Learning to Dad with Tyler Ross 005 - Jim Scott
Speaker 2: Hello, I'm Tyler Ross, [00:00:30] and this is learning to dad. My guest today is Jim Scott and Jim worked for major league baseball productions for over two decades as a producer writer, editor, interviewer, and location director, and eventually sold commercials for MLB programming. In 2001, he shifted gears to join a global satellite provider called Pan-Am set a sales director where he worked with the NFL, ABC news, CBS news and ESPN five years later, Jim joined kangaroo media, which was responsible for developing the handheld device called fan view, [00:01:00] which allowed its owners to watch live professional sporting events. Now Jim runs his own company called Pantheon communications, where it continues to work in live events and programming, winning contracts with the NBA, the PGA and more Jim was nominated for an Emmy and outstanding achievement in editing and won a bronze medal at the New York international film festival for outstanding producer.
Speaker 2: Tim's reputation is having expertise in repairing troubled relationships and building strong and lasting new ones based in all of these things though, I expect Jim is [00:01:30] most likely proud to be a father of two and grandfather of one. Thank you very much for being here. I'm pleased to be here. And boy, that's pretty impressive. Who is that guy sound like me at all. Thank you. You've earned all of these things. So the, the intent of being here, you know, as a parent, raising a child there, there's not really any metrics of success. You know, it's not until your kid is grown, that you realize whether you've done a decent job or not. And then on top of that fathers and mothers and [00:02:00] anyone else raising your child has to make a living as well. So what we want to talk about is kind of how the overlap of professional life and personal life impact each other and how to Excel at both, because it's evident to me that you've excelled in your professional life.
Speaker 2: And I know one of your children pretty well, and I've met the other and they are both wonderful people. And so I can't imagine somebody better to talk to about raising kids and running a business, having been an employee and a, and a business owner [00:02:30] yourself. So I want to start just with kind of your background a little bit. And as far as where your professional life was at the time you had kids, like what was kind of the evolution of your professional life? Where did you grow up? Where'd you work? I understand you went to Vietnam and then came back and started working or went back to school and started working. So I just want to get a little bit of primer on your background. I was born in Manhattan. My folks lived in Manhattan until I was about five, a half
Speaker 3: Or six, [00:03:00] and then moved to New Jersey where I grew up Edison, New Jersey, which is a really small town in New Jersey, about an hour or so from, uh, from New York on the New Jersey side of the, of the border. And, uh, was kind of a nondescript, you know, lower middle-class area. I grew up there, I went to high school, there didn't like school at all. It was a solid C student, basically played a little baseball. Wasn't a great athlete, loved baseball, loved baseball growing up, uh, was really [00:03:30] small for my age, growing up and, uh, got tired of living at home. Couldn't find a job where I could make enough money to have my own apartment and, uh, decided end of 1970. I, uh, called in sick to work. And I went to the air force recruiter and talked to him and signed up. And, uh, that was my ticket out of the neighborhood, out of the house, you know, into a life of my own.
Speaker 3: I went in the air force in March of 1971. Uh, it was a four years, [00:04:00] four year tour. And, uh, first day in flew through to Texas, got the bootcamp. And, uh, they started yelling at us the minute we got off the airplane and, and, uh, went to bed that night and we get here, I get here guys crying, you know, thinking, oh my gosh, you know, what did we do? So, you know, that first night I wondered if I had maybe done the wrong thing. Problem was there was no way out of it for four years. So, uh, um, but in the end, you know, I, I learned independence. [00:04:30] I learned discipline. I learned to, you know, be on my own and, and, uh, you know, kind of fend for myself, things I had never been able to do before. And it really, you know, the four years I spent in the air force, I learned a lot more than I did in four years in college about the world and myself.
Speaker 3: And I think it's, I wouldn't be the person I am if I hadn't done that, you know, and I would highly recommend that to people who, you know, just don't know what they want to do. You know, they don't really have [00:05:00] any kind of a path to follow through life. So that, that really helped me a lot. Um, and, uh, my time overseas was a little scary, but that, you know, also taught me to appreciate a lot of everyday things, you know, for, for a year overseas, I couldn't hop in my car and go to the movies or, you know, I love pretzels. And I remember somebody from home ship me a box of pretzels, you know, and then the limit, I locked him in my room because nobody else could take them by the time they got, yeah, they got shipped overseas. And by the time they got there, [00:05:30] they were all crumbles and everything.
Speaker 3: Uh, but it was, you know, it was just a little, a little piece of home, you know, and this is in the time before cell phones and the internet. And, you know, this is, this is nineteen seventy two, seventy three. So there were no phone calls home. Uh, you wrote a letter and it took probably, you know, two weeks to get home. And if somebody read it and wrote a response, you know, I, I wouldn't even look for a response in the mail for a month almost, you know? Uh, so it really was, it's like [00:06:00] being on Mars, you know, there was no way to directly communicate with anybody from home. And I wonder now, you know, guys in Afghanistan or Iraq, you know, they, they can get on Skype and talk to their families. And I wonder if that makes it harder, you know, when you can talk to your kid or talk to your wife, you know, and see them on a screen and then boom, you know, you turn around, you're in your back in a war, you know, 7,000 miles away. It was a different time. And, uh, and that changed me a lot as well. And, you know, I've [00:06:30] always said the me that came back from overseas, it was not the me that went initially. What were the big,
Speaker 2: And it says between the you that left and the, you that came back, were you like rebellious by nature and then suddenly straightened arrow or
Speaker 3: No, no, I, boy, I, I was not allowed to be rebellious. Uh, you know, it w it was, uh, growing up was tough. My father was an alcoholic, uh, and, uh, my mother was not, uh, very affectionate I guess, is probably the best way to put it. Um, we, we [00:07:00] were never close, never had any money, you know, we never went on vacations or anything like that. So it was really kind of an austere unhappy sort of childhood. And, uh, I, when I went in the air force, I, you know, I was on my own. I could do what I want when I wanted, you know, aside from being on duty and I formed pretty close friendships. And I really kind of learned to be out on my own in the world and it, and it felt pretty good. My time overseas was, uh, you know, it, it made me appreciate [00:07:30] what I had back home.
Speaker 3: You know, growing up, if you grow up here in Warrenton, you think the whole world is like this, you know? And, uh, you know, when I, when I got over there, I saw, you know, see, you know, farmers working in rice patties that were making maybe $30 a year, you know, in income people didn't have cars. I didn't go to a shopping center. It was, it was really, it was shocking, you know, to see that world compared to the world I grew up in. And that really made me stop [00:08:00] and think, and it, it made me appreciate all the things that I had always taken for granted, because I never knew any different. And, uh, yeah, it just showed me, there was a world out there and the world wasn't always like, it was when I was growing up,
Speaker 2: That you went through over your four years there chain, when you came back, change your perspective and relationship with your parents.
Speaker 3: No. Well, that's, that's an interesting question. It, I guess it changed it in the sense that when I came back, [00:08:30] I had self-confidence that I never had before. And, and I, and I, for the first time wasn't dependent on them, which made me, I think, you know, kind of a stronger, happier person. And, uh, you know, it's funny, I remember my father driving me to the train, to go into the induction center in Newark, the day that I went in the air force, um, it was snowing and I had to get on, I think the six o'clock train in the morning or something. And, uh, he was, he was crying on [00:09:00] the way to the train because he knew I was leaving. Uh, and because of, you know, what was going on, uh, in Southeast Asia at the time, neither one of us knew what I was going to be assigned to do.
Speaker 3: And I think he realized that, uh, you know, I may or may not come back. And, uh, and I think he felt responsible for the fact that I, I wanted to be home. And at that point in my life, leaving home to potentially go into a dangerous situation was a better alternative than staying at home. You [00:09:30] know, it really, it, it almost, it almost, wasn't a decision on my part. It was just, I've got to get out of here, and this is my only option. So I'm taking it, you know, but when I, when I came back on leave a couple of times, I think they were a bit stunned by my independence and, you know, and I never looked back, you know, I could never go back to that. Life would never want to, and never could. And then it was, you know, just I, and, and especially overseas.
