Father’s Day: Q/A with the Dads of NEI

Father’s Day is Sunday and there is a handful of dads here at NEI. Let’s learn their thoughts on being a dad, some funny moments they’ve experienced as a dad, and a joke or two that you can use later.

Contributing to this Q&A are Ryan Twiss, Vice President of Regional Initiatives, Nick Darrah, Vice President of Partnerships and Government Relations, Jacob Ihrie, Director of Regional Initiatives and myself, Brice Vance, Copywriter.

Answers have been edited for length and clarity.

What does being a father mean to you?

RT: It’s kind of become everything, honestly. I never really spent much time imagining what fatherhood would be like, but when our first daughter was born it was like a light switched and I could see her face every time I closed my eyes. It’s weird when you feel like you love something more than you’re capable of loving anything, only to have that second child born and realize that part of unconditional love is its infinite potential.

But more practically, I grew up with three older sisters so being a “girl dad” is very important to me. Being a father means doing whatever we can to help our daughters grow into strong, confident, and smart young women and it’s something my wife and I talk about daily.

ND: It means being a loving and steadfastly reliable presence in my daughter’s lives. Setting an example for them, guiding them, being there for them, taking care of them, and teaching them how to take care of themselves. It also means being a good husband and partner to my wife so that she can be the best mother for them.

JI: Being a father gave me a new inspiration to do everything. Nothing means more to me than being able to show my daughter the world and teach her that we can always make it better.

BV: I love the opportunity to guide my son through life and watch him experience new things and learn daily. The happiness and joy my son has for life has helped me view life a little more through his eyes.

What’s your funniest moment as a father?

JI: Driving home from a really fun day, my kid started losing her mind in the back seat of the car. We thought she got stung by a bee, and she started screaming at my wife to stop driving. We’re trying to figure out what’s wrong, and she starts sobbing, “My eyes keep closing.” The greatest tragedy that this kid could experience is being a little too tired after having fun.

ND: Both of our girls mispronounced or made up words for many everyday things when they were little. They’re at the ages now that they don’t do that anymore. Those always made me chuckle, and I’ve found that I miss the way they used to say things.

BV: Watching my son throw dog treats to our dog, which makes him laugh every time our dog snatches one out of the air. My son ends up laughing very hard, and I can’t help but laugh along with him.

RT: My girls are both accidentally and deliberately very funny, so there are too many to choose from. So I’m going to cheat and just share a photo of our oldest from a few years ago. Yes, that’s a slice of pork tenderloin. No, that photo was not staged. She’s just that weird and wonderful. And don’t get me started on the younger one.

Jane Eating Pork Tenderloin

What’s the best advice you hope to pass on to your children?

ND: Stand up for yourselves and stand up for others. Do good and be good.

JI: Don’t waste your time trying to save the world, there’s too much world to take on yourself. Instead, find your corner and get to work there.

RT: I really hope that we can help them become people that other people want to be around. Whether that’s through humor, kindness, generosity, competence, brilliance, considerateness, reliability, trustworthiness, or (in a perfect world) all the above.

BV: No matter what you do in life, give it 100 percent effort. Don’t be afraid to try new things.

What’s your favorite activity to do with your children?

JI: We’re big fans of the Children’s Zoo and try to make it there at least once a month when it’s open. My daughter is a big fan of watching the orangutans and trying to find the tigers.

ND: I love watching them accomplish things and grow. Each stage of their lives has provided that to some extent, from infants smiling and expressing themselves for the first time, to dance competitions, karate classes, learning to ride a bike, reading, art projects, etc.

RT: Playing music with my girls.

BV: Every fall, as a family, we love to go to Roberts Farm in Wawaka. My son loves to play in the corn pit, the bounce house, and picking out pumpkins. It’s really the perfect place for him to burn off some of the endless energy he has.

What’s your best “Dad” joke?

RT: A snail was mugged by a gang of turtles. When asked by the police to describe the assailants, the snail replied, “I don’t know. It all happened so fast.”

ND: What kind of doctor is Dr. Pepper…a FIZZ-ician

JI: Why do male ants float? Because they’re boy-ant.

BV: What happens when frogs park illegally? They get toad.

Related Articles