You cannot be great at many things. In my profession, we have a saying that the study of the law is a jealous mistress and will tolerate no other... Before my daughter was born I worked at being a great lawyer. It consumed my every waking moment. My wife went back to work a week after our daughter was born, and thus began my journey to today.
Today, I have custody of her half of the time. Her mom filed for divorce when my daughter was 15 months... She was enrolled in day care by her mom. I quit work during the weeks I had her. And during the first 6 years of her life, I stayed home, changing my schedule to accommodate her. I also spent every vacation with her, going on untold adventures during my time with her. She and I are inseparable... I spent more time with her during the first 4 years of her life than my father spent with me in my entire life...
Now I am a good lawyer... But I am a great dad. When it comes to being a dad or being a lawyer - Dad always wins. Gone are the new cars, private planes, and unlimited spending... She has a constant teacher, playmate, instructor, protector, adventurer, guardian, and role model. I accommodate her mom as much as I can, speaking positively of her whenever possible... I never speak negatively in front of my daughter. I am sad every time she's gone. Her presence brings life to the house and meaning to my life. As I listen to your show, I am always amazed at women (and some men) who voluntarily give up time with their children. There is no sacrifice I wouldn't make for her, for time with her, just to hear her sing as she talks to her dolls. When I was a child, I made silly sounds to amuse myself, only to be chastised for doing so. She does the same and I revel in her voice.
We have limited control on the world around us, but to our children we can create adventures, tell stories, read books, wake them up with songs, spend hours listening to them talk about their world and help them explore it.
I used to be a great lawyer - Now I'm a great dad. Until my last breath, I will be her protector, guardian, teacher, adventurer, and Dad. She is the reason and meaning for my life.