Speaker 3: And when I really learned to be independent, and I really learned that, [00:10:00] you know, I hope I'm around to see the sunrise tomorrow, you know, which gives you a different perspective on life as well. It creates a sense of urgency in doing the things we want to do with the people you want to do them with. Yeah, it sure does. Yeah. So, uh, so it was a, it was a difficult experience, but it was one that I'm still grateful that I was able to have. It may be more mature. It made me more disciplined, more focused, I think. And then, because I never intended, I hated school. I never [00:10:30] intended to go to college. I didn't know. I didn't know what I was going to do with my life. Uh, but when I came back, I had that focus and I thought, well, you know, maybe I'll, you know, I had a job for about a year and I wasn't happy with that.
Speaker 3: And I thought, you know, maybe it's time to try college. And I did. And that was another, you know, another time I made that decision at the fork and I went this way. Yeah. And that turned out to be a great thing, you know, and we were a little bit on the older side and certainly on the seasoned side, having returned from overseas. Exactly. You met your wife [00:11:00] in college. I did. Um, but, but you're exactly right. I mean, uh, I, I was going to college at the age that most people were graduating. Um, and, uh, so I had a level of maturity that, you know, an 18 year old kid who's never really been anywhere, never had. And that made me stand out as being quite a bit different. And I was in high school. Women wouldn't even look at me. I always had, if I had a thousand dollar bills stapled to my forehead, you know, it wouldn't talk [00:11:30] to me.
Speaker 3: Um, and, uh, and, and for the first time in my life, I was popular, you know, and I was dating and, uh, you know, had a great social life. I love school because it was like a four-year vacation. I was taking classes on subjects that interested me. And, uh, I wound up being a solid C student in, uh, in high school. I flirted with a 4.0 my whole way through college. And I wasn't even working that hard. I was just interested in, you know, uh, went to class every day, never skipped class. [00:12:00] It was, you know, active participant in class. And it was a completely different experience for me. I really, I really enjoyed it. It was like a four year vacation. And because I had been in the military, the government paid for it, I went on the GI bill. Um, so I just needed to take out some student loans just for living expenses, you know, and that was about it. So I got my college education and, uh, you know, kind of went on from there,
Speaker 2: Interested in hearing about how you met your wife and, uh, Caitlin, specifically your daughter, Kaitlin [00:12:30] told me to say, ask you how many times they met before he asked her out.
Speaker 3: Uh, it's a very, that's a very interesting story too. I was in, I went to a school at the university of Bridgeport in Bridgeport, Connecticut, and I was in the live on the ground floor of the library studying for my last final exam before I graduated. It was December of 1980. I graduated in December rather than may or June, because I did an internship. And the, in the sports [00:13:00] department of the new Haven register newspaper, I was a journalism major. Yeah. Um, and so I was kind of, because of that internship, I was off set a semester. So I graduated in December of 80, but right before Christmas, uh, probably it was December 15th or 20th. I'm sitting in the library studying for my last final. And one of my classmates, a woman named Julie, uh, came in with a friend of hers, uh, and introduced me and said, Jim, this is Laurie [00:13:30] Laurie.
Speaker 3: This is Jim. Uh, it was, and it was Laurie had gone to high school and grew up with Julie and Julia was a college classmate of mine. So that was the connection. And so they popped by, and we chatted for a few minutes, but, you know, we were in the library, so we had it down. And, um, you know, we, I, I, as Laurie says, you know, I said something that made her laugh. So, uh, so she thought I was funny. And, uh, but you know, we said, nice to meet you. And that was it. And that was it. I mean, [00:14:00] I don't think she ever thought of me after that. And I didn't really think of her. And then, uh, six months later, a friend of mine, who's still very good friend of mine who lives in Maryland. He was, he had another year to go in school.
Speaker 3: He was a year behind me, but we'd become friends. And I went back to visit him on a Friday night. And, uh, we were going out to the local college pub and, uh, lo and behold, there's my friend, Julie. Yeah. With her friend Laurie. And, [00:14:30] uh, and we talked for a little bit, and then, uh, we kind of made a tentative date to play racketball. I was playing a lot of racquetball in those days. I started playing that when I was in the air force. And, uh, so we swapped information and off I went, you know, and, uh, something came up and I couldn't keep the racquetball date. So I, I guess I called her, I didn't email her. There was no email. It didn't say so anyway. So I kind of backed out of that, not intentionally to [00:15:00] back out, but I had, I suddenly came up and I couldn't do it, and we never renewed.
Speaker 3: And then, um, six months after that, so the F you know, it was, it was, uh, it was about a week or two before Thanksgiving. So it was about 11 months after we had our first head first met in the library. I went to visit my friend Phil again, and there was a, a mixer in the student center who was a re gay mixer. Yeah. Uh, and, uh, so I went back and, um, so he and I went and [00:15:30] I saw some friends and, uh, it was getting late. I had to work the next day in New York. So it was about 10 o'clock. And I said, I gotta leave. I gotta get back after work tomorrow. And I was, as I was walking out, I ran into another friend of mine who was there with her boyfriend, and we started talking. So I was there like in 15 minutes, more than I intended to be.
Speaker 3: And as I walked out again, there's continued to walk out of, there was my friend, Julie and her friend, Lori, and, and for the, for the first time I looked [00:16:00] at her and I said, I, I have to take her out. I have to go out. You know, I want to take her out to dinner. And it was almost like I just noticed her for the first time. So we talked and, um, and I said, look, I have to go. I have to work tomorrow. Um, you know, here, like an hour later than I intended to be. Uh, but I said, when are you going to be home again? Because she was going to school at UMass up in Amherst. I forgot to mention that. So I said, when will you be home again? And she said, well, I'll be home for Thanksgiving. So [00:16:30] we made a date.
Speaker 3: I said, look, I'll, let's, we'll go out the Saturday after Thanksgiving. I said, I'll come pick you up. We'll go into New York. And, uh, she said, okay. And then, um, so that was probably two weeks later. So the Saturday after Thanksgiving, I, you know, dressed up, cleaned up and I went to her, uh, the house, um, where she was, where she lived with her parents up in Eastern Connecticut. And I drove and I was driving this Datsun [00:17:00] [inaudible], you know, old car. I had no money. I was making about $13,000 a year, was as a producer for major league baseball in New York. And, um, and I, and it was just the biggest, most beautiful house I had ever seen. The neighborhood was ridiculous. And, uh, you know, there's a, there's a sob and a Cadillac in the driveway, and I'm driving this old Datsun, B2, 10 hatchback.
Speaker 3: And I thought, I can't go in there and pick her up. This is ridiculous. You know, look at this is, [00:17:30] this is her world, you know, it's not mine. Yeah. And I drove around the block two or three times. And, uh, finally I just said, screw it. I'm going in. And I both had, I pulled into the driveway and knocked on their front door and her stepfather opened the door and put his big handout and said, hi, I'm Bob. You know? And I went in and it was just the most beautiful house I'd ever been in. I picked her up and we drove down to Stanford to get the train and took the train into Manhattan. And, uh, we spent the day had a, [00:18:00] had a great, great time. Uh, we, uh, took her to the Guggenheim museum and she thought, well, you like sports.
Speaker 3: What do you know about museums? I said, well, I'm a little more well-rounded than that. You know? And then we, uh, we, uh, took the subway downtown and went to, we watched the sunset from the top of the world trade center. Wow. And then, uh, took the subway back uptown and, uh, went to a restaurant that a friend of mine recommended. So it's very romantic. It's really nice, you know? And, um, we went there for dinner [00:18:30] and then we went, uh, we went to the lobby of the grand Hyatt next to grand central station, which is where the train into town was. Yeah. And, uh, cause I, I knew she was an interior design major and they had just renovated the lobby. And uh, so we went there for a drink and then, um, we just sat there and we were talking about stuff. You know, her father was an alcoholic.
Speaker 3: Mine was an alcoholic we had. So we had all this in common right away, uh, about not having the best childhood [00:19:00] ever. And it's so funny because we, um, we said that if we ever got married and had kids not necessarily to each other, but if we ever got married and had kids that we would do the exact opposite of what our parents did, that would be our yardstick. Um, and, uh, and then all of a sudden I looked at my watch and it was, it was 25 after one in the morning, the last train back to Stanford was at 1 35. I had 10 minutes. And luckily we were right next to grand [00:19:30] central station. Um, so I, you know, pay the bill got out and we just barely caught the train. I was thinking her parents would kill me if we missed the last train back to Connecticut.
