My Dad, Rich: The voice in my head

No matter what, I still need to know what he thinks.

He’s always up there.

My dad, Rich, is the voice in my head, whether I like it or not. The past six weeks, my wife and I have been looking for a house, and I’d be lying if I said there wasn’t a part of me that paused to think about something after every house we looked at: what would dad think about this one?

It doesn’t have to do with needing his approval or permission to follow through on a plan; a son never stops wanting to know what his dad thinks. Again, a voice in my head who won’t shut up.

A son never stop watching their dad, hoping to be noticed. When I got my first writing gig at KSDK News, I called my parents. My first story could have been gibberish, but they needed to know. “Dad, what do you think?” When I was a kid playing baseball in Kenard Elementary, I wanted my dad to watch me bat. Playing catch was an event, because I tried to be as accurate as I could with the throws.

I didn’t go to film school; I went to Rich Buffa film school. We created an institution at places like Esquire, Kenrick, Des Peres, and the Tivoli. A movie would be seen, an experience would take place, and on the way home, my brother Bryan and I would pelt my dad with questions about its plot, ending, morals, good guys, bad guys, and the acting.¬† Continue reading “My Dad, Rich: The voice in my head”

Fathers Day: Don’t take it for granted

Fathers Day is a reminder, painful for some, that being able to call your parents shouldn’t be taken for granted.

Call your parents. Please don’t forget. Whether you are close or not, it’s important to call. It’s a rarity that a talk with your parents goes smoothly. One side is thinking about one thing and the other side is more than likely deflecting topics to get off the phone. It’s awkward sometimes but damn it, please talk to your parents. Keep in touch with your family because sooner or later they will be gone and you may not get a warning.

When it comes to life, there is no script or plan. Things happen and only part of the time is there a reason or theme attached. I’m a lucky guy. I grew up with two All Star parents who kept a roof over my head, worked hard to provide for my brother and I, and didn’t give up. As I sit here 34 years old and counting, I am very close with my parents, especially my dad. We are best friends and so much alike it is scary yet cool at the same time.

I am not entirely sure what I will do when my dad goes. I am not sure how I will act or care to be perceived for weeks or months. I may just want to shut down. I may want to hit something. I may want to cry. It is a day that I can’t even think too long about because someone up top may notice and push it in motion to challenge me to react. Life doesn’t warn you about a loss coming. It just takes something away and waits to see how tough you are as a result. I need my dad around and every son or daughter should at least make an effort to speak to their dad. Continue reading “Fathers Day: Don’t take it for granted”

Fathers and Sons

What Fathers Day means to me and how my dad helped shape me as both a parent and a good man.

IMG_0347When Father’s Day comes around, I instantly think of my dad and how he shaped me as a man. It’s as simple as that. While others celebrate your parenthood and try to give you rest and gifts, I always think of my dad and our interactions when I was growing up. Those interactions made me as strong as I am today. Without being overly stern or too soft, my dad taught me how to be a good guy and also be direct and blunt at the same time. My wicked sense of humor comes from my dad. My volume and the ability to take over a room with my voice comes from the old man. When you are given a good set of parents, it’s hard to mess up your relationship with them as you get older and take on responsibility.

When my son was born, I knew I was going to have to rely on my own instincts and abilities to make it work. It’s not impossible to be OWNED by a human being who stands up to your waist and doesn’t have to use a toilet yet. You have to be ready. It has been an interesting run and most of the time, I am coming up with a plan on the fly. Then again, I would be lying if I said I didn’t incorporate my own dad’s teaching when trying to discipline, protect and generally take care of my 2 year old son Vincent.

I am still close with my dad and that won’t change, which makes the idea of Fathers Day kind of trivial. I don’t need to have one day a year where I hang out and appreciate my dad. I do that pretty much on a weekly basis. That’s the way it should be. Only bad children disregard their parents when they get past the teenage years. Remember the next time you are embarrassed by your parents or don’t want them around that many kids are deprived of their parents at a young age or stripped of them at birth. Remember that thousands of children had their dad taken from them on 9/11. Remember the hundreds of thousands of parents fighting overseas and protecting our country on a daily basis who can’t be with their children.

When you don’t take advantage of a good chat with your mom or dad, there are few more sad things in life. When I am down and need a lift, I call my dad. I try to call him just for the hell of it and not just when I need help with a bill or a car repair. Good kids celebrate fathers day a lot more than just one day out of the year. That being said, call your parents more often. Trust me, they won’t get tired of hearing their kids filling them in on their lives.

Continue reading “Fathers and Sons”