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Learning to Dad with Tyler Ross 013 - Stephen Kott


Speaker 2: Hello and [00:00:30] welcome to learning to dad. I'm Tyler Ross. My guest today is Stephen. Jacob Burton caught as one of my best friends.

Speaker 3: Do you know my brothers?

Speaker 2: Uh, Samuel, Christopher Oliver, Dewey.

Speaker 3: Wow. That's

Speaker 2: Impressive. Yeah, I haven't burned all my brain cells just yet.

Speaker 3: He actually just got his first business cards. Did he get all names? No, he didn't. I was disappointed. He said it wouldn't fit. Oh yeah.

Speaker 2: And he wasn't using font smaller and maybe it just needs like an eight by 11 business cards, [00:01:00] like a postcard, something Christian bale would be proud to slide across the table. So thank you for giving me your time today. This is an impromptu interview. Purpose of this podcast is to take considerate, deliberate, intentional people and people that have had success professionally, because I find that they tend to be more reflective and analytical about their business pursuits, which I think extends into their personal life. So I know your dad, you've got a, [00:01:30] uh, how old is Cohen

Speaker 3: Now? 13

Speaker 2: Months old, 13 months. And you've got a

Speaker 3: 13 year old stepson as

Speaker 2: Well. Yeah. Which you so often refer to simply as your son. Absolutely think it's going to be a fun part of the conversation that we have, because I'm sure there are a lot of people that I remember when you got into your relationship at the very beginning, having those conversations and going into a relationship like that and watching you guys has been a lot of fun in how it's just a family [00:02:00] now. Yeah. So, you know, let's jump into a little bit of like your meeting, Vanessa, who is also a real estate agent with Ross real estate. She is,

Speaker 3: She is. She's a great agent. Yeah. So as far as the meeting, Vanessa, I don't know how far back you want to go, but at the beginning,

Speaker 2: Man.

Speaker 3: Okay. So Vanessa and I met probably like a lot of people do now. We met on-line on match.com actually. Uh, but to, to kind of backtrack before that a little bit

Speaker 2: And move the mic a little bit away from [00:02:30] me just because it allowed,

Speaker 3: Oh, am I okay? So, um, yeah, my wife says that too booming voice she's constantly pushing me. So we met on match.com, but to go back a little bit before that we met in 2013, in 2012, I participated in a charity bike ride that went, I think it was 4,300 miles from bar Harbor, Maine out to Seattle Washington. And kind of did that just, uh, as, as an opportunity to kind of [00:03:00] clear my head, I was turning 30 years old, wanted to just kind of hit the reset button and go out and do something different. Something that challenged me is something that gave me an opportunity to learn more about myself. I was single, no kids, all of that. And so I did that. And then I came back kind of wondering where I was going next and, you know, kind of dated around a little bit, nothing too serious, you know, just kind of had some fun and then decided I was going to get on match.com and got some good advice from some friends who had [00:03:30] been on match.com before about what to expect and how to do it and all that. And so, you know, a lot of these guys had been on just a ton of match.com dates. They were like serial daters, you know, just out there, you know, all the time on dates. And so, you know, that's kind of what I was expecting. So I started a profile and, and, and, and did that. And

Speaker 2: For the benefit of anyone listening, could you tell us what that profile said?

Speaker 3: Oh gosh, I really don't remember, but just to poke fun at ourselves at our wedding, we actually contacted [00:04:00] match.com and printed out the dialogue back and forth the messages that we had sent each other before we met just as kind of an opportunity to poke fun at ourselves. And, uh, it, it was really fun. I'll have to pull those out sometime. And, uh, I don't know, maybe we'll post those somewhere so everybody can read them and, and, and get a laugh out of it, but know

Speaker 2: That I remember coming to the wedding and seeing all those and thinking that's cheap, whatever it was authentic to your relationship with.

Speaker 3: Yeah. Whatever it was, it worked, but no. [00:04:30] So, so I signed up for match.com and, you know, started kind of communicating with a couple of people and, and, and that sort of thing. And Vanessa happened to be one of them. She was nice enough to respond to my initial message, which I'm sure was probably cheesy, but Hey, I got a response from her and, uh, we did some back and forth. And so finally I, you know, reached out to her and said, Hey, you know, why don't we get together at some point and, you know, grab a drink, grab coffee, whatever. And she wrote me back and nicely said, um, she said, yeah, [00:05:00] that, that sounds great, but I'm actually going to Haiti tomorrow. And in my head, I'm going, whatever, you know, th she's blowing me off. There's no way who goes to Haiti tomorrow, you know?

Speaker 3: And, um, and so I was like, okay, you know, and just kind of wrote that off, but then sure enough, about a week later, she, uh, she messaged me actually from the airport on her way back from Haiti, and we set up a date and, and, and that was that. And so Vanessa actually was my first ever match.com date my first and only match.com [00:05:30] date. I was like her thousand. I mean, she was very popular on match.com, but, but for me it was, it was one and done. And, um, so I don't know if I got, actually, I do know that I got incredibly lucky, but some people would say I was also incredibly lazy with my match.com dating. Cause I just took the first one that

Speaker 2: I know Vanessa I'll suggest it's the former, I think the first

Speaker 3: One, but no, it was, it was fantastic. And it makes for kind of a fun story.

Speaker 2: So at what point did she disclose you that she has a, had a child? That was how old [00:06:00] at the time?

Speaker 3: Oh, right off the bat right off the bat. I knew that. Yeah, it was, I mean, it says right on, on match.com. It says, you know, kids and she said, yes. So absolutely.

Speaker 2: Yeah. I knew that. I know a lot of people won't even think about dating a girl, especially, you know, w you were what, 30 ish at the time. And I mean, a lot of people at 30, like, I don't, I'm not ready for kids let alone somebody else's kids. Like, what do you think it was about you or her that made you feel like let's, let's give it a try. You know,

Speaker 3: I that's, that's an interesting question. I haven't [00:06:30] really thought too much about it. When, when I saw that she had a kid, it was never, it was never a deal breaker. It was kind of different, you know, and not something that I had ever done because Ethan, at that point, I believe he was seven or so. So it wasn't like he was even a young baby. He was already, uh, you know, uh, uh, you know, young guy that, you know, kind of had his own personality and his own interest. And so, you know, I didn't know what to expect really, but I, I just kinda went, went with it and said, haven't, you know, had an open mind and, [00:07:00] and, you know, went into it, but yeah.

Speaker 2: Yeah. So you dated for how long before you got engaged in married?

Speaker 3: We dated, I want to say it was probably about a year and a half before we got engaged and then we got married six months after that. So two years.

Speaker 2: All right. Well, so for anyone, I mean, gosh, I wonder if anyone even uses match anymore, everybody's on like Bumble and the swipe, right. Thing where it's like, all you do is see somebody and go, Hey, she's stacked, let's swipe. Right. Or, you know, that dude is handsome [00:07:30] and has a backwards hat on he's cool and swipe. Right. Like for anybody that's actually being a little bit more thoughtful about it. Have any recommendations for anyone that's thinking about online dating?

