What does fatherhood mean to you?
Fatherhood means getting an opportunity to impact a child’s life in a way that wouldn’t be possible otherwise. Taking your son to his first day of Kindergarten. Being the first person to hold your precious baby girl. There is nothing in my life that compares to the memories I am making with my children.
As time passes and I get to watch them grow, I realize how important responsible fatherhood truly is in a child’s life. As an involved father you get to celebrate their successes, teach them how to choose which battles to fight and which to just let go and together learn from each others mistakes.
Most importantly, fatherhood means responsibility. Responsibility is a choice and sometimes it is a difficult one to make. You sacrifice a lot by being a responsible dad, but the rewards are awesome!
What is the best part of being a dad?
The best part of being a dad is the laughter. I am blessed to have two very funny children that can find humor in almost anything. When I come home from a hard day at the office, they bring me back to reality. My children fill my life with joy.
What is your proudest moment as a dad?
Being honored as father of the year was a pretty proud moment for me.
I was very proud when Michael accepted me as his father and asked me to be his Dad. That was a very touching moment for me and I was so honored that he would allow me into his life. He is a brilliant young man. He makes me proud to be his Dad every day. I was very proud when Haley was born. A father and his daughter have a unique bond; I share that with her and revel in her happiness. She is a magnificent artist and athlete.
What do you and your children do for fun?
We love technology, so together we build Web sites and computers, look for cool new music to download and write programs for computers. We enjoy shopping at the mall and looking for interesting things to do. Sometimes we play basketball outside, take the dogs for a walk, go for bike rides and go crawdad fishing. We like having movie marathons together especially scary movies with popcorn and all the blankets and pillows in the living room. We like science a lot, so we do some experiments with rockets, build lego tracks and cars and of course we like experimenting with food, too.
What is the hardest part about being a dad?
The hardest part about being a dad is allowing your children to make mistakes. Watching your child fail at something that they have their heart set on is the most difficult thing to experience as a father, because you want nothing but to see their success. What we tell our children when they make mistakes is that the only way they can ever fail at anything is to give up. If they do not give up, they need to chalk it up as a learning experience and an opportunity to grow as a person. But I have to be honest, it is difficult to see the tears when they try really hard at something and it just doesn’t go as planned.
What kind of dad do you strive to be?
I try to be a responsible dad who is there for his kids, through good times and bad. I want to make sure that they can come to me to talk about anything and never feel ashamed or scared of judgment. I want them to know that I will listen more than I will speak and that I am a safe person to come to when they need guidance.
Describe your funniest moment as a dad.
We laugh so much at our house. Picking one moment is very difficult!
My wife is always singing and making up crazy little songs around the house. A few years ago, I was driving with Michael and Haley and there was a dead cat in the road. Haley asked me, “Daddy what was that?!” I replied, “It looks like someone ran over a cat with a car”. Then she said, “Is it dead Dad?” I answered her, “Yes I think its dead”.
Haley sat quietly in the backseat for a moment before proceeding to make up what we now call The Dead Cat Song with her brother. (It’s kind of a twangy country type tune, should you want to sing it for yourself).
“Oh, we just ran over a dead cat
The cat was dead dead dead
It got hit by a car and now there’s bloooooooooooooooood (this part is very deep if you are singing along)
Oh that cat ain’t a cat no more (pause)
It’s a dead cat
Meoooooooooooooooooooow (play air guitar here)”
We still laugh about that song.
What would you hope that your kids would say about you if asked what kind of a dad they have?
I hope that they would say that they have a really nice, cool dad who is a computer genius!
Really I just want them to be happy and satisfied in their own lives. I think they would talk about how I teach them about computers, how to fix stuff, how I like scary movies with them and how much I love their mother.
What is the most important piece of advice you’ve received about fatherhood?
To not assume that every time a child speaks to you about a problem they are in search of your infinite wisdom. They may just need someone to talk to. Listen more than you speak.
What would you consider to be your most inspiring moment as a dad?
Watching my children grow up. There is nothing more inspiring than knowing that you helped a child become the amazing person they are today.