Speaker 3: So I got her back to her house at like three in the morning. I had picked her up at 10, you know, on that Saturday morning, got her back home about three o'clock that's a big first day. It was a huge first day and everything just was perfect really. Um, and uh, I said, look, I, I gotta get back. I have to [00:20:00] get up at like four hours to go back into work. And, uh, yeah. And I just couldn't stop thinking about it. Uh, so I sent her a dozen roses up to her, uh, up to her dorm, you know, after that. And then I just couldn't wait to see her again. And then that was it. I was, I was driving up to Amherst on weekends for a while when I wasn't traveling for work. So how long until you all got married and then had kids?
Speaker 3: That was, that was, [00:20:30] that was November of 81 because I graduated in 80. That was November 81. We got engaged. We dated exclusively. And then I think the following October 11 months later, we got engaged. It was 82. And then we got married in June of 83, where you still making your $17,000 a year working for MLD by that point, grinding that much more, maybe 20, you know, not much more O and w which reminds me after we had gotten engaged, [00:21:00] I started thinking about that. And her parents who owned a business, they, they had had a condo up on a golf course in the Cape. They had this beautiful house in Eastern Connecticut. They had a condo down at a golf course in Florida, outside Sarasota, and, you know, they, they had money. Uh, and, uh, and I had never expected to be able to, you know, play in that world.
Speaker 3: Sure. And we went out to dinner and I said, look, I said, um, I have to say something. And I said, [00:21:30] I don't want you to answer. I want you to think about this for like a week and think about it. I said, if we get married, I have no idea how much money I'll ever make. And I said, if, if you marry me, you're giving up this lifestyle, you know, because I'm not taking money from your parents, I'm not going to do it. And I said, you need to think about whether or not you're, you're, you know, you're willing to do this and give all this up at least for a while, maybe forever. And, [00:22:00] uh, she said, well, I, I said, don't answer me. I said, just think about that. And I S I said, uh it's you know, I said, I would rather have you tell me now, you know, I guess I can't and have it in this way.
Speaker 3: Then, you know, 10 years from now, we're married, married with two or three kids. And you're just saying, I'm tired of living in this hole. And, you know, we never have money. We don't go anywhere. We don't do anything. I said, that's not going to happen. I said, you know, I would rather, I will understand if you can't [00:22:30] do it. But I said, you know, I just think we need, we need to think about this. And, you know, and the night she said, I don't need to think about it. You know, this is what I want to do. I love you. And I want to marry you. So we got married in June of 83 and within two years, her parents had lost everything. No kidding. Yeah. Yeah. The economy went south. He had a, he owned a, an electrical supply company, lighting and stuff, and, you know, construction was down.
Speaker 3: So all of his [00:23:00] commercial business was down. And, uh, uncle Sam took two of their three houses. They just said, you know, these are ours for back taxes. And, you know, he was putting expenses on credit cards to keep the business afloat. And, uh, it just, they lost just about everything. And like within five years I was making more money than they were, which was, I never saw that coming. Never. Um, so, uh, yeah. And then we had, uh, we got married in 83. [00:23:30] Kate was born in March of 85. So two years after that. And, um, and Kate was about six months old and Lori said, you know, she hates going to daycare and Laurie was an interior designer. So she was working basically six days a week, including Saturdays, because she would have to, you know, meet with clients on Saturday. That's when they were off.
Speaker 3: So we had one day, a week off together. Uh, I was traveling, you know, if Kate got sick and couldn't go to school, you know, Laurie would say, well, I, you know, I can't stay home with [00:24:00] her. I have a meeting with a client. And I said, well, I'm going to Chicago tomorrow. I, you know, I'm not even going to be here because I was traveling about one week a month. Wow. Probably, yeah. It was really difficult. And then Laurie said, I wanted to take the summer off to spend with Kate. Do you think we can afford it? And I sat down and did all the math on what her gross salary was and then minus taxes and minus daycare and minus dry cleaning and lunches and all that stuff. Yeah. And, uh, you know, it was hard as she was working, you know, after taxes [00:24:30] and expenses, we had about $5,000 a year to do anything we wanted with.
Speaker 3: And I said, well, you know, why are we going through this for $5,000 a year? So I said, yeah, take the summer off. And it was great. You know, Kate loved being with Laurie and Laurie loved being with Kate. Um, she was an at-home mom. Uh, and then kind of interestingly, a couple of our friends were in a situation where they were looking for somebody to provide daycare for their kids, because they had to go back to work because they needed benefits. Okay. Uh, and [00:25:00] Lori said, well, you know, I'll watch your baby, your son, your daughter. Cause they were friends of ours. Sure. And uh, she said, you know, pay me half going rate. That's fine. I'm home anyway. And she wound up watching kids of two or three of our friends. So then our kids had someone to play with and she was making money and she was making more money after taxes doing that. And she was going out and working. Right. And so we were actually better financially, better off financially, which is weird. Um, and she, and she did that until, [00:25:30] until Brennan who was born four years after Kate, she did that until Brennan went into first grade when he was in school all day. And then she didn't know what she wanted to do. She loved kids decided to try substitute teaching. She did that. And then two years into that she got a full-time teaching job. So that's how she migrated into teaching. Yeah. So when
Speaker 2: You had a K in
Speaker 3: 83, 5, I'm sorry, 85, a five.
Speaker 2: How did that impact your [00:26:00] day to day professionally? Did you have to start changing the way you used your time and or did your job prevent you from having much flexibility to manage new experience in life? Yeah.
Speaker 3: Yeah, it was, it was all on Laurie, you know, because she was a stay-at-home mom, thankfully, you know, we were able to make that work. And I was, you know, still at the very early stages of climbing a ladder at baseball and still traveling a week a month. Uh, and in fact, uh, logistically, you know, we owned a condo [00:26:30] up in Connecticut and then part of the company at baseball branched off and they started a new satellite highlight feed service, which was up in, uh, which is in New Jersey by the metal lands. And it, I couldn't do the commute every day. It was just too far. So for, for almost two years, I was living, uh, I had, I took a bedroom in an apartment with a friend of mine and I was driving into New Jersey and Monday morning and driving [00:27:00] back to Connecticut on Friday night. So for two years, no one saw me Monday through Friday. I wasn't even living in the house. So Lori was really a single parent and, you know, she, she kept everything afloat, you know, w you know, there was really no way around it, uh, for us to do that. But, uh, those are, that was kind of tough, tougher for her, obviously. Um, but, um, you know, it was what we had to do at the time, Caitlin,
Speaker 2: I mean, that you often will wish a loud [00:27:30] how you wish your kids were younger, smaller, still sometimes. Is that a result of, you know, just kinda being around on weekends for two years,
Speaker 3: You know, what I hadn't thought of it that way, but I'm sure that has something to do with it. I, I think, I think the thing that's more obvious to me is that, uh, I really, really miss them being little. And, uh, you know, when, when first Caitlyn, uh, and then Brendan left to go to college and get off on their own, I was [00:28:00] feeling a little, sorry for myself because, Hey, I missed them and I wasn't there everyday dad anymore. And it's really difficult when you S when you stop and realize that part of my life is over. Yeah. You know, I'm not the father of, you know, little kids or teenagers, or, you know, uh, I don't see them every day anymore. Um, matter of fact, when, when Caitlin went away to college, you know, down here at James Madison, um, I was depressed.
Speaker 3: Uh, I [00:28:30] was about that far from seeing someone, um, because it just, you know, he'd kill me that I couldn't see every day anymore. You know, so, you know, I would come down, you know, during the week sometimes I'd try and work remotely, um, or, you know, Laura and I would come down together, but that first semester was really tough. It took me awhile to adjust to her being away and living on her own. But yeah, so it, it was tough to really accept the fact that that part of my life is over because, [00:29:00] you know, and after those two years where I was away, you know, Monday through Friday, I really appreciated the fact once we were all living together and we sold our place in Connecticut and we all, that's where we moved into our house in New Jersey. Yeah. 30 years ago now, um, once we were all together, you know, it was great. You know, finally we have, we have a really nice house and we're all together again, and, uh, no more, you know, leaving on Monday and coming home on Friday. Uh, so I, you know, I guess, like everything [00:29:30] else, when you miss something for awhile, you just appreciate it more when you finally have a normal everyday day to day life, you know, today
Speaker 2: I'm curious, you know, we, we kind jumped from them being born into, leaving for college. I'd be interested to hear your take on what you said previously about growing up, talking with Laurie, your wife on your first date saying if we have kids, you, or anybody else I'm going to do exactly the opposite of what my parents did. Yeah. Would you share [00:30:00] something that maybe the experience you had and then the deliberate effort you made to 180, that experience for your kids, you know, growing up?