Speaker 3: Well, you know, um, I only did it once I only went with one new person, but, um, no, I think the, you know, I th I think that it is a great place to, uh, you know, to meet people. I never did the, the tender or any of those types of things. [00:08:00] So match.com kinda, you know, spoke to me because I felt like it was, it was more people that were looking for a relationship, not just for fun or to meet people, whatever. Um, it can be for that too, but I felt like match.com was more geared towards what I was looking for, which was, you know, somebody that, you know, doesn't have to be super serious right off the bat, but is open to the idea of, of a relationship. And,

Speaker 2: Yeah. Yeah. So how was, what was your introduction like to Ethan,

Speaker 3: Ethan? So [00:08:30] obviously Vanessa was a single mother at the time and, and was protective of her son as she should be. And so, you know, we dated for a little while before I actually met Ethan. And then at the time I'd, I'd cry, I'd coached lacrosse in the past. And Ethan had just started playing lacrosse. And so, but NASA didn't want to, you know, throw it all at them at once. And so she kind of approached it as me coming over for dinner. And I happened to coach lacrosse and, you know, I was just, I was a friend coming over for dinner and stuff. And so I [00:09:00] came up, she was living in Centerville at the time and I was out in Nokesville. And so I drove up and knocked on the door at her place. And this curly headed, you know, a little seven year old comes to the door, like a, like a grown man.

Speaker 3: He walks to the door, opens it up, says sticks out his hand, says, Hey, I'm Ethan, do you want to go throw? And so, so I say, hi, Ethan, you know, introduced myself and said, yeah, let's go. And so he did, we, I didn't even walk in the door at that point. [00:09:30] We just went straight out, out front and three lacrosse for a little while and Vanessa cooked dinner and then called us in and said, boys, it's time for dinner. And so we went in and it was really just kind of a smooth transition. I think that a lot of it was, was Ethan's personality and just kind of the, you know, the casual approach that we took to it, you know, cause it was, it was one of those things where I think anytime you're in this situation, you know, where, where you're, you're dating somebody who has a kid already, you're forming a relationship, not only [00:10:00] with that person, but with the kid as well. And it's important for those relationships to, to almost be separate, to, to kind of develop your own relationship with, with, you know, the child is, uh, as a course, as, uh, as well as the parents. So Ethan, it was really easy. He and I formed our own relationship and, and really made a point of making sure that that grew as well.

Speaker 2: You know? So what, what were you, I know the answer to most of these questions, but what were you doing at the time for, uh, for a living

Speaker 3: At that [00:10:30] time? I, I, I had gotten into real estate. I hadn't been in it all that long, but I was starting to get my feet underneath me with real estate. I was with, I guess it was Forcier Realty at that time, which then turned over to Marshall real estate. Uh, but yeah, I was, I was doing that and, and that was kind of another common thing that Vanessa and I had in common. She was a, an agent with Fairfax Realty and, you know, so that was just one of the, you know, one of the many things that we had in common

Speaker 2: And how going into a family, [00:11:00] building, creating a family with a, uh, a son, you know, right away. How did that impact your ability to do your job or your perspective on your ambitions or your ability to do your job? Yeah,

Speaker 3: Yeah. Ethan and yeah, it was, it was definitely, it was new territory for me because I had, you know, I'd been able to be kind of selfish, honestly, in the past where I didn't really have to think about anybody else. It was, it was me and my dog and, you know, I'd go to work and that sort of thing, but all of a sudden, uh, having [00:11:30] a seven year old going from nothing to having a seven year old in the house and, you know, and, and at that time, a, a girlfriend than a fiance than a wife, uh, yeah. I mean, it definitely changed perspective in the sense that I couldn't be a selfish anymore. I had to think about other people and, and, and what was right for them and adjust my schedule accordingly so that I could make sure that I at games and, you know, and I ended up coaching and things like that. So, uh, yeah, it definitely changed, you [00:12:00] know, changed everything really,

Speaker 2: You know, from my experience over that time with you being so close, I acknowledge and you, that you did not ever seem to have like a foot out, like a lot of people kind of dip their toe in or try, but you jumped in a hundred percent ready to go, especially considering, you know, the experience that you just talked about, about, you know, being in a place that you weren't really happy and, you know, taking that experience cross-country on a bicycle ride. Um, like, do you feel like that kind of prepared [00:12:30] you to be ready for the next part of your life and to commit like that? Yeah.

Speaker 3: Yeah, I think so. And I think it definitely was something that was good to kind of get out of my system a little bit. You know, I don't think that I would have been as prepared or in a good place for, for them, if I hadn't gotten that opportunity for myself, the opportunity to go and be selfish and go in and see some things and, and, you know, experience life on the road for a little while. And, and all of that, I think that really helped me become [00:13:00] ready to do what, what I didn't know was going to be next, but, you know, fatherhood and, and, you know, being a husband

Speaker 2: As your role in Ethan's life began to take shape. Like at what point did you start to feel like, okay, this is my son, we all at, we're a family, we're in the house together. And so now we have, you know, rules and expectations and like, how do you be a paternal influence to [00:13:30] a child that did not know you for the first half of his life?

Speaker 3: Yeah, it's, it's a complicated relationship. And one that, you know, you're constantly kind of figuring out cause kids adjust and change over time, but in, in, in every situation is different. But in this case, you know, Ethan Ethan's father is still very much, you know, in, in the picture of part of his life, a very huge part of his life and has been so trying to determine what my role was was something that, that, that took some time. I certainly [00:14:00] looked to Vanessa for, you know, kind of, uh, kind of advice, but just kind of a, an idea on what I should do and how I, you know, how I should approach that dynamic, because it is difficult when Ethan does something, you know, and you have to discipline, you have to set rules, set boundaries and stuff. It's, it's a different thing when, you know, when you're coming into it fresh with a seven-year-old and you have no experience on how to, uh, out, [00:14:30] uh, discipline a child other than, you know, what you witnessed when you were young, you know, from your own parents. But, you know, as far as that all went, you know, I I'd say, I'd say I, I just went into it as honest and upfront and kind of transparent as I could be. You know, we, we never tried to pretend like I was something that I wasn't, but we also, you know, made sure that it was understood that, that I was a parental role in Ethan's life.

Speaker 2: And did he have trouble accepting that? You know, I don't

Speaker 3: Think so. [00:15:00] Ethan's, Ethan's very much kind of go with the flow type of kid. And I think because I made a point and he made a point to, to make sure that we developed a relationship, it was never like, it was forced upon him. So he never put up any resistance or any, any kind of fight for it, you know, against it, it was, uh, it, it was a pretty easy transition. And then his, his father as well has always made it, you know, pretty easy, you know, also we've all gotten along very well and, [00:15:30] you know, and he said, Ethan, you know, we kind of try to look at it from a perspective of Ethan as for people that love him, you know, as a parent, instead of just two. So he's very fortunate in that, in that sense that he's got four great parental figures in his life

Speaker 2: With that many, I can relate to that. Having had both my parents divorced and remarried and divorced again, and my mom's single, my dad's remarried. So the influence of a bunch of maternal and paternal figures is really an interesting [00:16:00] dynamic. It's like a modern family, um, which you actually have Colombians that's even better. Um, but how would you say that your parenting style contrasts with Vanessa and then like your household contrasts with, uh, Caitlin and RO?

