How a Child Changes You

Soleil at Glen Echo

I’m personally thrilled to participate in two charitable efforts to help children this month because of the incredible impact my daughter Soleil has made in my life.

It’s just amazing how love for a child changes you.

This love eclipses anything you could possibly know beforehand.

For example, I would do anything for Soleil. I would die if it meant she would live, and I’ve never felt that way about anything else. Cliche, but true. It’s just like that.

The same love compels you to be more risk adverse. I so miss my motorcycling days, but there’s no way in hell I’m getting on a donorcycle again until she’s much older.

You’ve seen my quest to be more mindful about speech and treating others well. A big part of that is leading by example so my daughter knows her Daddy lives his words instead of preaching them.

Caitlin & Soleil Playing in the Rain

Another reason behind evolving behavior, Soleil is a lightning rod.

When we smile and have positive conversations, she smiles and laughs and plays. But when it’s a negative or serious conversation, her face takes on a very stoic serious look.

I will never be perfect, but little things like this cause me to focus on positive growth.

It also makes you rethink time expenditures, something I discussed here a couple weeks ago. Whenever I do something for work, there is a time expenditure. Time is a precious resource because I don’t want to rob Soleil of the attention she deserves.

So Little Time

The good night video I sent to Soleil yesterday.

Late last night, I concluded a stint of four business trips that absorbed eight of the last 13 days, including two weekends. The hardest part of it was missing the kiddo.

Soleil let’s me know, too, from separation anxiety to pouting and ignoring me, to crying for me when I am gone. No amount of cute T-shirts, stuffed animals and toys will make up for that. It really sucks.

Wherever duty takes me, I Skype with her and Caitlin, or shoot a video like the one above.

And yes, I am cutting unnecessary trips now as my side of the book tour winds down.

Midtown Manhattan in the Fog
Business demands much travel as of late.

I’ve also decided to postpone starting a new book for the immediate future because of continued business travel and some family matters. Soleil and family comes first. No need to add more hardship to the equation.

Really, the kid changes everything, including approaches towards money and significantly increasing your tolerance for suffering. It’s a night and day difference.

How has a child or children changed you?

P.S. Some of you may know, I’m working with Razoo and Yum Brands to feed children on World Hunger Day this October 16. The week afterwards, I’m hosting a Punish Geoff fundraiser and run a Tough Mudder to help stop child trafficking globally.