Almost 17 years ago, I ran down Central Park West looking for a specific chicken sandwich. My adrenaline was in overdrive as I raced by horse-drawn carriages and taxi cabs. I was experiencing the happiest moment of my life and felt that everyone needed to know why. As I ran, I approached a slender man walking a small dog. As I got closer, I realized it was Charlie Sheen. While running across his path, I yelled, “I just had a baby boy!” He smiled in his Charlie Sheen way that you can probably imagine and replied, “Congratulations.” And then he nodded and winked as I ran ahead.
After giving birth, my wife had a very specific request; a spicy chicken sandwich. Since I watched her bring a very special life into the world, I would’ve given her anything she wanted. Retrieving a chicken sandwich was the least of the things I could do for her. And so, shortly after sprinting out of the hospital and alongside Central Park, my encounter with Charlie Sheen occurred.
This is a story that I often tell at parties and when groups of dads get together to discuss birth stories. I enjoy telling people the first person I told I was a new dad was Charlie Sheen. 17 years later, I still love sharing that I’m a dad. It is foremost who I am. I’m a lot of things, but a dad is at the top of the list. Since that day, no matter what I do, I do it as a father. I ran the streets of New York City that day as a daddy. Today, I went to Costco, worked on a book I’ve been writing, and cleaned the house as a daddy. Later, I’ll go on a run and I’ll do it as a dad running.
Being a father changed the way I look at everything, including myself. When I held my son for the first time, my old life stopped and a new one began. That little baby is almost 17 years old and when we speak, he’s at eye level with me. I still love to brag about him and share with the world how much I love being his dad. And the same goes for my other 3 kids. They continue to teach me things about myself and the world around me. And because of them, I want to better myself and the world around them.
There are only 4 people in the entire world that get to call me dad and those 4 people continue to inspire me to be better at everything. And to Charlie Sheen, thank you for offering my first congratulations and for giving me a little story to tell.
You might also like these stories:
A Boy and His Dog: Reliving the Day My Son Chose His Stuffed Companion
Throwing Away My Shot and Hitting a More Fulfilled Life
An Apology to Sigourney Weaver, it was my son’s fault
An Interview with Liam Neeson on How Fatherhood Directs His Life