What does fatherhood mean to you?
Fatherhood is more than just creating children. A father is a person who guides and supports a child into adulthood. Being a father means being a role model, supporter, mentor, authority figure, encourager and a protector. A father should be an active participant in his child’s life. As the saying goes, train a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not turn from it.
What is the best part of being a dad?
The best part is the bond that’s developed between my children and myself. For me, a bond was created the moment my sons were born. Over time that bond has developed and grown stronger. Seeing my kids change as they grow older is amazing. I love watching their personalities develop.
Also one of the best things about being a dad is that there is always someone to play with! We have a lot of fun at home.
What is your proudest moment as a dad?
Lately it has been when I hear the word “Daddy”. At that moment I know there is a bond that cannot be broken. I realize that my boys want/need me and I want/need them. Other times have been when my boys succeed in something they are doing or seeing them learn from mistakes and choose differently next time. I am proud of my sons when I hear good things about them from others.
What do you and your children do for fun?
We are all about fun! We wrestle together, make up games, have dart gun wars, play baseball, hockey and football, play the name game, play the pilot game in the car (we pretend to be pilots and talk to each other as pilots), go for motorcycle rides, watch movies, play video games and do many more activities together.
One of my sons is very musical and we play music together. His favorite band right now is Third Day and I look for their lyrics on the Internet, print them out and he writes the chords on them and we both play the music together. My other son likes legos and soccer so we build and rebuild lego creations and I coach his soccer team. This list could go on and on!
What is the hardest part about being a dad?
Definitely discipline. It is never easy, however it is necessary. This is the area that I believe shapes a child’s life. Striking the balance between not being overly strict or no rules at all and when to show mercy and grace is hard. One thing I have learned is that when discipline is set to make sure there is follow-through. Another thing that is hard is watching your kids go through pain either physical or emotional and not being able to fix it.
What kind of dad do you strive to be?
I strive to be a “be there” dad. To be present when my sons need me, to be present at most of their activities and to be a role model for them in life. I strive to encourage them in whatever they are doing. I strive to help them overcome any fear they might have in doing things.
Describe your funniest moment as a dad.
Never getting my kids’ names right! I always call them by the other name and then just finally say, “Whatever your name is.” The other moment would be when I dressed up as a sumo wrestler for my kids’ Halloween party at school.
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 I am fun, fair, encouraging and loving.
What is the most important piece of advice you’ve received about fatherhood?
My first child was born 12 weeks premature. The first time I saw him was in the intensive care unit and there were machines, wires, alarms going off and a lot of chaos. The nurse taking care of him said to me, “Craig, see the baby. I will take care of everything else”. That has stuck with me. Regardless of what’s going on in my life, there is always my child there who needs me to see him for who he is and who he can become.
What would you consider to be your most inspiring moment as a dad?
When my first child was born, with so many issues, I knew that he needed me. Not just to be there, but to be totally committed to him and his care and his development. The same is true for my younger son. Even though he doesn't have all of the medical issues, he still needs me. My kids are my inspiration to be the best father I can be.