Speaker 3: Oh gosh. So the first part of that question being, how does my parenting style contrast with Vanessa's yeah. With Ethan, you know, Vanessa is much [00:16:30] more of the disciplinarian and in that case, um, I think just because of the, the step-parent dynamic, um, and learning that role of where, where it is now, you know, all certainly correct Ethan and, and, and, you know, talk to him if I see him doing something wrong, but, you know, Vanessa, Vanessa is kind of the, the judge, jury and executioner on, on most of the discipline type of things, as far as parenting, you know, I, I, I try to talk with [00:17:00] Ethan. I try to be kind of a, uh, a confidant for him, somebody that he feels like he can, he can talk to, and even an advocate for him sometimes when he gets in trouble, um, you know, with Vanessa, uh, try to help them out where I can, you know, but as far as, as far as that goes with Ethan, I would say, um, you know, Vanessa is definitely more of the disciplinary and, um, just because of the nature and dynamic of the relationship, the question is going to become our parenting styles with the little one with Cohen, our 13 [00:17:30] month old, because with that one, you know, I will be probably more of a hands-on disciplinary and, um, with him than I, than I have been with Ethan.

Speaker 3: But I think that because of the nature of, of the, the stepchild step-parent relationship and the fact that his dad is still very much, um, you know, a huge part of his life and season, you know, a lot I've kind of left the disciplining up to those two as I think it should, should be. So,

Speaker 2: So how was your childhood [00:18:00] reflected in your parenting of Ethan

Speaker 3: Boy? You know, you think back on your childhood and your parents and the way they did things, and, you know, I think just like anything you, you take from it, the good things, and you try to implement those. And then you look at some of the things that maybe they did that, you know, you don't want to, you don't want to replicate, you don't want to do and kind of develop your own style. I think that my parents were very much grew up in kind of in North Carolina in the south a little bit. And so every, [00:18:30] every adult I talked to it was yes or no, sir. Yes, ma'am no, ma'am, you know, those were the only appropriate responses for any adults. And, and I, I, I definitely carry some of that in my parenting style to just an, an importance on showing respect to people, showing respect to your elders. And so I definitely carry some of that, you know, with me, obviously our parents are the first examples we see of parenting. And so I think that probably naturally, most people get some of their cues from, from their own [00:19:00] childhood.

Speaker 2: So I got, I got an interesting question that just popped into my head because your parents were 19 or 20 when you were born 19, when your youngest sister, who is, what is she? 1716 then. Yeah. Yeah. So there's a almost 20 year gap. Like, have you learned from the way that they parented you versus the way that they parented her and had like a contrasting style or like an evolution? I think that

Speaker 3: Warm down, man, I think they're tired now, so they're much easier [00:19:30] on her than they were on me in different ways. But yeah, no, my parents were both 19 when they had me, you know, pretty, pretty remarkable story that, you know, that they've been parents for so long, starting at 19, they're now in their mid, mid fifties. Um,

Speaker 2: We've got a high school kid in the house. Yeah. Yeah.

Speaker 3: I still have a high school kid in the house and, uh, it's just been, it's been crazy to, you know, to, to think about, but yeah, my mom was pregnant at my high school graduation, which probably not a lot of [00:20:00] people can say that. And, um, yeah. And so, you know, really getting to see, uh, both of my youngest siblings, you know, remembering when they were born and watching them, them grow and watching my parents, parent them, uh, has been kind of a unique perspective that not a lot of people get. And, you know, also as an adult watching them, you know, parent children, you know, is kind of a different perspective than, than watching it as a kid.

Speaker 2: Yeah. So now that you are [00:20:30] family, man, you got two kids and a wife, like if you notice that your social life or your professional life has changed as a result of that. Yeah,

Speaker 3: Absolutely. I think, um, I think socially when the baby first came around, it was, it was easy. Cause he, he went wherever we went, but now that he's got an opinion and a personality and a voice and you know, he's mobile, he's got legs that, you know, work, uh, yeah. Now it's, it's a whole lot different. Unfortunately there are, you know, things that we've had to not go to [00:21:00] different things with, you know, with friends socially that, that we've had to back out of because the baby got sick or, or whatever. So that's, you know, definitely definitely impacts you socially, but it also opens up different opportunities because I'm able now to talk to you and other friends of mine who have kids about that element of our life, which, you know, I think is, is, is pretty cool too. You know, I've known you since we were 15 years old. And so to get to talk to you now in this stage about parenting and stuff like that, it's fun. You know, it's really fun [00:21:30] evolution,

Speaker 2: Man. It's totally different evolution of life.

Speaker 3: Yeah, yeah. It is. It is. But yeah.

Speaker 2: Can you think of anything to share with the listeners? So we might've been doing 19, 20 years ago

Speaker 3: Sitting on the front porch of the natural marketplace. I'm sure your listeners know that your mom owns that place. And so having a key to that and uh, at that, at that time, I don't know if they still do, but they stopped, um, the all natural American spirit cigarettes. And we would sit on the front porch and smoke cigarettes and, and, [00:22:00] and just be cool. We were

Speaker 2: Really cool. We were

Speaker 3: So cool. Yeah. And we could, we couldn't drink, but right across the street from the marketplace was Napoleon's at that time. And so we could watch the people who have been drinking, stumble out of the restaurant and, uh, yeah,

Speaker 2: I'm surprised that we weren't stopped more often sitting on that front porch. It think 15, 16 years old, anything to us middle of the night, 11, 12 o'clock at night.

Speaker 3: Yeah. I don't think anybody ever said anything to him. We probably wanted them to just cause we had a key. So it would have been not a big deal, [00:22:30] but

Speaker 2: Yeah, not waive the key in there facing no, no, no worries. It is

Speaker 3: Surprising right. In old town that no cop ever said, what are you guys doing? But

Speaker 2: I remember one lady stopped and pulled in and I remember she did the, like, uh, the north, south east west, like before approaching us. I don't know if you remember that.

Speaker 3: I don't, I don't. I just remember all the cigarettes and brownies that. Yeah.

Speaker 2: You're good.

Speaker 3: Yeah. Wonder what our tabs at right now.

Speaker 2: [00:23:00] I'm still digging out. I'm still digging

Speaker 3: Out. Sorry, Shelley.

Speaker 2: Let's see. Uh, so when it comes to punishment like Ethan, you know, you've deferred most of the punishment to Vanessa, but as a parent of a three and a four year old, you know, which is funny, you've got a one year old and a 13 year old, so you've totally missed two to seven. So it'd be interesting to see how Cohen, how your relationship is over that period of time and your parenting style. But yeah. You [00:23:30] know, what have you found is like an effective approach to disciplining a pre-teen boy?

