chance to know. I have taken full advantage of that love and work on it every day. Fast forward to Feb. 23 2018, Conway Bo. Your mom and I were nervous that we didn’t know how to love or make room for another baby in our life. Jaxon occupied us all the time. Little did we know that your love only grows and gets stronger. I can honestly say that I love you both with all of my heart.
Anxiousness: of course I have some anxiousness. I’m so excited to be out there and perform. I want to show everybody the true athlete I am, and the hard hard work I have put in. I haven’t played baseball for 5 years now, and I’m heading to the top tier of Baseball to figure out if I am truly capable of this. I am confident! I am confident in my skill, in my athleticism, and most of all in the work that I have put in to get to this point. I am ready for this.
Pride: I am so proud to be both of your Dads. I thank you everyday for letting me be a part of your life, although you have no choice in that, I do. I choose to be there as much as I feasibly can. I’m proud of my decision, although hard and emotional, to follow my dream and where it’s going to take my family. I wanted to walk the walk, as I will preach to both of you to follow your dreams. No matter what. That is the most important thing, follow your love. I can’t stress that enough. You guys are the greatest humans ever, and you don’t even know it yet.
Focus: I am focused. I am focused on the task at hand. Playing a sport I have loved since I first took swings off a tee. I am actually flying across the nation to make this happen. I have been sharpening my sword in silence and practicing for this moment for months now. Although a little rusty, I am well prepared and ready to learn everything I need to succeed. As much as this is for me, it’s even more for you. To prove that following your dream and giving it all will take you to unimaginable places. Places you always dream of, but now becoming reality.
Your younger and just as cool Dad in 2018.