“They’re not little versions of us” – #40Days40Dads

Newspaper dads

Day 5 of the #40Days40Dads campaign comes from Bobby Tanzilo, managing editor of OnMilwaukee.com, who came to my attention when a friend sent me his excellent blog post “A Crib Sheet for Dads.” There is more good advice for fathers in that post than my questionnaire could ever procure, so be sure to give it a read. Here’s how he answered my questions…

Dad #5: Bobby Tanzilo

Bobby is the father of a 10-year-old boy and a 6-year-old girl.

What was the moment when you first felt like a father?

Holding my eldest, the moment he was born and realizing instantly that my life was no longer about me.

What’s your favorite part about being a father?

Seeing the world through new eyes every day. It can help you learn not to take anything for granted.

What’s the hardest part about being a father?

Although initially I discovered a well of newfound patience, that dried up after a time. So, finding a new source of patience, which isn’t always easy for an impatient person.

What’s the dumbest/funniest thing that your kid has cried about or fought with you over?

I never think about it this way, because if they’re that upset or passionate about it, it must not really be dumb. At least not to them, and therefore not to me. But of course there are battles I’m surprised they choose to fight.

What are you most proud of having taught/shared with your kids or what are you most looking forward to teaching/sharing with them?

To read a lot and to be courteous to and considerate of others.

What’s your favorite thing about your kids?

That they are themselves and not little versions of us, even if sometimes it can seem that way.

If you could go back in time and give yourself a piece of advice when you first became a father, what would you say?

Listen when folks say that it passes in the blink of an eye. Don’t defer on spending time with them.

Any other comments to share on fatherhood?

It’s a cliche, but it is the most challenging and rewarding experience of my life so far. Sometimes it is incredibly difficult and sometimes it is incredibly fun.

If you’re a father or you know a father who would like to share his story, send him to this link to answer the questions. Stay tuned for another dad’s crib notes tomorrow!

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