Speaker 3: Yeah. I, you know, I think that the thing that really kind of killed me growing up as a kid was that I was always meant to feel like I didn't have, as a kid, I didn't have the right to have feelings, or you don't have my own opinion, or I was just kinda like pushed aside
Speaker 2: Specific to your [00:30:30] unit. Or do you think that was a result of the generation of parents?
Speaker 3: I think it was a generational thing, you know, I really do. Um, my mother's, uh, father, my grandfather on my mother's side is German. And they had, you know, the Germans, I think, tended to have, uh, you know, kids are kids and they, we shouldn't ever hear them speak and, you know, um, and you know, and it was a difficult life for them. My father was an alcoholic and they both worked. They didn't really have any money. They were living paycheck to paycheck. So, you know, it was, it [00:31:00] wasn't the house of fun and having, you know, kids of our own and the same for Lori, you know, her dad was an alcoholic and, you know, they had problems. Her parents got divorced and my should have, but neither one could afford to live separately. Um, her parents got divorced and, uh, you know, to see our kids and to hold them and to look at them and to just, you know, fall in love with him. Uh, and, um, you know, as they're growing up, instead of saying, no, you can't do that because I [00:31:30] said, so, which was the thing, you know, we always heard, we said, you can't do this. There was a reason for it. You can't do it because you know, this or this or that. Um, and you're
Speaker 2: You're was probably cause I said,
Speaker 3: So, oh yeah. And Lori too, you know, because I'm your mother, I'm your father. And I said, so, you know, and no further explanation than that. And that was one of the things we said we were going to do differently. Um, and, uh, and we did, you know, we, we had, we had great relationships with our kids, not to say that, you know, [00:32:00] there weren't times where we had to be strict and they had to be upset for a couple of days,
Speaker 2: I'm going to quit. I'm going to quote your daughter as soon as I'll find it. As she said, D is for dad and discipline, they wear them in timeline. You don't want to be caught in the, in the Jim Scott stare. And
Speaker 3: I actually it's. Yeah, this, the stair was, you know, just this look. And if I raised a crazy eyebrow and they knew, all right, he's not messing around now.
Speaker 2: So did you ever have to [00:32:30] back up that stair? I mean, part of an interesting experience for me is having kids a three-year-old and a four year old was like, how do I keep them in their lane when they're behaving in a way that's not constructive or is rude or whatever. Like, how do you, did you punish them as kids? Or did you, like, how did you,
Speaker 3: How did you make them good kids? You know, the overall the overarching thing was, was, uh, consistency. Yeah. We've, I think we've all seen parents who say, well, you [00:33:00] know, don't do that or you're going to be in trouble. And then they do that and then nothing happens. And so they realized there are not going to be any repercussions for me, you know, drawing on the wall or whatever. Right. So when we set limitation on whatever it was, the limitation was that there was no getting around it. And if you did what we said, you couldn't do, you know, we did whatever we said, the punishment was going to pay and it was consistent throughout. Um, and I, and I learned, I think from [00:33:30] maybe my time in the military, that discipline has its rewards. And, and just my overall philosophy was, you know, the world's not going to give you anything.
Speaker 3: You know, you have to earn everything that you get and earn, uh, in any rewards you get. And I wanted Kate and Brennan to understand that they had to be responsible for themselves and nothing was going to be handed to them. They had to earn everything they were going to get. Um, and, uh, [00:34:00] so that was my goal. You know, as a parent, you want to teach your kids everything you can about how to navigate the world, you know, the good, the good times and the bad times, because there'll be a day when, you know, I'm not going to be here for them to say, Hey dad, what should I do? And so, you know, I really was focused on teaching them sort of, uh, an approach to life so that when I'm, you know, someday when I'm not around, they'll know what to do, you know, they, they won't have [00:34:30] to come back and ask.
Speaker 3: And, you know, there were times where they got mad at me and they wouldn't talk to me for a couple of days. And then, you know, they would get over it. You know, it worked, you know, Laurie once said to me, you know, Caitlin and Brandon, you know, they don't, they never did drugs as far as I know, or, you know, go out and get drunk and red cars or anything. And Lori said, well, they never did that stuff because, you know, they were more afraid of you than they were the police. And I said, I have a story. Yeah. And I said, well, you know, you say that, [00:35:00] like, it's a bad thing. You know,
Speaker 2: Katelyn told me that, uh, she, at one time was pulled over for going away or the speed limit
Speaker 3: She was doing. She was doing 90, oh, on the New York state thruway. That's, that's a really good story. She was doing 90 on the New York state thruway going up to visit, uh, she was in college, uh, going up to visit her friend. Um, and, uh, she got this ticket and, you know, it was 150 bucks for the speeding ticket or whatever. And I found out how fast she was going. [00:35:30] And I said, and she was, she was home from school, you know, on, in Virginia for Christmas break. I said, give me the keys. You're not driving the rest of the time. You're home. The next time you drive your car will be when you're going back to school. And I said, if my insurance company raises my rates, you're paying me the difference. And you're paying for the ticket. Yeah. I said, that's without even discussion.
Speaker 3: And [00:36:00] I said, the only, you know, you can have the car, if you, you know, I think she was waitressing part-time or something, go to work and come back. But no, no. Drive in the car to go visit friends. None of that. Yeah. You know? And she said, well, that's not fair. Cause you know, the, the police are punishing me with a ticket. And I said, Kate, I said, you know, it would have happened to you if you had a blowout doing 90 on the three-way. I said, it'd be hosing you off the three-way. Yeah. It'd be there wouldn't be anything left of you. I said, I said, you can't ever [00:36:30] do anything like that again. And, uh, so, and she was all upset because she couldn't have the car on vacation. And I said, she goes, there was no fair. And she's crying. And I said, do you want to be able to drive the car anytime you want? She said, yeah. I said, go upstairs, pack your bags, go back to Virginia. And you can drive your car. Well, what about Christmas said, yeah, you won't be here. You'll be, you'll be in Virginia by yourself, but you'll be able to drive your car, you know, anytime you want. So I said, you make the call. It's your [00:37:00] choice. You can do either one. But I said, you can't stay here for Christmas with us and have the car for recreational purposes. So,
Speaker 2: So Kate Katelyn has described you as one, the best grandpa in the world to that you have tremendous respect for people that you sacrifice yourself to give to them, have a better childhood than you had. And then you have an incredibly deep love for your children. And when you have to have a conversation like that with your kid, like [00:37:30] you have to, I don't know if you, if it's that love that's coming out. That like makes you almost Ang, but she's also described as being terrified of you. Well, how do you, how do you balance those? Like from where you coming from, when you're laying down the law like that.
Speaker 3: Yeah. Well, I think you laid down the law because you love your kids and you don't want them doing anything stupid, you know, and you don't want them to learn a lesson the hard way. Yeah. You know, you'd rather have them learn a lesson because [00:38:00] you explain what the repercussions can be. But, you know, as we all know, sometimes the lessons that you learn best are the ones that you learn. The hard way question. Yeah. So, you know, as a parent, I think any, any parent wants to avoid having their kids learn lessons the hard way whenever they can. And, uh, I wanted to scare her and get her upset because I was pretty sure that she was never going to be driving 90 on a highway again, you know? Um, so I, [00:38:30] I really didn't see, see me as having any other options except to come down on something that, you know, that's serious.
Speaker 3: You know, when, when Kate was in grammar school, she got into a charter school and we went to this charter school and sat with each of the teachers and they were talking about the curriculum and, and everything. And, uh, we, we got into her math class and the math teacher handed out. He ended every [00:39:00] couple, three bucks, three, five, or a three by five index card. And, uh, he said, um, my wife and I were having our first child and we're a little nervous about it. Um, and he said, but all of you have apparently done something, right. Because your children are in this school. Yeah. And he said, you know, I'd like you to just write your best advice for, you know, how to be a parent on this card. Yeah. I, I just, I just wrote three words. I said, just love [00:39:30] them. Yeah.