Speaker 3: Well, uh, you know, right now, one of the, one of the biggest things that we can do that affects him is taken away screen time. You know, that's one of the things that I'm sure a lot, like, uh, most other kids his age that's, you know, that's, that's the big thing right now. Um, so, you know, we've, we've, we don't even have to get that creative with [00:24:00] it, you know, with, with disciplining, it's just, you did that give me your phone. Yeah. You know, you did that. No fortnight, sorry. So, so from that perspective, uh, you know, disciplining with things like that is very easy, what's difficult is trying to find a discipline, uh, disciplinary action that will actually get the message across of what he did that was wrong. You know, that that's the hard part punishing and, and making them, you know, feel the consequences, easy, getting [00:24:30] him to understand why he's being punished.

Speaker 3: So he won't replicate that behavior. That's, that's the tough part. And that's, that's where I think, you know, talking to them and, and, and trying to relate to where he's coming from, trying to, you know, and at times be an advocate for them so that it shows that, you know, we're not just coming down on him because that's, you know, cause we want to, or because we enjoy it, it's because we're trying to, you know, sculpt him into a good productive member of society. [00:25:00] That's going to go out and do great things. He's such a, such a capable and, and, um, you know, fortunate kid, he's smart, he's, you know, he's healthy, he's athletic, he's, you know, good looking kid. You know, he really, really has so much opportunity out there, but trying to try to guide them in the right direction is really, you know, obviously one of the most important things that we're doing. And so I think when he does mess up trying to get him to realize, you know, why, you know, why he's in [00:25:30] trouble, why he's losing fortnight, that that's the real, the real key. But I think by, you know, by talking to him, keeping those lines of communication open and trying to see the world through his eyes helps me to relate to him better and show him that, you know, what we're doing here is, is re really is for, for his best interest.

Speaker 2: That's a great segue into the next question I wanted to ask, which it's funny to think that he's only two or three years away from the age we were when we met, we were doing all these troublesome things, but the context is so different [00:26:00] when we were 16, you know, there weren't smartphones, there were barely cell phones available. Um, how old were we when we got cell phones? Were we,

Speaker 3: Yeah, I was, I think I was 17. My parents got me a, a flip phone just for emergencies pagers when I started driving. That was the big thing, you know, you know, in case, uh, you know, had car trouble or whatever, you know?

Speaker 2: So the context is so different. [00:26:30] I mean, to think what screen time was for us was we'd go home and watch ESPN or whatever we were watching, uh, Dawson's Creek. But like, what are some of the biggest kind of challenges associated with the life that he's growing up in versus the life that we grew up in that you've acknowledged as a parent?

Speaker 3: Yeah. Yeah. I think just the, um, exposure that he has and probably all kids have, uh, is, is very scary now [00:27:00] with, with smartphones and it goes, uh, it's across the board. One, obviously you worry about it from a safety perspective because things like Snapchat and Instagram and, you know, all of those things that kids want to be a part of. And, and it's just a reality of the world now. Um, all of those things can really open them up to some, you know, make them vulnerable, you know, it's, it's, it's one of those things that hopefully adults know, you know, how to, how to try to keep themselves [00:27:30] safe, you know, and, and not to give out too much personal information, but, you know, kids these days, they, they may not know. And so that's one major concern with the technology is, is that safety element of it.

Speaker 3: And then the other one is just, I guess there's many, but one of the other ones is, is overexposure and access to things that they shouldn't have access to. You know, I, I jokingly talk about when I was, uh, you know, 13, 14, 15 years old, and, you know, maybe you got your hands on your, your, your, you know, your uncle's Playboy or something like that. [00:28:00] And that was, that was a huge deal, you know, or, or the sports illustrated swimsuit edition. Like we all looked forward to that coming out and now just, you know, the stuff that's out there on the internet that they can access with a simple Google search is terrifying. And you actually wonder how is that going to affect them later in life? It's something that I don't think any of us know at this point, you know, how their, just their perspective on the world.

Speaker 3: I mean, Ethan occasionally will, will, you know, show me some, [00:28:30] a YouTube video of something, you know, and it'll be like a, uh, a thing of people, you know, doing stupid things where they get, you know, kind of mildly hurt or they, you know, yeah. That type of thing. And you're just like, God, this is horrible. You know, like watching, watching some of these, these people fall off, you know, roofs and stuff. It's like, what in the world is not fun to watch, but, you know, it's all out there for them to see, you know? And so that, that definitely is a concern of mine as a parent,

Speaker 2: Desensitizing [00:29:00] him. Do you think it's desensitizing his friends?

Speaker 3: Uh, you know, I'm sure it's gotta be, and that's, uh, that's, that's pretty, pretty scary, you know, so I think that we, you know, we, we do the best we can to try to monitor what, what he's, you know, seeing what he's exposed to on there, but there's only so much you can do when you put, you know, a phone in their hands and give them the ability to believe

Speaker 2: There's all kinds of parental control things on Instagram maybe, or like there's gotta be something.

Speaker 3: And, you know, I, I [00:29:30] know that we, we do have parental controls, Vanessa actually has it set up so that she can deactivate any of his apps and any of that stuff, whenever she wants push of a button, she can go on and, you know, so if she feels like he's had enough screen time, she just goes and shuts off all of his fun apps that he likes to be on. And you hear, you know, um, you know, a Mon uh, from the other room. Right. Um, it's kind of funny, but, uh, but yeah, you know, we definitely do [00:30:00] utilize some of those things, but it's not a perfect system. And, you know, the thing is there, there's still the information out there and they're going to find a way to get to it. So,

Speaker 2: Um, now you moved from a townhouse, like a very kind of, uh, urban, suburban setting to kind of a more, uh, you know, large lot community, you know, where you have four or five acres, a barn, uh, uh, have you noticed a difference in his activities or his mindset based on the geography [00:30:30] of the place he lives, the type of atmosphere he's on it? Yeah,

Speaker 3: Definitely. We're definitely in a, more of a farm setting now we've got a great little farm, you know, format set up out in cat Harpen and we really enjoy it. One of the, one of the downsides I'd say to moving out there though, is when we were, when we were in Centerville, we were in a townhouse setting, very suburban, and he spent a lot more time playing outside with other kids, just because in that setting, it's so dense, you know, as far as population and kids go, uh, there was never a shortage of people for him to go outside [00:31:00] and play with. Now we're on five and a half acres and houses are spread apart and, you know, not, not quite as much of that. So definitely we've had to adjust, you know, a lot more friends coming over to the house and him going over to friend's houses and things like that.

Speaker 3: The other thing is our internet sucks at that the house, the internet sucks. And so there's, there is less online video gaming. So that, that's kind of a good thing that, that we've, uh, experienced through this is that he doesn't spend as much time just in zombie mode, you know, [00:31:30] on the, uh, on the video games. But yeah, I think that, uh, it, it's definitely opened up new things for him to explore. We got chickens out there now. So, you know, he's getting an opportunity to, to learn about that and, and kind of some of the hard work that goes into living on, uh, on a little farm format.

