I was sitting at my desk the other day thinking about Father's Day. Father's Day is a special day to honor the amazing man who raised you. My dad is incredible. He set the bar so high for me when it comes to men. He came to this country at 26 years old and worked so hard to get by and raise his family. He was also an excellent step-father to my older sisters. He has been there for us every single day of our lives, supporting us, loving us and teaching us. I knew that one day, the man I chose to be the father of my children would have the same amazing qualities my father has. When I asked my dad what has been the greatest voyage in your life, he said "ser papa" or "fatherhood!"
I met JC in 2011. We both worked at the same engineering firm. I was already a mom and he was already a dad. JC became a dad at 19. He was in his first year of college. He was scared and didn't know what to do. He didn't have the greatest example to learn from either, his dad ran out on his family when JC was only 11, never to be seen again. Like my father, JC emigrated to the US from Cuba. Only difference, he was only 8 years old. He had it rough but he vowed to himself that the day he had kids, he would be the greatest father ever. He says that he remembers holding Amberly as a newborn and knowing that from that moment on, playtime was over. He was going to set an amazing example for this little girl!
JC had his second child, Gian Carlo, at 21. Once again, still young, still in college and now with a full-time job and a toddler at home. Life got insanely hard for him and the kids mom and they decided to split up in 2008.
Now a single dad and college student, he knew he had to go all the way. He would go to school and work all week and then see his kids on the weekend. He struggled but made it through. A couple years later, he graduated with a degree in Architecture and was working at the engineering firm where we met!
(first pic we took together! Babies!!)
We started dating quietly for a couple months and then we decided to introduce our kids to each other. Adrian first, since I am a single mom and always with Adrian. I was nervous as could be but I was confident that JC was a kind man that would embrace Adrian. I was right. They have been pals since Day 1.
They are friends. Sure they argue but it's all based out of love. Adrian adores JC. He is his "Papa." JC calls Adrian "my son." It melts my heart everytime I hear it. They are with each other everyday. Honestly, JC is the perfect example of a father! He treats all three children the same. He supports them. He loves them. He plays with them. He is stern when he needs to be and kind the other 23 hours and 45 minutes of the day. He goes to every sporting event, every play, every show, every school program, everything the kids are involved in. He is present in his kid's lives! He has used his past as groundwork for parenthood. He has even taken on one of the most difficult roles in life, being a stepfather, and made it look easy! He is our anchor, our rock, our everything!
I asked JC the same question I aked my dad. What has been greatest voyage in your life so far? He said "fatherhood! it's been amazing!" For Father's Day, I wanted to get him a gift that represented a voyage, something to remind him all he has been though and all the excitement to come. While I was at Macy's the other day, I saw the new Nautica Voyage cologne. It was a sign. I suddenly remembered him telling me that when he was in high school, he always wore Nautica and now there was a Nautica Voyage set right in front of me. I had to get it for him!
Nautica colognes are for the "gentle man!" An everyday hero. A man who is excited for his future and actively chases his dreams. Nautica Voyage symbolizes a man on a journey and I think there is no greater journey than fatherhood! Fresh, cool and aquatic, Nautica Voyage sets sail with top notes of green leaf and crisp apple. An aquatic heart of water lotus and drenched mimosa echoes the very essence of Nautica. A rich blend of damp moss, musk and refined woody amber anchors the fragrance with a deep and undeniable masculinity. The deluxe gift set I purchased is available for $65.00, a $128.00 value. This gift set includes: 3.4 oz Eau de Toilette, 2.5 oz Aftershave Balm, 2.5 oz Shower Gel, and 1 oz Eau de Toilette. It's the perfect gift for that special dad in your life!!
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OK now that you have read all about the amazing dads in my life, please tell me about yours!!