Speaker 2: Yeah. It's um, I find a lot of punishments and lessons come from a place of power or place of trying to establish dominance or a parallel hierarchy. But I, when people ask me the same thing, you know, like just love them more. Yeah.
Speaker 3: Yeah. If you, if you, I mean, there is, there's no rule book for it. I think that you can go back and look in the index and say, oh, what do you do when they write on the walls of the crayons? I think, I think you just, you [00:40:00] love them and everything is by instinct. You know, everything's kind of by the seat of your pants. Um,
Speaker 2: Yeah. We're all experiments aren't we, nobody knows how to do it. Right.
Speaker 3: Yeah. There there's no, no. You know, manually hand you, when you go out of the hospital there for your pet uh you're you know, especially your first child, but, uh, yeah. If I think if you just love them, I think everything just comes naturally and you just figure out, you know, how to do the right thing. And, and it is a mixture of discipline when it's required, because [00:40:30] it is sometimes. Yeah. Uh, and just being goofy and having fun at other times. Um, and, and treating your children from the beginning with respect so that they understand that your feelings matter, the things that bother them matter, and they need an explanation for why it's good to do this, or why, you know, you shouldn't do that. Um,
Speaker 2: Your role has changed since, um, you know, from zero to leaving for college, to the, to where now, you know, [00:41:00] your grandfather, like your role as a dad to Caitlin and Brennan, is it different now than it was 15 years ago? You know,
Speaker 3: I don't think it's really changed at all. I mean, the, the one difference is that there is, you know, I, you know, when they're little, you know, you're a hundred percent parent and as they get older, I think the percentage of you're their friend, as opposed to just their parent, you know, changes a little bit, um, [00:41:30] you know, we've, we've done. Uh, well, it's funny because Kate was a swimmer in school and Brendan played hockey and frequently, you know, it was at the same time. So we got into this pattern where one of us would go to the swim meet, and one of us would go to the hockey game in which switch off. So there was a lot of, you know, mother, son, father, son, mother, daughter, father, daughter, you know, one-on-one stuff. Um,
Speaker 2: Um, Caitlin mentions that as being like a highlight in how important that was to her, that you got quality time [00:42:00] with each individual kid and each individual.
Speaker 3: Yeah. Yeah. Because, you know, w whether you're a boy or a girl, when you're doing something with your father separately, or with your mother, you do different things, you know, and then, you know, we had our times where it was the four of us together. Um, but, um, so there were plenty of times where it was one of us with each of them. Uh, but as, as, as they got older, you know, we would just do more, you know, just friends stuff when I, [00:42:30] Brendan used to be in this hockey camp up in Canada. So I would take him up to this hockey camp for a week in Canada. And that same week Lauren and Kate would fly down to Cancun and, you know, lay on the beach for a week together and just sit and read books and chat and, you know, um, and then, uh, and I've taken both kids separately to, to Europe for a week where we just hang out and do whatever we want.
Speaker 3: And, um, you know, it's, I, I took, uh, the first trip I did, Kate did a semester in Florence and when [00:43:00] she was a junior in college and, uh, and I had been traveling to Europe for work a lot. And I read this article about, it was an interview with, with Paltrow and her father, Bruce Paltrow used to be a television producer. He produced a show called St. Elsewhere, that was on NBC in the eighties. Um, so he was a, you know, big Hollywood guy. And, uh, but she, in the article, she talked about the time when she was, I think, 16 or 17, and her father took her to Paris. Um, the, [00:43:30] her father had passed away and the interviewer asked her what was her best memory of her time with her dad? And she said, you know, my father took me to Paris and it was a teenager because he said that he said that every woman should see Paris for the first time with the first man share beloved.
Speaker 2: I got a great book, which I thought was just like
Speaker 3: The greatest thing. Oh, I said to Kate, I said, you know, you're not going to, you're not just going to fly to Florence. I said, I'm taking you to Paris for a week. [00:44:00] And then, and then at the end of the week, you'll get your, you know, your hop to Florence and I'll fly back home. So we, you know, we took off, went to Paris and, uh, and, uh, I said to her, look, you know, when we land, I said, no naps, no sleeping, you know, cause it's the overnight flight. And I said, we're gonna take a shower change and we're going to get out and just start, you know, looking around. And, uh, so we did, and, you know, we're just walking around Paris and I just, her eyes, you know, and it was, it [00:44:30] was such a great, and I hadn't been, I had been there several times before and I love Paris.
Speaker 3: It's just a great city, so beautiful, but it was so much fun to see her discover Paris. And as she was growing up, she and I would do these father daughter dates, we'd go into New York and we'd go out. And she just, she loved good food, you know? And so we'd go to a restaurant and, you know, she was like nine and she'd ordered the duck or salmon or something. And, uh, but, and I, I always thought, you know, I, I can't wait until she's old [00:45:00] enough so that when we go out to dinner, we can get a bottle of wine because at home, you know, when she was 15 or 16, she'd get to have some wine with dinner. Sure. And I just thought, I can't wait till we go out to dinner and I can get a bottle of wine, but, you know, she has to be 21.
Speaker 3: Yeah. So, uh, so, uh, um, that week in Paris, she was still 20, but that night we went out to, we went out to dinner and I was able to have, get the bottle of wine. So the first time she and I had dinner with a bottle of wine was in Paris, [00:45:30] which is, which is one of my favorite stories. And one of my favorite days ever, you know, that we, and we got to do that. And, uh, and we had so much fun. We sat there, we, we closed the restaurant, the waiter fell in love with her and they just bring us all these, you know, food and drinks and stuff. It was really kind of funny. Uh, but we had a great, we had a great week together. And then, uh, so she went off to Florence and then Lori and Brenda, and I went over there for a week when she had a semester break.
Speaker 3: Uh, I rented an apartment over there and we all spend a week together in Florence, [00:46:00] which is Brendan's first time outside the U S and Kate spoke a little Italian at the time. So she went to a store and was talking to them, which was kind of funny. So, and she was flying back about a couple of weeks before Christmas at the end of her semester. And I thought that was, so I'm going to do that again. So I called United and I booked myself a flight to and from, and then, and she was flying back, connecting back through Paris, back to Newark. And so I changed her flight. I moved [00:46:30] her return flight back a week. So I, I got to Paris, you know, these took the overnight flight out there, you know, eight in the morning. Um, and Kate sleight was coming in from Florence at like 10 or 10 30.
Speaker 3: So I got there a couple of hours ahead of her, and then she had to, uh, get her bags. So she was waiting in baggage claim. And, uh, I walked up behind her and I said, Kate, she jumped. And she screamed and people were looking at, yeah. And [00:47:00] so I said, I have, uh, I have some bad news and some good news. And she said, well, what's the bad news. I said, well, you're not going to see mom today. And she goes, well, what's a good news. I said, we're going to be in Paris for another week. So we went back and we, and we did the week over again. And, and the first time, you know, I took her to all the tourist sites and, um, you know, Notre Dom and apple tower and all that. And I said, this week, we're just going to do whatever we want to do. And we'll just sit, if we want to go sit in a cafe and drink a bottle of wine or whatever, and that's what we did just hung out for [00:47:30] the week. You know? So then that was fun.
Speaker 2: You made the full, basically the full migration, almost from a hundred percent parent to 50 50 friend parents and more, how do you perceive, what do you think that migration is going to look like for your grandson Jack?
Speaker 3: Well, I think, I think the percentage changes, you know, at a time like that, you know, for that week, we're a hundred percent friends, right? And then there are times when cater, Brendan will need us to be the parent. And then we go back in that moment or at [00:48:00] that time to being 107 parents. So it, it kind of fluctuates, but it's nice to know that we can be both. And I, and I, I think that based on, you know, in the same way that Lori and I, based our approach to being parents on a negative experience growing up, um, saying we're going to do the exact opposite. And Cole's parents, Caitlin's husband, Cole's parents are wonderful parents, great people, Kayden Cole, both air approaches, we're going to do [00:48:30] exactly, exactly what our parents did. Yeah. And I, and I think that, um, and I think, you know, their approach to raising Jack and any other kids they may have, will be the same. You know, I think they're going to have a lot of fun together. Uh, I think, um, they'll make sure that Jack doesn't become a spoiled little brat and he stays humble. Um, and he treats other people well and with respect and has empathy for other people. [00:49:00] And it's, I want Jack to grow up to be like Brandon. Yeah.
