There are things that trump the Super Bowl–and Seattle Seahawks Cornerback Richard Sherman is the unlikely one ready to prove what’s most important.
The Big Day is coming.
The day you’ve been waiting months for, working hard towards achieving, dreaming of, worrying about. There will be no do-overs for this day. You get one shot. You are the envy of many — some men will never get a day like this. Your team is depending on you to be there. You appreciate the enormity of your privilege and you thank God for the chance to be in these shoes.
You are Richard Sherman, the star cornerback for the Seattle Seahawks and you can’t imagine being anywhere but under the lights of University of Phoenix stadium this coming Sunday, February 1, 2015. Super Sunday.
Or can you?
You are Richard Sherman, and you are also a first-time expectant father.
Your girlfriend is pregnant with your baby, a boy, and expected to give birth in the next few days.
This is also a day that you have waited months for, worked hard towards achieving, dreamed of, worried about. There will be no do-overs for this day. You only get one shot at witnessing the birth of your first child. You are the envy of many men – some of them will never get a day like this. Your girlfriend and your son are depending upon you to be there.
There was a time that your presence at the birth of your child was considered unnecessary and mostly unwelcome.
There was a time when you might have waited in a smoke-filled room with other anxious first-time fathers for news of your son or daughter’s birth— if you came to the hospital at all — and then celebrated with cigars, and hearty slaps on the back.
There was a time when your feelings and opinions about childbirth and childcare didn’t matter; a time when the emotional bond you established with your baby was not recognized or valued as a critical attachment that he or she will need to survive and thrive in this world.
There was a time that you would never have entertained, even for a minute, let alone publicly, the possibility of missing the biggest day in your professional career for one of the biggest days in your life.
But you are thinking about it, and talking about it, publicly.
You’ve been quoted as saying, “It’s someone that actually depends on you for everyday living. Everything they do is dependent on you and how you provide and how successful you are.”
You appreciate the enormity of your privilege.
You’re hoping that you don’t have to choose — and for the record, so are we.
We hope that you get to show up for both of the biggest days of your life, and that you keep on talking about the people and relationships that matter to you most, as a father and a man.
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