Speaker 2: It's very cool. So let's talk a little bit about, uh, Cohen, you know, and a year old, like tell me about the expectations you had and how they were different than reality

Speaker 3: Dude. So [00:32:00] with Cohen, you know, Vanessa and I just in full full disclosure, Vanessa and I, we had, we had tried for a really long time to, to have, uh, you know, have, have a baby and, you know, it just wasn't working. So we actually went through the whole process of doing IVF, which, you know, that's maybe a story for another day. I don't know, that's, that's a long one, but we went through IVF and we worked so, so hard and tried so hard, um, to get to the point of having, having Cohen that now, when I look at them, it's just, [00:32:30] it's so, so amazing. It's it's unlike anything I ever expected. I never could have expected how great it would be and how, how much having him was a part of my life that I don't even think I knew was missing, but definitely was it's it it's given me new purpose. I mean, when I look at him and just see him, it's all the stuff that every parent says, I'm sure, but, you know, I look at him and it just, it's, it's just unbelievable. It's, there's no way I can put into words [00:33:00] fully what I feel when I look at him. And I know, you know, that, you know, twice, so

Speaker 2: Yeah, most definitely. So, but what, what do you feel like is your role to Cohen versus your role to Ethan? Hm.

Speaker 3: Yeah, I I've never, I don't know. That's not something I've thought about too too much, but, you know, with Ethan, I think that the foundation was already there when I came into his life, uh, his, his mom and his dad had done a great job [00:33:30] of, of kind of sculpting him into a respectful, you know, good person with Cohen. I'm now responsible for doing that. And, uh, and, and so, you know, I lean heavily on Vanessa just cause she's done it once. And I also believe in a mother's intuition. So on a lot of things, I kind of default to her, but you know, my role as, as kind of a, a male influence for him and just a parental influences to really teach him about the world, man, show him, show him everything I can. [00:34:00] And that's one of the things I try to do is bring him with me when I'm doing simple little things and, uh, uh, and just let him kind of see from example. And it's amazing what kids pick up just by being a part of what you're, what you're doing and what

Speaker 2: Yeah. They say, you should let your kid watch your work, let your kid, you know, watch you exercise, let your kid watch you do everything because then they almost established little habits in their minds. And, you know, they see what it takes to be what you are. [00:34:30] And so many kids, I think, want to be like their parents. Cause they're the example they have. So that's cool. Let's go into some kind of short answers. These are some, these are my favorite, I think. Okay. So what are three things, three characteristics that the super dad would have to have?

Speaker 3: I would say three things that a super dad would have. You've got to have patience. That's one of the things that I think I struggle [00:35:00] with the most is allowing or encouraging my kids to do stuff for themselves. When a lot of times it's way easier to just sit here, give me that, let me, let me just do it, you know, but they're not going to learn that way. And that's, that's really difficult, you know? So yeah. Patients, patients would be,

Speaker 2: We have a of a time at that, like get your own water. You're you're old enough to go to the cabinet, get a glass, fill it up with water and do it. And it's just so easy to go do [00:35:30] it yourself now I'm thinking. Yeah,

Speaker 3: Yeah, yeah, absolutely. But I think it's important. Encourage them to do it or else they're not, they're not going to learn how so. So that's definitely one of the ones I would say, uh, another, uh, another thing is, I don't know, I don't know what the right term for it would be, but you know, helping, helping your spouse just in little things throughout the day. Yeah. Being supportive of your spouse because you know, in, in, in our situation, uh, you know, Vanessa right now, her main, her main role [00:36:00] in thing right now is, is raising Cohen. Um, you know, being at home with him and taking care of him, which is, uh, you know, it's not a nine to five, it's, it's an around the clock type of job. And so supporting her, doing things that I can do to maybe make her day a little bit easier, I think is, is, is key in, um, you know, allowing her, the mental clarity and sanity to, to do what she needs to do with the kid. So, um, that's, that's one.

Speaker 2: [00:36:30] So you went on that, I'm going to piggyback this question. Like, do you have any advice to people who might have a newborn or have a wife that's pregnant and expecting any time on the way maybe you could have improved, you were supportive her or anything you might've done differently or just advice to somebody who's about to advocate.

Speaker 3: Yeah, yeah. Yeah. Well, when, when Cohen was first born, he was, he was very early, he was born six weeks early. And so he had really bad acid reflux and Vanessa, God bless her. She had to, [00:37:00] she had to sleep, basically propped up with him on her stomach for about the first month. And there was not a whole lot that I could do to help with that. So what I did, you know, to make things easier was things like washing bottles, making sure she had everything she needed at arms reach so that she could do her job effectively as he got a little bit older. Um, I was able to start to kind of take, uh, some of the, you know, burden off of her as far as the getting up in the middle of the night and changing diapers and doing that, that [00:37:30] sort of thing. But, you know, I, I would say that as far as advice goes as a, as a husband, as a father, just be in tune with what your, where your spouse is, mentally, emotionally, all of those things so that you can jump in there and help when things, you know, start to get a little bit Rocky

Speaker 2: And anybody listening to that, that is maybe the best advice I could think of to say to,

Speaker 3: Yeah, just yeah. Be supportive and, and be aware. Um, because it being a dad [00:38:00] is, is, uh, I would say we have more of, more of the fun than the mom did the moms get to do a little bit more of the grunt work? Um, yeah. And so just be, be appreciative, be aware of that and try to help with that stuff. When you can,

Speaker 2: Anybody who's thinking about having a kid about to advocate or has newborn, um, however much you think you're helping, you're not helping enough, however much you think you're being supportive of your wife. You're not supportive enough, do more [inaudible].

Speaker 3: Yeah. [00:38:30] And, and I think it's amazing. I I'm guilty of, I'm sure you are too, of, of not doing some of little things that you know, that I know that I could do. And actually don't take that long to do, you know, fold a load of laundry sometime it's not fun, but you know, it saves them and it means a lot to you. It means a lot to,

Speaker 2: Yeah. To the moms. I don't think you've read this one yet, but the Jesse Itzler book about spending time with the monks, living with the

Speaker 3: Monks, I read the seal book, not the monster,

Speaker 2: Which I want [00:39:00] to get back from you, by the way, I want to read that again. He talks about going to the monastery and there, he said, it felt like there were a hundred dishes and that his job was to clean the dishes. And then he said, how am I supposed to clean all these dishes? And one of the monks said, you're not cleaning all the dishes. You're cleaning the one in your hand, like just be present, do it, doesn't take that long, just be present and do it. Yeah.

Speaker 3: Yeah. And I think that there's something to be said for that. And it's something that I know that I've had to work on and continue to work on is, you know, little things [00:39:30] like, yeah. Seeing some dishes in the sink and you know, it's not, it's not that I'm actively trying not to do them, it's it, it doesn't even sometimes register in my head the idea of doing those dishes and that that's, you know, something that, you know, I think I try to change. And, you know, just when you notice little things that have to be done, don't default that your, your wife's going to do it for you or that she's going to do it for the family or whatever. Go ahead and jump in there, wash those dishes, make sure the kitchen's clean. Okay.

Speaker 2: And don't look for credit for it. No, no don't [00:40:00] expect credit. It should be something you're doing anyway. It should

Speaker 3: Be, it should be.