Speaker 2: They couldn't be a more wonderful idea to hold as a parent to think that my grandparents, I would be proud to have my grandson grow up to be like my son. Yeah. But I want to do a little bit of a lightening round. I got a couple of questions and I want to get your, your quick answers. Okay. Um, so if you were to write a book about your professional and parallel life, uh, what would be the name of some of [00:49:30] the chapters?
Speaker 3: Wow. That's
Speaker 2: Not a lightening answer now.
Speaker 3: I'm sorry. I'm throwing, I'm throwing you off your paints here right away.
Speaker 2: Um, let's start
Speaker 3: With, I think, um, I think chapter one, if I was writing a book about becoming a parent chapter one would be those three words of advice, everyone on the index card just love them. Just love them. Yeah. Uh, chapter two might be 90 miles an hour, you know, to, to talk to talk, talk [00:50:00] about times when you just, you know, when you have to be a hard, you know, because there will be times when you're going to have to be a hard-ass. Um, uh, one of the chapters would probably be, uh, explain it, you know, as opposed to the, um, you know, because I said, so, you know, kind of thing, right. I think, uh, I think that's, that's really critical. Have fun is important. You know, I, one, the, one of the things that, well, [00:50:30] I think the two things that are probably the biggest reasons that Laurie and I are happily married for 37 years.
Speaker 3: And I wonder sometimes how she can still love me for all the time. Um, is I think one of the things is because I travel as much as I do. We have the benefit of being a part and looking forward to getting back, to see each other, you know, we're not, we don't see each other, you know, seven days a week, every day. And I think things can get a little boring [00:51:00] after awhile that way, but we laugh about something every single day. Yeah. I'm not just a chuckle, I mean like a real laugh every day. And one of the things that I'm grateful for and that I really love about Caitlin and Brendan, they're both really funny, you know, and I, and I don't know how, I don't know how people without a sense of humor can get through life, especially when things are not going so well. You know, I think a sense of humor is critical. Uh, [00:51:30] and I think the fact that Laurie and I laugh about something together every day is really important. And I think that, you know, Kate and bran would pass that on to their kids, uh, because of the sense of humor is important. So one of the chapters I guess, would be, um, just laugh or laugh about it or, you know, something like that. I th I think that's really, you know, very important. Um, I don't know, what's that about four or five chapters?
Speaker 2: I think that's [00:52:00] what is in just a couple of words, the role of a father
Speaker 3: Guidance, um, love, uh, lessons help. I think, uh, I think it's really important for a child to know that they can, uh, say anything to their parents, you know, [00:52:30] confess anything, admit to anything and know that, you know, the re the immediate reaction is not going to be that you're going to yell at them, you know, it's going to be, you know, why did you do it? You know, how does it feel that kind of thing, just, just to try and take, whether it was something fun or something terrible to take, to take an, uh, an instance and learn from it. So I think, you know, in that sense guidance and maybe refuge, you know, just [00:53:00] to know that you can always count on your parents to not be judgmental, maybe they will. Sometimes, sometimes, sometimes, sometimes it might be difficult to, to avoid that, but at least they'll try not to be anyway.
Speaker 2: I like refuge particular. What is a physical gift? If you could give a gift to every dad on the planet, what's something that you would give to them,
Speaker 3: Physical gift. Yeah. [00:53:30] It's funny. Um, I would say a photo of their grandchild because when I look at Jack, I see Kate, certainly I see in his personality, I see a little bit of his uncle Brennan. Um, and I, and I think, you know, through, through Jack, it's really, it's really, uh, a confirmation of having done [00:54:00] a good job as a parent, you know, um, because you pass that on. And I, I, you know, I, I've always said that if I can only be good at one thing, it well better be being a father. Um, because that's the one thing that if I'm good at it, it can have an effect on the lives of a generation that I'll never be around to see, you know, Laurie and I have passed on what we've passed on to Kate and Brennan. I can see Kate passing that [00:54:30] onto Jack, uh, Jack then can be the kind of parent, hopefully that he learned to be from Colin, from Kate.
Speaker 3: And then he'll be that same parent to his kids, you know, and maybe pass that on. So I think that, uh, I think that if I could give a parent a picture of their grandchild and to see how that grandchild turned out, uh, because it meant if it's good, you know, it means that they were a good parent, [00:55:00] you know, to, to their children. And I, and I think that's, that's, I think that's the best reward that you can have, you know, and, and, uh, you know, this morning I got to sit and read Jack A. Little bit and, and he loves, he was surprised to see us there this morning. And he was very happy about that. And, and, uh, that's a great reward, you know, it really is. Um, and I have, I have two goals now. Um, I want Jack to think I'm the coolest gram father around, uh, and the other one [00:55:30] is that, uh, I wanna, I wanna live long enough to take him out for a pint. Yeah. I want to be able to, I want to be able to do that, you know, I guess in the same way that I wanted to take Kate out to dinner and have a bottle of wine, I want to be able to want to be around long enough to, you know, take, come on, Jack, let's go out for a beer. Really. Yeah. Yeah. Um, and hopefully he'll, you know, he'll learn something from me too. Yeah.
Speaker 2: Well, here's a, that's a great segue into another conversation [00:56:00] or into another question, rather. So for your kids, kids, kids, kids, kids, audio can be around forever and just, maybe they get an opportunity to listen to those. Yeah. So if you want to take a minute to say something, what's something you might want to say to your two Caitlyn's. Great, great, great, great grandchildren, or Brendan's great. Great, great, great
Speaker 3: Grilled children. Uh, I'd say that, uh, I'm really sorry. I didn't get to meet you. [00:56:30] I hope that you're happy and I hope you're living a great life being the father of your great, great, great, great grandmother and grandfather and grandfather was the best thing that ever happened to me. Um, and I hope that because of what I, and you're a great, great, great, great, great grandmother did, uh, to raise our kids, Caitlyn and Brennan, um, that the good part of that got passed all the way down to you and that you're happy and [00:57:00] living a good life. And if I'm 2% responsible for that, that's a pretty good thing. Yeah,
Speaker 2: No. What is a TV or movie dad that you like or relate to?
Speaker 3: Um, it's very funny. Um, the first thing, the first one that comes to mind, uh, is, uh, modern family. Uh, and gosh, I [00:57:30] just saw the other night now I'm forgetting his name, Phil Dunn, Phil Phil Dunphy. Uh, because, you know, because yeah, because, you know, he's, he's, he's goofy, you know, uh, but, uh, but he works hard and he loves his family, you know, and he tries to have fun with them, you know? Um, and he's, uh, just like this open honest guy, uh, who, who does his best and, and, and clearly, you know, his family is the most important thing in the world to him. Um, yeah, [00:58:00] I guess I'm, I'm sure I'm sure there, there were others, but, you know, that's the first one that really comes to mind. So Phil Dunphy.
Speaker 2: Yeah. No. Um, what are three qualities that make up or that a super dad would have somebody that's just an amazing dad, what's three qualities.
Speaker 3: So they would have, that'd be backtracking and add one more, uh, to that answer about the father. Uh, you watched this [00:58:30] as us, I've
Speaker 2: Seen a couple episodes. My wife is a die hard.
Speaker 3: Yeah. Yeah. I, uh, any of the, any of the guys on that show who are parents, um, it's a great show and, uh, and those are the kind of guys that every dad should be like, I think. And I'm sorry, now your next question.
Speaker 2: Oh, no. Yeah. Uh, maybe you can draw straight from that, but then the qualities, what are three qualities that somebody needs in order to be a really great dad
Speaker 3: Sense of self-awareness [00:59:00] I think is pretty important, uh, so that you can see your life and your children's life in its proper perspective and that you understand, uh, what your responsibilities are and how you have to carry them out. Um, as I said before, I think a sense of humor. Um, I think now I want to say selfishness or selflessness. Um, but, um, yeah, [00:59:30] and I've, I've said this to people before, you know, as a parent, you have to make sacrifices along the way. Um, but if you asked me, you know, what was one sacrifice that I had to make for my kids? I couldn't think of anything because I've never, I've never done anything, whether it was something I was forced to do or had to give up or whatever, I've never had to do anything, uh, that I ever thought of as a [01:00:00] sacrifice or, you know, something that I had to give up.
