Gosh, the day was a whirlwind of activity, and I’ll probably need more time to fully process what I learned, but here are a few initial thoughts:
The day kicked off with a tear-jerky montage of media and advertising clips that features new-fangled dads. Our master of ceremony, Doug French, did a masterful job of keeping things moving along. I’ll tell you what, I’m a huge fan of Doug French and I’m always inspired by him.
Lesson Learned: A roomful of men can be brought to tears when talking about our kids and stuff.
Title sponsor Dove Men+Care’s Rob Candelino gave a moving opening keynote. He talked about his fear of whether or not he would love his second child as much as his first, and concluded with the message that the heart is infinite in its capacity to love.
Lesson Learned: It sounds kinda sorta hokey when I write it out, but it’s true that becoming a parent changes a man in so many good ways.
Jim Higley hosted a fireside chat with Parenthood show runner Jason Katims. I’ve actually never seen the show, but the clips they showed were amazingly well-written and real.
Lesson Learned: I should probably start watching Parenthood.
Charles Scott gave what was my favorite presentation of the day. Charles was a rising executive at Intel when he decided to refocus his attention on his family and follow his bliss.
Lessons Learned: Listen to your gut. Money comes and goes. Time is precious. I probably have to chuck my super-glamorous globetrotting job in order to do what I really want to do.
Photographer George Lange shared stories and pics.
Lessons Learned: Glenn Beck might be an asshat, but he’s also a supportive, creative friend of peeps who don’t think like him. Take pics of the moments in-between. Document the moment and experience them, but don’t rush to share. Pay attention to life.
Chef Mark Garcia compared his experience as a single father to what he learned in the kitchen. Apparently the greatest love a man can ever know is the love between father and daughter. I’m pretty sure those of us with sons disagree.
Lesson Learned: If you can braid bread, you can braid hair. Cuz raising a daughter is primarily about doing hair.