Speaker 2: I'm still working on that. I think we all are taking the trash out and all that stuff. Like the bag out of the thing. So patients supporting your wife, your spouse, and a third

Speaker 3: Super dead quality, just an active involvement man, a, a pure desire to want to be, you know, an active and, [00:40:30] and a vibrant part of their life. You know, whether that's coaching some sports teams like I've done for Ethan, uh, with lacrosse and basketball, uh, with Cohen taking the time to, you know, to get on the floor and just play with them, you know, do what he wants to do, take them outside, put them on the ground and encourage him to explore and just follow him and support him, help him show him things. I think now, you know, we, we get so busy and especially like in our line of work, um, and [00:41:00] real estate, you know, we're not a nine to five type of career were, you know, available to our clients pretty much around the clock. And, and I, I love that. I wouldn't, I don't want to change anything about it, but, uh, but sometimes it is important to put the phone down for 30 minutes or an hour and just go, you know, like you said, go be present with your kids. Um, give them your time, give them your full attention. You know, that sort of thing.

Speaker 2: What are some things that are on your not to do list things as a father? You'll never do.

Speaker 3: [00:41:30] My wife tells me a lot of those things on a regular basis. Uh, my, my default, when I see Cohen maybe getting into something that he's not supposed to is no, no, no, no. Don't do that. And, and, and Vanessa reminds me, don't always be saying no to him. You know, he's going to think all you do is say no, you know, try to redirect, try to try to encourage. But I, yeah, I think, you know, one of the things I have to work on and try to work on is, is not always just saying no. And keeping him from doing stuff, encourage him to explore as long as he's not doing something that's, [00:42:00] you know, gonna cause severe bodily harm, you know, encourage him to explore and, and, and see the world and experience the world. Cause that's really the best way to learn.

Speaker 2: I noticed that the default is super easy to do it. I'm telling, you know, because it's a convenient for me, it's convenient for me to not go outside and, you know, manage your doing this. But yeah, I think you're right. Like a thought in your head needs to not be, no, it needs to be more like why isn't [00:42:30] this? Okay.

Speaker 3: And sometimes just let them do it and let them have fun with it. Yeah. You know, w w we're we're working on, uh, getting Cohen to kind of feed himself more and more. I mean, I can't even describe the messes that he makes while trying to feed himself something like Greek yogurt, but, or cous, cous, cous, cous, out of your kid's nostril. I mean, it gets everywhere. It's in their hair, it's in their, their, their eyelashes. I mean, it's, it's unbelievable what he can do with food and five minutes, but [00:43:00] encouraging him to do that, we can always clean up the mess, you know,

Speaker 2: Just like revenge to your infant child when he's digging crews crew Saturday, you

Speaker 3: Drooling, maybe.

Speaker 2: So what, uh, what is something that you can do to improve as a dad?

Speaker 3: Gosh, there's so many things that I can do to improve as a, as a dad. But, you know, I, I, I think that, uh, I think that, you know, piggybacking off of what I said, just being, being present more and being, being more involved, uh, [00:43:30] and, and just the day-to-day stuff is, is something that I can do to, to improve, um, you know, making a point to spend quality time with my kids, hopefully every day. Um, you know, even if it's only for 30 minutes, is it's something, you know, something to improve upon. What

Speaker 2: Is the role of the father

Speaker 3: To teach, to guide, to motivate, to [00:44:00] set an example?

Speaker 2: What is the most challenging time you've had as a father to date?

Speaker 3: I would say, uh, it was actually before I was officially a father, but my wife's water broke at 31 weeks. And I, you know, we were, we were in that great comfort zone of pregnancy for people who have been through it. We were in that point where there was the morning sickness was gone, but she wasn't so [00:44:30] pregnant that everything she did was difficult. She wasn't super uncomfortable. We were in this really good place. And then I get a phone call from her, um, that says, I'm on my water broke. I'm on the way to the hospital. You need to meet me there. And it takes the breath out of you, man. It took the breath out of me and you know, oh my gosh, it's too early. All these thoughts start going through your head at 31 weeks. And, you know, it's just, it's, you know, kids can be born at 31 weeks [00:45:00] and, and make it and be, and be fine.

Speaker 3: But, you know, it's certainly not the traditional, you know, path. And so when Vanessa's water broke, I rushed up to the hospital, met her there. The doctor said ready or not, this baby's coming tonight. We're going to give you some medicine to try to stop the labor so that we can get these steroids in you, which will help the baby's lungs to develop more quickly. Cause that's one of the main concerns at that at that point is his lung development and then that sort of thing. And so they said, we need, you know, we [00:45:30] really would ideally the baby will stay in for 24 hours so that we can get these steroids in and give them, you know, give him a, a great, uh, you know, chance that, you know, improved chance of making it. And so, oh my gosh, you know what, the thoughts that are going through your head at that point, I'm, I'm not ready for this.

Speaker 3: This is not, you know, we were supposed to have another, you know, at that point, gosh, nine, nine weeks at that point, you know? And so you're just kind of in a panic. Well, you know, Vanessa did a [00:46:00] much better job than me, of staying calm at that point. Uh, 24 hours went by the, you know, the steroids were in and the doctor said, okay, now the goal is 48 hours. All right. So 48 hours go by same type of thing. And Vanessa ended up, um, being in the hospital on pretty strict bedrest for 21 more days, keeping the baby. Um, and, and she was composed. I was just all over the place at that point. So, you know, just [00:46:30] the challenge that that was from, from a perspective of trying to keep things at home, still moving along, having Ethan at home, trying to keep things kind of normal for him, you know, just being kind of, uh, you know, his parental fake present parental figure at, at home during that time, uh, was difficult because my wife was in the hospital ready to give birth at any moment to our child that was going to be born early.

Speaker 3: And I mean, that was absolutely terrifying. You, you can't help, but Google, everything you can find, uh, [00:47:00] you know, I became, you know, an expert on, uh, you know, what to expect from babies born from 31 weeks to 36 weeks, but no, she did a great job, um, kept them in there, but that was the, that was probably the most challenging thing that I've had to deal with so far was just that pure panic and fear during that time, you know? And so anybody, uh, anybody going through something similar where, where either your, you know, your wife is on bed or is in the hospital [00:47:30] for a long period of time with a kind of a higher risk pregnancy type of situation. Um, you know, I can certainly relate and, you know, be more than happy to talk to anybody going through that about my experience, you know, in, in more detail. Um, but it can, it can be very challenging. The, the emotions that, that time period brought up for me, um, uh, the emotions were ones I never, never knew or thought I'd have to deal with. You know, just the, the fear, the excitement, the, uh, lack of control, you know, you have no control over it.

Speaker 2: [00:48:00] Um, I talked to parents and say that there's a level at which non-parents can not relate to parents. And I think that's the depth of emotion that a child introduces to you. You've never been, you never loved so much. You've never been so scared. Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. It just unlocks a new depth of, of life. Yeah, I, yeah.

