Lessons from Dad 2.0 Summit in Washington D.C.

By the time you read this I will already be home. Depending on the day I post this I might be doing laundry, working at one of my two jobs or just hanging out with my children. The Dad 2.0 summit would have been over and everything has returned back to normal. 

Don’t get me wrong I am happy with everything going back to normal. The weekend of the summit feels so rushed and busy that I feel better with the slowed down pace of my home life. I enjoy soaking in all the moments with my family at home. As much I as am happy to be home though, I am also sad that the Summit has ended too fast.
To me, the summit is a family reunion. I’ve heard other dads call it their second family and I agree. For those few days, I get to hang out with hundreds of dads that I call my brothers. I get to thank them personally for supporting me and tell them about how much I enjoy what they do.  It’s the one chance that we can all be together and just hang out and learn together. 

Since this year’s event was held in Washington D.C, I did not want to miss the opportunity to run and sightsee some of our national monuments. A group of us got together on Saturday morning, which I feel has become a new tradition since last year, and we ran a quick 3 miles to start the day.
I had to make sure that I bought my bandana with me and I posed at the top of the Lincoln Memorial to take a picture with the Washington Memorial behind me.  It was a nice cool day for the run and I am glad that we got the opportunity to do it.  
Dad 2.0 has some great events for the attendees and this year we were treated to a night at the Smithsonian. LEGO has a great night planned for us and we all were able to explore certain areas of the museum and ate some delicious food while there.  
At one point I was standing with my friend Creed from Tales from the Poop Deck and we were looking at an American Flag that inspired Francis Scott Key to write the Star Spangled banner and it was a powerful moment for me. We were both talking about our families and what kind of world we want for our children and just looking at the flag I felt chocked up. I looked at the flag and started thinking about all the people that gave their lives so we could have the lives we have today. Staring at that flag made me want to do more in this world. It made me want to write better and I felt that same way later that night. 

One thing that hit me this year was seeing and hearing how talented a lot of these dads are. When there is a spotlight reading, I sit there in awe at the words I hear being read in front of me. This year there was a “DadSlam” and a big group of fathers got together and took turns reading one of their pieces (published or unpublished) to this intimate gathering.

It was moving to see the entire room laughing one minute and then wiping tears from their eyes the next. I sat there and listened and started thinking about myself and the blog and an idea that I had had at the beginning of the year.  I want to refocus the blog into posting more personal/meaningful stories. I know that I have mentioned it before, but I want to write more stories about what being a dad means to me. 

As much as I love doing the giveaways, it feels, at times, that is the only reason people visit the site. Now I am not saying we are going to do a complete overhaul right away, but little by little I’m hoping we start creating a voice for our site.

The last day of the conference, I went to the National Air and Space Museum with a fellow dad and after we left we parted ways. I still have a few hours before my flight so I decided to walk around the city for awhile. It was raining a little that day and I think that was a good thing. It was a good thing because as I walked around I started thinking about all the readings from the night before and I started crying. I was crying because I want to be a better voice for my children and to be a better voice for fathers out there.

I’m going to make a change. I am going to make this world a better place for my children. I am going to take everything that I learned at Dad 2.0 and apply it to our blog. Like I said before, this is not going to happen overnight, but it will take some time and hopefully we will get more people to read our posts.

Thank you all for reading and until next time.

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