ESPN anchor Scott Van Pelt is a married father of three, and Thursday night, he paid tribute to his first-born in an incredibly emotional segment that’s now going viral on social media. Van Pelt admitted that he was hoping his first child would be a boy, but when it was a girl, his world changed.
SVP sidekick Stanford Steve tweeted out video of the segment, which you can watch below. Warning – it might make you cry.
We’ve also transcribed it for those who can’t listen:
“‘Do you see it?’ the technician asked as I sat with my wife at the ultrasound. We’d been convinced our first child was a boy – how she was carrying the baby, wives’ tales, what have you. So when I hear “do you see it?” well, I’m looking for it, right? All I see is a blob and she says “it’s a girl!” I was like “it’s a what?”
A girl, huh? I dropped my wife back at school where she was teaching at the time, went right to my office at home and Googled ‘how to raise a girl’. I suppose had I convinced myself that had it been a boy, I would have taught him how to throw a four-seam fastball, handed him a beer and said “that’s about it son, you’ll figure out the rest.”
My brother-in-law had a great line when I told him about the Google search. “Scotty, you wouldn’t have any idea how to raise a boy either, it’s not in a book.” He’s right. That little girl turned six today. She’s smart and kind and beautiful.
I watched her at the playground at school earlier this week when I picked her up – hair blowing in the wind on a perfect day. Laughing and running – just playing with her friends. And I had a stupid smile glued on my face – the joy of watching a happy little girl in a moment that she forgot the moment that she sat down on the car seat.
It’s all going too fast, I thought. You want to dig in your heels and fight that clock on the wall and make the moments last. But they don’t. But that’s okay though. Because I’m filing moments like the other day away for later.
There’s a real fear you have when you have children so late about the things you might miss. So maybe I’m more in-tune with enjoying the time I have right now. I am greedy about making them all count and I would just say this:
To any man out there who’s about to become a dad for the first time. Maybe you grew up in sports, like me. Maybe you’re thinking you want a boy. And I get it, I do. That was me. And my sons are a joy to me. But let me tell you a secret, fellas.
Root for them to tell you it’s a girl. There’s no greater love than you’ll ever know and nothing that will change your world view more than holding a little girl and imagining the world through her eyes – wanting to be, for her, the very best version of yourself in the hopes that you might be worthy of the way she looks at you. Being worth being adored by her.
I ask her 10 times a day “what do you know?” “Daddy loves Lila,” she says. More than you’ll ever know, little girl. It’s her birthday today. I got the gift – May 9th, 2013.”
One Big Thing
A dad’s love for his daughter pic.twitter.com/W5CX1mTlQI
— Stanford Steve (@StanfordSteve82) May 10, 2019
Van Pelt has always had a way of finding balance covering sports in great detail while also reminding us to keep perspective on what’s actually important in life. Well done.