Speaker 3: Couldn't agree more. Couldn't agree more. It's, it's [00:48:30] terrifying, exhilarating, exciting. I mean, it's, it's everything and, uh,

Speaker 2: Yeah, this is a, this is a question I ask on occasion. Not always, but do you think that your kid can love you back as much as you love them?

Speaker 3: No. Yeah. No, I don't think so. And the only reason I say that is because I love my parents. I adore my parents. Yeah. But the love I have for my kids is something unlike anything I've [00:49:00] ever experienced. So, uh, so no, I don't think you,

Speaker 2: Um, you got to look at your parents and go, you mean, you love me that much. Right.

Speaker 3: Awesome. Yeah. Yeah. And all of a sudden the things and the things that, uh, that you remember from your childhood that drove you nuts about your parents. Not only do you find yourself doing them to your kids, but you understand where they were coming from, you know, and, and just, and some of the things [00:49:30] that they let me do, I'm like, how old and how the hell did you, how did, how did you let me do that? You know? Like, I mean, I'm, I'm so scared. Like Ethan is a, a couple years now away from driving. I can't imagine what that's going to feel like when he takes the keys for the first time and goes out on the highway by himself. Yeah. I mean that unbelievable, because to me he's still the same kid that came to the door and stuck out his hand and said, Hey, I'm Ethan. You want to go through, [00:50:00] you know? Yeah. Unbelievable.

Speaker 2: So what is the greatest hope that you have for your children?

Speaker 3: Uh, contentment and yeah, I want them to be content. I want them to, you know, to know that they can do anything, but they don't have to do everything. You know, they can, they can find something that brings purpose to their life and you know, that that's the main thing. And then, you know, cause I, I think that that's important for everybody and what I think most people are chasing. It's [00:50:30] just a level of content, level of comfort, you know, but you don't get there by not working hard. You know, that's, that's kind of the,

Speaker 2: I feel like an effort put out is what's required to have some kind of fulfillment.

Speaker 3: I think so. And it, you know, and, and it's not strictly any one thing. It's not that I want them to make a ton of money or, you know, you know, any of that, it's not those types of things. It's just a level, a level of contentment. And I think that oftentimes people who have, you know, a certain level [00:51:00] of, of contentment, they do work very hard and they are ultimately successful because you know that they're working towards something other than just money or,

Speaker 2: Yeah. I think they acknowledge that you don't achieve something like you, don't, you're happy. And now it's done. Like I've achieved happiness. You know, I've heard you if, if that's the case, you're either enlightened, which congratulations or you're dead. Like I think it's every day you have to do something to maintain it [00:51:30] or to improve it. Um, that's, that's what I think. Yeah. How would you describe the type of father you'd like to be remembered? As

Speaker 3: I never really thought about that either this impromptu interview is tough type of father that I'd like to be remembered as, you know, obviously obviously a loving father, a caring father, you know, but, but more than that, I think every dad wants to be their kid's hero man. And so, you know, I want, you know, [00:52:00] I want my son when I'm gone to look back and think, you know, how would my dad have done it? How, you know, how would that have approached this? And hopefully there'll be many, many more years before, you know, that takes place. But, you know, I hope to kind of build a, build a life, you know, full of exams or lead a life full of examples for him to look back on and, and, and, you know, navigate his own life, you know, by using, using those examples that I've set. So,

Speaker 2: [00:52:30] Um, the more I read, the more I listened to people, the more I believe that it's as a parent, your obligation to be the best person, best human that you can be. And not necessarily the best parent, I mean, but the best human and that's the best way to be that example. And to be that, you know, what would dad do? You know, bracelet?

Speaker 3: Yeah. How do you, uh, yeah. How, how do you go about it? Cause I think, you know, for me, I know when I'm having to make [00:53:00] sacrifices for, for other things and, and stuff, you know, I've heard of mom guilt, but I think there is a level of dad guilt as well, that maybe we don't talk about as much when you're, you know, when you are busy at work and you're, you know, you're, you're, you're kind of spread thin on all of the things and maybe you're, you're unfortunately neglecting some of your, your parental duties and stuff like that. How do you, how do you, how do you get past that? How do you navigate that type of thing

Speaker 2: And working on a man that's the entire point of this podcast [00:53:30] actually I've read, uh, you have to look the Instagram post I made today. Uh what's today, February 21st, February 21st. So anybody listening go back to that post, this is brilliantly written two or three paragraphs, but it talks about, you know, the addiction of your work versus the love for your family and like I'm working on it everyday, man. Cause I absolutely am so grateful to do something that I love so much [00:54:00] every day. And I've been doing that since, you know, basically college to found that. And then you hate to think that it's like a competition, but to some extent it's creating, I don't know if balance is the right word, but integration that you're not neglecting one or the other.

Speaker 3: And I think that so often it's easy to, to justify what we're doing because at least for me, I'm doing it for my family. You know, I love, love real estate. I love working in real estate. It's it's [00:54:30] I can't imagine doing anything else. Um, you know, but at the end of the day, we're, you know, we're doing it to support our family so that they can, you know, feel comfort, feel content, you know, all of those things, we're doing it for them. Um, so it's easy to kind of justify it. Well, I'm, I'm, I'm working late on this because I'm trying to, you know, advance my, my family here. But at the same time sometimes what your, your, your family really needs is you present there. And so it is hard to juggle that and hard to balance that. And I think, you know, yeah, [00:55:00] it's just, you know, I'm enjoying listening to the podcasts and stuff because I get little tidbits of insight for, for people who, you know, I'm, I'm kind of not young in age, but young and experience when it comes to being a dad. But some of the people you've interviewed, I've heard, um, you know, have, have many, many years have kids in college or out of college kids that have gotten married, stuff like that. And so, uh, people that are in position that I'd like to be in, you know, 20 years from now, you know, so I, yeah, I think this, this podcast thing is, is fun. What you're doing, man, and I'm sure [00:55:30] you're learning a lot.

Speaker 2: That's, that's the goal. Yeah. You want to be remembered as a great parent and there's no pamphlet. There's no how to, and plenty of doctors that say how to, how to raise your kids. It's like, you don't know how to raise my kid. I don't know how to raise your kid, but if I can accumulate and aggregate as many points and tips and ideas, you can apply them to your life and to speak to working. Like if I didn't have kids, I would work all the time because I love it that much. Like, I'd be the most productive person on the planet. [00:56:00] Right. But I do have kids and that's my priority drop everything. But because you don't have to drop everything, you do have to know when enough is enough, just because I can do that extra closing, or I can develop that, you know, make that extra investment and putting in these extra hours, it doesn't mean that you have to. Yeah. Like if you want to run up the scoreboard, you know, it's like, I'm kicking at life. My career is awesome. Let's run up the scoreboard and crush it. It's like, we don't need to run up the scoreboard. We're going to win the game. [00:56:30] We got to go home.

