The Middle Dom
My dad’s name was Dominic, even though he went by Donald throughout his military career. (There was a lot of prejudice against Italians back in his day.)
I’m Dominic, Jr. To honor my father, I named my son Dominic III.
That makes me the middle Dom. And I’m the luckiest of the three.
This Father’s Day weekend I have the chance to reflect on how much better my life is because of my dad and my son.
My dad grew up in a tough neighborhood during tough times, which often leads to a wayward life. But instead of falling down that hole, he became a man of responsibility and discipline.
He married my mom, who was raising four kids on her own, and he became an instant father. He brought order and love – albeit tough love, sometimes – to a somewhat-chaotic situation. And he brought a lot of laughter.
So my sister and I were fortunate. We were born later into a family that had grown together and persevered through some pretty tough times. I, on the other hand, had a great childhood.
From my dad I learned work ethic, how to handle responsibility, and how to laugh my way through life. All three have helped me grow into the man I am.
When I had my son I instantly had to tap into that responsibility. I was young and a bit overwhelmed with fatherhood, but found that I loved it.
It helped that I was blessed with a loving, brilliant, and dynamic young man for a son. His sense of humor is an exact match of the two older Doms. Three peas in a pod.
From D3 I’ve learned to explore outside my comfort zone, a gift I don’t take for granted. He’s kept me young(er), he’s injected enthusiasm and insight into both my radio and writing careers, and by marrying the sweet, charming, and equally snarky Sabra, he brought an incredible daughter-in-law into my life.
I’m the Dom in the middle, the one who’s the luckiest guy ever, bracketed by two people I look up to and revere. On Father’s Day I’ll be thinking about how much I’ve received from both sides: My dad, and my son.
I’ll think about all the laughter that has gone along with all the lessons. I’ll be grateful.
And I’ll be happy.