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   July 25, 2014



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COMMENT





When it comes to my children, Iím an extreme softie
By TOMMY DREAMER - For SLAM! Wrestling


I am a proud father of identical twin girls. They are eight years old and they have truly made my life complete.

Since my profession takes me on the road a lot, I base my entire time at home around them. I try to do as many things as I possibly can with them. When they are at school, I pick them up after school, and we play outside until I am either too tired or it is time to go inside and do homework.

Oh, the homework.

Iím a college graduate, and yet even I have a hard time doing todayís second grade homework. Perhaps itís because Iíve taken too many chair shots to the head. Seriously, though, they are teaching kids a new way to do math. How is that even possible?

To make matters worse, I also have to deal with their momís pure enjoyment watching me squirm as I attempt to help with said homework.

The other day, however, my daughter asked me a question that is the inspiration for this weekís column. And it wasnít a math equation either.

That question was ďDaddy, can I get my ears pierced?Ē

It rattled me.

It wasnít the actual question or even the thought of one of my babies getting her ears pierced, but rather the fact that my babies are growing up.

To be completely honest, I never wanted to have kids. I was married to Extreme Championship Wrestling and had many professional wrestlers that acted like children to take care of.

When my twin daughters were born, there were complications. In the hospital room, when I knew there was a problem, I said a quick prayer and asked God if he was going to take their lives to please take mine instead.

At that point, I didnít even know them or hadnít yet met them, but I already was filled with unconditional love for them.

My one daughter was brought back to life by doctors. Following the difficult birth, both needed blood transfusions. Both girls were in intensive care unit for more than two weeks. Once they overcame the initial problems, doctors said that our daughter who was revived may have suffered brain damage or be prone to having seizures for the rest of her life. Thankfully, neither of our beauties suffered any side effects and they are perfect.

In a nutshell, I was thrust into the worrying of parenthood and protecting my children right from the moment they were born.

The next step was the financial responsibility of having to feed and diaper our little girls. We were spending $800 a month on formula and diapers, which made me crazy because I was quite literally crapping my money away.

As a first-time parent, you are given more advice than you actually need or want. I will tell any first-time parents to be prepared to be tired and not sleep properly for about four years. Beyond that, you will do fine. The greatest advice given to me was to take a lot of pictures and video because they grow up fast.

My wife and I arenít the only famous people in our home. The girls, being twins, found their own fame. They were featured in a Motherís Day advertisement for a national Target ad. They also had roles in the final two seasons of the TV show The Sopranos. They got both jobs from answering an email contest that asked those interested to submit pictures and they won. They had auditions and agents even before they could talk. They got a lot of jobs because they were good kids and content with each other and didnít fuss on set.

Life as a child actor isnít what it is cracked up to be. It involves very long hours on set and we decided it wasnít for us. So my girls were washed-up celebs at two and a half.

As they got older, it became harder and harder for me to leave to go wrestle. It would break my heart walking out the door every week seeing them cry. The worst was when they would say ĎDaddy donít go,í every time I left.

The first inkling I got that they were growing up was when they were asked if they wanted to speak to daddy on the phone and they said Ďnah.í Scooby-Doo held precedence over me. The second time was when I asked them if they wanted to watch Scooby-Doo and they said no, opting instead for Hannah Montana. (In your face, Scooby.) They went from watching cartoons to older shows in the blink of an eye.

The third came with the pierced ears query, quite simply because it was their decision.

As a parent, we can influence our kids to like the sports teams we like or our favourite type of music. In that way, they are our tiny clones. I mean, they have to like what we like, right? Wrong.

I realize they wonít want me to hold their hand or read to them at night forever, but I will hang on to that as long as I can. The only thing I regret is when I canít pick them up sometimes because my back is hurting from years of wrestling, but hugs go a long way.

If they insist on getting their ears pierced, I will cave in. I will support them in anything they want. I always tell them no matter how bad they think it is, I will never get mad at them as long as they tell me the truth. It has worked so far.

I write this because, even though I was and continue to be away a lot, I think about the average person, with a normal, 9 to 5, job. They are working and probably get to see their kids the same amount of time as I did. Let your kids know how much you love them and how proud you are of them. My dad supported my dreams and I think I turned out all right.

To this day, my mom still tells me how much she loves me after every phone conversation. I remember being embarrassed or annoyed by this when I was growing up, especially if my friends were around. I would give anything to hear from my late dad just one more time.

I know this is supposed to be a column about wrestling, but it is a column about life from a wrestlerís perspective. And my daughters are my life.

In fact, when the time comes, I will so be showing my most violent matches to anyone who wants to date my daughters and finds themselves in our home. But I wonít have to write that column for another decade or so.

Iíd like share one final thought. I recommend writing things down, be they memories or feelings. I have had to stop several times while writing this because Iíve been crying. I am supposed to be this big, tough, hardcore wrestler. There is no crying in wrestling, right?

Actually there is, especially if you are a fan of mine, you know this to be true. I was happy my girls were with me on air for my last WWE/ECW match. I will be forever remembered as the heart and soul of ECW, but my greatest creation was them.

I just realized that with the power of writing, I have captured and contained my girls as eight year olds forever with this column. I suggest you do the same in your own way.

Thanks for reading.

TOMMY DREAMER LINKS

  • Tommy Dreamer bio and story archive
  • Tommy Dreamer column archive
  • thetommydreamer.com

    Tommy Dreamer is a legendary and influential pro wrestler and a father and husband who has worked for World Wrestling Entertainment, Extreme Championship Wrestling and Total Nonstop Action. His column appears in the Kingston Whig-Standard and on SLAM! Wrestling. Follow him on Twitter @THETOMMYDREAMER and check out his website at thetommydreamer.com. He can be booked for live appearances through his website.