Q&A: Robitaille on fatherhood

Question: A reader wrote that he is a new father, and wanted to know some of your favorite moments as a father.

ROBITAILLE: “I think I’m a better father today than when I was a player, because I was sometimes so focused. My favorite thing is that I let my kids do their own thing. When I was a kid, nobody ever forced me to play hockey. My dad never forced me to play hockey. I just loved it. There’s a great book called `The Outliers,’ and it says if you practice 10,000 hours at something, you’re going to be an expert. I realized that, without anyone forcing me, I probably did that in my first 10 years, from the time I was 5 to 16 or something. I just practiced all the time. Nobody forced me.

“So my two boys are doing great. Steven has great success. He’s on a TV show coming out this year, Vampire Diaries, and that’s what he loves. The one thing is that we were able to help him and guide him through that. My other one, I don’t know where he’s going to end up but he loves to play the guitar and sing. He writes his own music and he’s 14. I can tell you that I’ve never said, `You have to practice your guitar.’ Every time I turn around, he’s grabbing his guitar and he’s playing. They’re doing their passions, so for me to see them doing their passions… Jesse did a little show on the Third Street Promenade this weekend, and it was the greatest thing.

“It reminds me of what my dad must have felt when he watched me practice. I remember thinking, a few years ago, about how I never thought about it, but my dad went to every practice and every game. I thought, `That must have been long for him,’ but it’s not when it’s your kid. For me, it’s to see them do their passion. That’s the greatest thing.”

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