Fatherhood. Its something that ends up as the most important thing in a mans life. It is one of the most beautiful, complicated, and rewarding things that a man will face. I have already talked about what it means to me to be a father, so I wanted to ask a few guys who I admire as fathers to tell me what they think. The guys I asked are some of the most humble, loyal, and dedicated fathers I know. While each of the topics are a little different...the theme is all the same. They treasure their children and are honored to be looked at as a guiding light for their families. Ok, enough of my rambling, take a look at what the fellas had to say...and Happy Father's Day, gentlemen.
Leon Chittams, Father of 3 (he's also Trey and Eliet's godfather), sickest shoe collection of all time (highlighted here). Location: Maryland
I know my pick will not be a popular one by any stretch, but the thing that stands out the most to me about being a father is fear. Constant, incessant, irrational fear. About everything. Fear that when your kids leave you, something will happen. Fear of some bully choosing them as his target. Fear that they will never be able to hit a free throw, or be any good at sports. Fear of doing something in raising them that will drastically alter their future. Just constant fear. When my boys were babies, I would put my finger or hand under their nose to make sure they were still breathing....all the time. Just yesterday, Christian was on the phone with me, and he hung up abruptly. I called back and kept calling, until he answered. So yeah, its not a sexy pick, but definitely fear.
Andrew McCormick, Father of 3, only guy I've seen that can pull off a pair of American Flag Zubaz pants , Location: Virginia
What it means to me to be a father:
1. I know the 'Dora the Explorer' song and can tell you the name of every single one of the 'Thomas the Train' characters.
2. Our house will never be clean again.
3. I am happy to sacrifice my own plans, desires, and goals to help provide them with more opportunities.
4. I can buy superhero toys for me to play with under the guise of buying them for the kids.
5. I fail every single day.
6. The thirty minutes leading up to bedtime.
7. I pray they live long and healthy lives, and lives full of empathy, purpose, and adventure.
8. I have 82 KidzBop songs on my phone.
9. My back always hurts.
10. If you would like to donate to our kids' college and/or Lego funds, please let John know. [John's edit: haha!]
Robert Swain, Father of 2, his nickname is 'The General', one of the shockingly funniest dudes I have ever met, and played pro basketball overseas so he's literally a baller, Location: Virginia
What it means being a father to me is consistently showing up for my kids day in and day out. Guiding them through every stage of life and pouring life into their young souls.
Orage Quarles, Father of 2 (and Grandfather of 2), very big influence and a person of inspiration for me. Goes to bed comically early. Location: North Carolina
Being a father means many things. Someone who provides. Someone is there to listen. Someone who shares. Someone who cares. Someone who is there. Someone who loves just being a father.
Dan Brady, Father of 2, editor of poetry for Barrellhouse Mag (website) and fellow Randy 'Macho Man' Savage fan, Location: Virginia
As a father, I want to be the person that my kids can come to for anything and about anything. I want to be a dependable, rock-solid resource that they can lean on. Whether its 'how do I get these Legos apart?' or 'I'm having trouble with my friend' or 'how do I save up to buy a car?' I want them to come to me. I know I won't always have the answer, but I hope that some of the time I will, and that they'll keep coming back. Sometimes a father just needs to be the person who says 'I don't know. That's really hard. But let's see if we can figure it out together. We can make it better'. I'm sure there are times I fail at that and times I say 'it'll be ok' when I'm not really sure myself, but my dad has always been that for me: a person I could go to with questions about anything, when I was scared, or when I messed up, or when I didn't know what to do. That's what I want to be for them, too.
Marvin Stancil, Father of 2, one of my oldest friends, likes both UNC and Duke(!!!), Location: Arizona
What does it mean to me to be a 'dad'? The short of it....it means everything. I'm blessed with the opportunity to pour into their lives....love, compassion, resilience....& many other qualities to compliment their individual personalities to help the navigate this world we live in. I can attempt to pour these Christ-like qualities into my little people, but it seems like I can never do enough to put myself at a level where I feel like what I pour into their lives equals the joy & love I feel from them when my kids say 'I love you daddy' & give me a hug & kiss. The reward of that overwhelming, unconditional love bro....its everything.
Jose Santiago, Father of 6, Fun Fact: Has appeared on 'Who Wants To Be A Millionaire' when Regis was the host, Location: Nebraska
What it means to me to be a father...it means the world to me. It's the one thing that I will get to be forever. I will always be a dad, I may become a grandfather or even a great grandfather but getting to be a dad first is the best feeling ever. Being a dad has made me appreciate my dad and all that he did for me so much more and knowing that I need to to be a good example of a father to my sons, and man for my daughters. It's the biggest emotional roller coaster that you will ever ride on and I wouldn't change a thing about it and if I could start over I would double down and try even harder and savor every minute all over again. I could go on and on about the joys and pains, highs and lows I've experienced in the last almost 20 years, but at the end of the day I love my kids and they love me. And I couldn't have done it without an amazing, wonderful, forgiving gracious, and strong wife by my side.
Lawrence Weatherall, Father of 2, wears some of his most exclusive Jordans that he has never worn outside around his house as slippers, Location: Nebraska
Being a father means something very special to me. Being a father to me means I get to see a small part of me grow into something beautiful. I get to mold a young life and be responsible for how my children treat others, and learn how they should be treated. It means I get to be their caregiver, their best friend, and their shoulder to cry on when something doesn't go their way. As each Father's Day comes and goes, I am excited to experience all of those special things with my children.
Peter Jackson, Father of 3, Grandfather of 4, my father-in-law, has the best stories about working as sheriff (gulp), Location: North Carolina
Being a father is a huge responsibility. And in my case, all I know about fatherhood was taught to me by a woman. My mother taught me that a father will always be there for his children to celebrate their joy as well as helping them through their trials and tribulations. She once said to me, take those lessons learned and do better going forward. And more than anything else, love your kids unconditionally.
[And last but not least, my father...]
John Cannady, Sr., Nickname 'Sarge', Father of 2, Grandfather of 4, Location: North Carolina
Being a father to me means finding joy in raising your kids to be responsible adults and parents.