Speaker 3: It's always been, yeah, I've got, I'm going to do that, you know? Um, so I think selflessness, because you always have to think of your kids first because they're the world to you. Um, and, uh, you know, in some people shouldn't be parents. Yeah. Uh, fortunately some people know they shouldn't be parents and, and don't have kids. Um, and I respect [01:00:30] those people a lot for knowing that they probably shouldn't and acting on it. I feel really bad for people who really, really want to have kids who would be great parents, who can't, you know, when they go through, you know, medical procedures to try and do it or adopt. Um, and, and those people clearly are, you know, selfless in their efforts to, to overcome, you know, medical, physical hurdles, uh, to become parents, but being selfless is, is [01:01:00] pretty key, I think.
Speaker 2: Okay. So what it for, for somebody like me, who's got a three and a four year old or somebody who's, you know, not had kids yet. We're about to have kids. What are some of the milestones in your kid's life that jump out at you as the ones that people should really be present in that parents should really make the effort to be that self-aware during that experience? What are some of the,
Speaker 3: It was milestones. Uh, well, first I'll say that I'm a bit envious of you [01:01:30] with the three and a four year old, because you get to go through, you know, all those wonderful moments that Laura and I got to go through and you still have that ahead of you. Um, so I, I wouldn't mind being back in your shoes. Um, uh, but, um, yeah, it's just, I mean, there are some obvious things like, you know, graduations and, you know, playing sports and watching them play sports and encouraging them and, and celebrating when they do well or, you know, [01:02:00] teach them a lesson from something, you know, when they don't, that's one of the great things about sports is that, you know, it's, it's sort of a, you know, parallel to life, teamwork and working together to accomplish something, accomplish a goal, or shaking it off when you do the wrong thing, make a mistake and learn from it and move on.
Speaker 3: Um, I just think there's so many moments that just pop up out of nowhere when you can be there for them. And you can have a laugh with them, [01:02:30] share a moment or use that moment as a, as a teaching experience. Um, but, uh, and just someone wants when it's fun, you know, when they wake up and hop in bed with you on a Saturday morning and you can wrestle around and have some fun, uh, I think there's no end to those kinds of kinds of moments when you can really just be together and laugh and, you know, get a smooch. And, you know, Jack now is at the stage where, you know, Kate will say, give grandpa kiss and [01:03:00] he'll come over. And, and that, you know, that just makes me feel so good. You know, when he was at our house a few weeks ago, you know, he just, I was sitting next to him while he was eating and he grabbed my shirt and pulled me over and gave me a hug, you know, so, you know, so there were just so many moments, you know, potentially every day where you can just have a great moment with your, with your son or daughter.
Speaker 3: Um, and, and, you know, they can feel the warmth from, they can feel how much you care. And, and they, um, [01:03:30] because of that, I think when you try to teach him a lesson, I think all those moments that lead up to that, they pay attention and, and, and really think that, you know, you're teaching the right thing and that they should, should listen to you just because you, you know, you're a rock for them from the beginning. So I don't know that I can identify any specific things other than, you know, the obvious things like, you know, if you're graduating from school or [01:04:00] winning a league championship, if they're playing baseball or, um, those things can just happen every day. Yeah. Yeah.
Speaker 2: But I've noticed, uh, it, it, it's difficult to be present in moments sometimes with a world full of distractions. I'll, um, I'm making a conscious decision now that if I'm playing with my phone and one of my kids comes into the room, I try to put it down because I don't want to miss that moment if it happens. And I [01:04:30] have to practice that. Uh, did you have any, you know, awareness or mindfulness practices that help you be a more present parent or grandparent?
Speaker 3: Yeah, I th I think, um, I think because I was away at least a week a month, uh, and certainly in those two years where I was away the whole week, I think, uh, you know, it kind of taught me to take advantage of those moments and to try not to be distracted. And, you know, there were times where I certainly failed or I'd [01:05:00] get upset about something about work or, you know, I mean, that stuff happens. I, I was really always conscious of making sure I was there for certain big moments. Uh, two examples. Uh, I was the assistant coach Brendan's soccer team when he was like, you know, five or six. Yeah. Uh, it was just swarm ball, everybody fall on. Um, and, uh, I was out, I was out in Los Angeles for a couple of weeks [01:05:30] for work, uh, on a shoot.
Speaker 3: Um, and, uh, he had, uh, he had a soccer game on the Saturday that I was away right in the middle of the trip. And, uh, and I really was feeling bad about missing the soccer game. And, uh, and I thought, you know, I'm going to fly home now cause I'm off for the weekend. Um, I worked on Friday, I'm working on Monday and I thought, I want to fly home Friday night, go to the game and then fly back out on to Los Angeles on Sunday. And I was staying at a hotel right near [01:06:00] the airport in Los Angeles. And I, and, and this was back in the day when you could do this stuff. Um, and it was American airlines that I used to fly all the time. And I went over to, to lax, to the American airlines desk and I said, Hey, look, I'm out here.
Speaker 3: My son has a soccer game. I really want to go back. And I said, uh, you know, how, how much is it just a quick round trip, leave on Friday, come back on Sunday. And you know, the woman with the cameras, you know, doing this. And she said, oh, it's, you know, it's like $1,200. So I'm like, [01:06:30] I can't, I can't afford that. Yeah. And, uh, she says, uh, she said, wait a minute. She goes in the back. And she comes out with this guy who I guess was the supervisor. And he said, uh, said, I hear you want to go back home. Why don't you simply soccer for the weekend? I said, yeah. I said, I'm on this two week road trip. I'd really like to go back. I said, but I can't, I can't afford 1200 bucks. And, uh, so he said, well, let me see what we can do. So he just goes in and he's doing this thing. And he said, uh, how does $600 [01:07:00] sound? I said, Don. He said, okay. So he writes out the ticket and uh, hands the tickets, me book me first class for $600 round trip. Yeah. That's amazing. It's beautiful. Yeah.
Speaker 3: And he said, you know, you're being, you're, you're, you're being a great dad, you know, that's amazing. But you know, I didn't do it to be a great dad. I did it because, you know, I [01:07:30] wanted to see him play. Yeah. So I've got to fly home and I watched him play, you know, in the game and help coach and turn around and flew back out. Um, and I said to him, I said, you know, is there somebody above you that I can write you to? Thank you. We go saw, he says, no, no. He said, I'll. He said, I might lose my job. I might lose my job over this. Um, and that, and, uh, and with Kate, you know, she was, uh, she was on the swim team in high school. And, uh, and I think it was as a sophomore and there was, there was, she had a [01:08:00] swim meet.
Speaker 3: And if she came in, you know, with the top three in one of the races, she would get her varsity letter. Yeah. I worked in New York at the time on park avenue. And, uh, and I had a dinner that night that I had to stay in New York four and a, and I was thinking about it and thinking about, and I said, I really want to be there to see her, you know, get her varsity letter. So I went to my boss. I said, I'll be at the knitter night, but I have to leave early because my daughter has a swim meet at four o'clock. So I went back [01:08:30] to New Jersey yeah. Was in the stands. And she saw me in the stands and was freaking out, you know? And, uh, and she came in second in this race and she got her varsity letter. So it was there to see her do that.
Speaker 3: Um, and she came up and gave me a big hug and everything. And I got my car and drove back into New York and went to my dinner, but I was there for, for, for that. Um, and I, I was always, I'm not a very smart guy, but I was always smart enough to know that those moments were not going to last [01:09:00] forever. Yeah. And it was really important for me to be there for, for those moments. And, you know, I mean, I, I, I think I did it as much for myself as I did as I did for them
Speaker 2: Listening to you talk about
Speaker 3: That. Yeah. And, uh, and I, and I always, I always was aware about that and I always made sure that I didn't miss, you know, that kind of stuff, because it was, it was as important to me as it was to them, I think. Um, and, uh, and I, you know, I think it made an impact [01:09:30] on, on them,
Speaker 2: You know, said, I've said to my friends that don't have kids, uh, having kids is like buying a DeLorean time machine. Yeah. It's just the second year I have kids, you blink suddenly five years has gone by and to be present for those moments. Like not just mentally present, but physically actually there, and to go through that. Yeah. I'd like to think that I would do all of those things because I know how important it was to me when my dad did those things and I know [01:10:00] how much fulfillment it would bring me to watch, watch that all.
