Wow. I'm a dad now.
It really changes your perspective, having a baby. A lot of times I would come home upset after practice or a game, but now I see there are bigger things in life. I don't let the little things get me down anymore. If anything, it's made me work harder. I think about my son every second now. When I'm playing, everything I do, I try to do for him.
I joked with my wife early on in her pregnancy, "Yeah, for the first month and a half you take care of him and in the off-season you can sleep all the time and I'll do it." But I was up with him until 4 a.m. on Thursday, got five hours of sleep and still made it to practice on time. It's easy doing it for the right reasons. It's totally spontaneous, whether I wake up with him or she does. My wife went through nine months of the pregnancy AND labor, so I've been giving her a lot of space this week, letting her know that it's all about her.
I'd love to bring him around so the guys can see him, but a baby's immune system is so fragile the first few days and there are so many people. But if we make the playoffs, I'm trying to convince my wife to bring him to at least the second half of our home game. During the offseason, we're going to try to get him accustomed to traveling - visit our parents up north and take some time down in Florida - because it's the way of our life. Now it's the way of his life too.
And yes, I've already got a pair of soccer shoes for the baby. I bought him a pair of soccer shoes, a baseball glove and a football. He's got the genes to be an athlete, I'll just help him out any way I can.
Mike Petke is in his second season with D.C. United. He played five seasons with the MetroStars before joining the Black-and-Red.