I'm a very sentimental parent. Like, probably way more than I should be. It's so bad that my wife actually has to sneak things like our kid's old school notebooks into the trash, otherwise our home would be overflowing with every single paper he's ever brought home from school. I'm a memories hoarder. Sue me.

I'm the kind of parent who has to buy a new iPhone with the maximum storage space possible, just to hold all the pictures and videos I take of our kid. The wife makes fun of me a lot, but she's pretty happy we have all those memories at our fingertips, whenever we need them.

And I needed them the other day.

I was killing time looking through my Twitter feed, when I came across something a friend of mine had re-tweeted that stopped my scrolling finger dead in its tracks. It was a tweet from Charles Brockman III, who is someone I've never met or would have any way of knowing about without social media. But I'm glad I saw it.

Here's the tweet:

That. Right there. KILLED ME.

Those two pictures, along with the text, summarize everything it means to be a father. That special bond, the love between them...it's just a stunning and beautiful representation of everything parenthood is about, and I loved it. Even if I'm only a stepdad.

My stepson started middle school this year, so I'm already running on emotional fumes right now as he moves into this new phase of life. Multiple classes, lockers, new friends, girlfriends, you name it - things are changing. Lucky for us, he's growing into an amazing young man and every new day brings new reasons for me to be proud of him - but I'll always miss the younger years.

When I saw Charles Brockman's tweet with his dad walking him to school on the first day of kindergarten, I immediately flashed back to me doing the same thing with Trey. (That's his name, by the way. He's literally the coolest kid on the planet. Don't believe me? Click here. Or here. Or here. Okay, sorry. I'll stop now.)

Kristian Bland
Kristian Bland

In fact, this was the first year I haven't walked him in the building since he started school. Instead, we just pulled through the drop-off line, said goodbye, then he hopped out of the car, gave us a little wave, and disappeared into the school. I didn't like it at all.

I was feeling pretty nostalgic driving to work that morning, but then I remembered this tweet and thought, maybe one day, he'll tweet something like this for me after I walk him to his first dorm room. Maybe.

For now, I'll just keep on making the most out of every day we have together, and try not to miss all the days gone by too much. But I'm still gonna be a memories hoarder.

I don't care what anybody says.

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