Speaker 3: Yeah. I think, yeah, it's my recollection is that my father went to like one of my little league baseball games, you know? Um, and you know, so my parents were there for there didn't bother me, I guess, cause I was used to at the time having them there. Yeah. Um, but, uh, but yeah, that was, that was always important. Um, and you know, and you talk about a time machine, you know, Laurie and I have always said, it'd be great to go back to when Kaitlin and Brendan were small enough that we could pick them [01:10:30] up and you know, for a week, you know, just to have that again and now having a grandson, having Jack is kinda like that. Yeah. You know, um, because even though we're his grandparents time in a way you feel like almost like a parent again, you know, and, and we get to play with them and, and, you know, and do fun stuff with them.
Speaker 3: And it is like, we're getting our wished to have that have time go backward into, and to have that again. And that just makes it [01:11:00] more fun. Yeah. You know, that it's purely fun, you know? Um, and, uh, you know, it's, we try to get down here once a month, you know, to, to see him. Uh, and after Lori retired from teaching in four years, we're moving down somewhere near here. So we'll be able to be around more often, but now that Brendan's in California, we'll be bi-coastal parents, you know, so we'll be doing a lot of back and forth. Um, but it's, it's really just so on the one hand, it's very [01:11:30] fulfilling to see your children have children and to love being parents the way, you know, you used to love being a parent when, when you were in that role. Yeah. Um, it's, it's, it's a little sad to think that that part of your life is over and now you're a grandparent.
Speaker 3: Um, and, and I say to everyone who has kids, it's going to go faster than you can ever imagine. And, you know, right now there are two or three or four. [01:12:00] Um, and you're, you're doing lots of stuff for them that they can't do for themselves. And before, you know, it you'll be dropping them off at their dorm for their first day of college. Yeah. You know, and you know, and Kate, you know, the day she got married, you know, walking her down the aisle, oh God, don't talk to me about, and, and I, you know, it's funny because, and I, I still have the reminder in my calendar meet Kate at the barn at five 30. No, you know, she [01:12:30] had this out there, a wedding, it was a beautiful wedding. Um, and I had met her at five 30 outside of this barn on this property where the wedding was, and I was just standing there waiting for, and I was just thinking, holy cow, you know, here's the moment that I've been thinking about since she was, you know, one probably, you know, the proudest moment for a father, you know?
Speaker 3: Well, if she married somebody that you like, that's the that's to me, that's the scariest thing about being a parent, [01:13:00] you know, for 20 or 30, you know, years, you do everything you can to give them everything you can. And if they fall in love with somebody, you don't like, you know, there's not a lot you can do about it. Fortunately that wasn't the case, you know, it gave you a call and, and, you know, and then Kate walked up to me and her wedding dress. And I just said, how did we get here? Really? I really thought, how did, how did we get here? Holy cow. And it just, it just went [01:13:30] like that, you know, all those father-daughter days in New York and, you know, trips to Europe and, and, and before she got pregnant with Jack her, I said, you know, cause I knew they were trying.
Speaker 3: And I said, you know what? We have one last chance to do a father daughter trip. Yeah. And, uh, so I said, you know, I'll get asked Cole for his permission. He's your husband, you know, I'm just your dad now, how am I? And I went from being number one on the, on the metal podium [01:14:00] to number two. And now number three, because Jack has never won. And poor Cole was never to, when I'm down to number three, she has another boy I'm off the podium. And, um, and he said, yeah, yeah, sure. So she and I went to London for a week together. Um, and it was right before she got pregnant. Uh, but, and, and the most fun. And I think we had that whole trip that whole week. Uh, we were around the theater district in London and it started raining and we just popped into this little, uh, brasserie, [01:14:30] uh, right near the theater district.
Speaker 3: And, uh, I got a bottle of wine and some bread and some olives and stuff. And we sat there and drank wine and just snacked on bread and olives for about four hours just talking about stuff, you know? And I just thought what a great thing. Yeah. You know, to be able to do with your, I guess you, at the time she was 30 or 31, um, with your adult daughter, uh, and the fact that she would want to spend a week, you [01:15:00] know, together. Cause she had said, when we went to Paris, you know, she said, my friends said, oh, I wouldn't spend a week with my father. Are you kidding me? You know? And uh, and I, and I feel, I feel really bad for dads whose daughters wouldn't dream of going away with him for a week to do anything, you know, just for even a day, just to spend some time together and talk about whatever you wind up talking about. You know,
Speaker 2: This is a, this is a question that you reminded me of that I just [01:15:30] wrote down that interests me. I did not appreciate how much my parents love me until I had kids. Yeah. Do you think Caitlin has different appreciation for her parents now that she's a parent, you know, and do you think that, uh, a person can understand the depth of emotion with which you can love your child if they don't have a child?
Speaker 3: I'll answer that in two parts. [01:16:00] The first part of your question, I will answer by saying that when Jack was born, I guess he was maybe a month old and Kate said to me, you mean you and mom loved, loved me this much. And I said, yeah. And, and we still do.
Speaker 3: And, and it was, it's so funny, you asked that question because I always knew [01:16:30] because that's how I felt. You don't really know what real true deep love is until you have a child it's, it's unselfish. Um, they're, they're dependent on you from the moment they come into the world. They never know a world without you. Um, and you know, they go from being completely dependent upon you to be mad at you. Sometimes, you know, all those things we talked about before. [01:17:00] Um, but it's, it's the deepest kind of love there can be, uh, you know, it's not sexual or romantic or, you know, fantasy it's it really is true love, unconditional, unconditional completely. And it was funny that Kaitlin, when she said, do you mean you and mom loved us, love me this much. Like, yeah, yeah. You know, we still do. And we always will.
Speaker 3: And so it's, it's so great to see her come [01:17:30] to that realization. Yeah. That's amazing. And to see her, we get, thank God for tech technology. Now you talk about, you know, don't let your phone be a distraction. The good side of technology is we get to Skype a few times a week. Yeah. So we get to see him and interact with him and he knows who we are and when we come down. Um, and, uh, and just to, just to watch Kaitlin interact with Jack yeah. Is, I think that's probably of all the fulfilling moments I've had [01:18:00] as a parent. I think that's the most fulfilling thing is to see your child, you know, interact and just be completely in love with what their child. Yeah. It's, it's miraculous really. I believe it really is. Um, can't think of anything better, you know?
Speaker 2: So, um, I'll end with one last question. It's a question that Tim Ferriss and other person who hosts interviews and podcasts ask his guests, but I flip it to [01:18:30] suit our topic, which is of course, uh, fatherhood and professional life. But if you had an opportunity to have a billboard on I 95 and every dad that drove by it got to read a message from you, what would you put on that billboard?
Speaker 3: Uh, I would say probably become a dad. It's the greatest thing that'll ever happen to you? [01:19:00] That's what it would say.
Speaker 2: I love it. Well, what's it called that a
Speaker 3: Wrap. Thank you so much. Oh, thanks for having me. I really appreciate it. And, uh, thanks for taking Kate's tip on that. I'm the tissues. Um, yeah, it's hard not to get emotional about some of those things. Thanks for this. And it actually made me think about it. A couple of things I hadn't thought of in a while. So thank you for that.
Speaker 2: No, I'm glad. Um, it's been a lot of fun. I've learned so [01:19:30] much that I've actually already been able to put into practice and it's validating because it's hard for adult men to have a conversation about how they feel. And I hope that these conversations are heard and, you know, make an impact on people that, I mean, especially men who have a kind of a mess can have a messed up definition of what it means to be masculine or paternal or, or to be a leader. [01:20:00] So I'm grateful for your time and stories and, uh, I'm looking forward to sharing it and that people get as much out of it as, as just I already have.
Speaker 3: Yeah. And I did too. So it was great. Thanks very much, Tyler. Absolutely.