Speaker 3: Right. Right. Yeah. I think that, um, yeah, I think all those, all those things are definitely true. And you know, maybe, uh, I'm not going to ask, I'm just going to say, like one of these times you're getting interviewed for, for learning to dad. And I'd like to be the guy I'd like to be the guy to interview you and ask you some of the, the hard hitting questions about the, the, the, the Ross, uh, household and, and your role in it. Man,

Speaker 2: We can do it. I'm trying to get a Sarah. I don't think I'm the right [00:57:00] person to interview Sarah, but I want her to be the first female guest. And I think, uh, Jim Scott, who is episode, uh, one of the first three or four episodes, I want his daughter to interview her. I think that'd be fun. And they can just talk for the,

Speaker 3: Are you going to interview her, like learning to mom? Are you going to interview her on her impression of you as a dad? That would be,

Speaker 2: I don't necessarily want it to be about me, but, but more about like from the mom and wife perspective [00:57:30] of what's the husband do, what's the father do? Like, what are the important qualities that they think that a father should have? Because I, as much as this genius is you and I are, we have our own perspectives, you know?

Speaker 3: Well, I'll be there to feed wine to Sarah so we can, uh, loosen her up and get the real answers.

Speaker 2: I don't think, I don't think she'll be free. I think, uh, she has so much fun. It might be hard. It might be hard to keep her like on task. Like [00:58:00] she'll just, they'll just have a blast. No, no, this is the job. I want you to complete this job. That's the,

Speaker 3: That will be fun. And I'll look forward to listen to that one. I love Sarah. She's fantastic, man.

Speaker 2: Awesome. Um, yeah. Um, yeah, glad that she is my co-parent. Sure. Um, but all right. If you were going to write a book about your professional and parent life, uh, what would be the name of some of the chapters?

Speaker 3: Um, she, uh, where'd the time go?

Speaker 2: [00:58:30] It's a good

Speaker 3: Word. Yeah. Where at the time go gosh, uh, professionally and, you know, sometime, sometimes with some of my clients, I feel like I'm, um, you know, having to parent them a little bit, but yeah. And I say that in, in a, in a good way, cause that's my role is to guide them through some of these processes. So, you know, but as far as chapter titles, uh, Hey, put that down. Um,

Speaker 2: No matter being told that.

Speaker 3: [00:59:00] Yeah. Both, but, um, you know, like Vanessa says, I say no too much, so no, no. Would probably be, uh, no. Yeah, no, no. Uh, would probably be one of the chapters. Gosh, I don't know. Hey, watch this. Uh, You're holding my beer. Yeah, yeah.

Speaker 2: Uh, hold my beer watch. Yeah.

Speaker 3: And, uh, you know, how did I get here? I, you know, I don't know. Yeah. I mean just, yeah. I don't know. Maybe I'll maybe I'll start writing the book and have to come up with those [00:59:30] things.

Speaker 2: And who is your favorite TV, dad,

Speaker 3: Favorite TV dad like that I want to emulate or

Speaker 2: Just one that you like,

Speaker 3: That's a, let's see. I mean, there's some of the classics like, uh, like Danny Tanner on full house, that was a big full house guy. And so Danny Tanner was, uh, [01:00:00] you know, it was definitely one of those, those figures out there. I don't know that I wanna emulate Danny Tanner or be a dad like Danny Tanner on full house. But, uh, you know, he was one of my favorite ones to watch. I just thought all of his little, you know, nuances were, were kind of funny. And especially when you find out that Bob sag is actually a pretty dirty comedian. Yeah. Yeah. It's kind of the, that, you know, adjust your perspective on it. But, uh, yeah, I loved full house man. And so [01:00:30] yeah. Yeah. Danny Tanner.

Speaker 2: Um, all right. So Tim Ferris asks a question in his podcast or in his books that I really like. And so I've adapted it to this podcast. And it's the billboard question. If there was a billboard on 95 and every dad on the planet, it's driving 75 miles an hour down this thing, and looking at the building view billboard and saying, you get to put a piece of advice on this billboard, what would you put on it to [01:01:00] other dads? So other dads,

Speaker 3: I don't know the kind of cliche term that I would use, but I, I, I know one of the things that I don't want to do is wish away my child's life. And that sounds weird putting it that way, but I've tried to enjoy every single stage, every step, every moment of, of being a dad with both Ethan and with Cohen, [01:01:30] with Cohen in particular, because there are some of those late nights that really challenge you. There's, there's some of the difficult things with, you know, going on very, very little sleep, you know, that, that are, that are hard to not say, oh man, I'm looking forward to when he sleeps through the night and you know, all of those things, but by doing that, I think you're, you're, you're, you're wishing away your child's life. You're wanting it to hurry up just so that you, you know, don't have to be up all night [01:02:00] with them and things like that.

Speaker 3: And so, so yeah, I, I think don't wish away your child's life or, you know, or, you know, just something that gets the message across about really appreciating every single stage because it, it goes by so fast, everybody tells you, you know, um, you know, that same type of advice, but I think that's one of the things that I've done right as a dad is, is I've taken that to heart from the very beginning and, um, and made sure that, that I do just soak it all in man, because, uh, I already find myself [01:02:30] now he's walking and he's around. I already fi find myself missing it when he would do his little, his little elephant, you know, crawl across the floor, you know, he'd pull himself in, scoot his little legs or the first time he rolled over, you know, like all of that, it seems so, so recent, but also so so long ago and I find myself missing it already. And so I can only imagine, you know, what that's like as you, as you continue to go on,

Speaker 2: I don't wish it away. I think that's awesome. Yeah. It might, it might need to be a link so that you can expand [01:03:00] on it a little bit. Yeah.

Speaker 3: Yeah. It sounds weird when you say it like that, but that's, I mean, that's the message of it, man. It's just enjoy every single moment, every single stage. Cause it's, it's awesome. Yeah.

Speaker 2: Um, kind of in relation to that, Sarah has been putting together photo albums and cool. Occasionally I say like

Speaker 3: Actual physical photos. Cool. Photo of

Speaker 2: House. Yeah. I think it's great if people did that anymore. I know. I think it's a wonderful thing that she's doing and it like makes you, like, we got a thousand photos on our phone, but how often do we, you know, [01:03:30] scroll through and be, you know, be present and looking at things we just flip through, but it's fun to go through them and I'll look at pictures. These are only, these pictures are only two and a half, three years old. I mean, we've got three and a four year old, but it's gone by so fast. Like these captured moments are hardly memories. It's like, I don't even know which kid that is like, it's so fast. It feels like ages ago, but it feels like it happened in a blank.

Speaker 3: Yeah. [01:04:00] Yeah. And I mean, if you, if you think back just on something as simple as, uh, you know, the, how fast the time's going by, you and I met 20 years ago. Yeah. I think, yeah, yeah,

Speaker 2: Yeah. 20,

Speaker 3: Yeah. 20 years ago. That seems, I mean, obviously you and I like we we've known each other, we've gone through a lot of cool life experiences. We've not known each other. Yeah. And we've gone through a lot of cool life experiences, transitions, different, you know, jobs, play, you know, homes, relationships, [01:04:30] all of those things think about where our kids will be in that amount of time. Yeah. You know, hard to believe, man. I mean, your, your daughter very well, you know, you could be married, you know, in that amount of time. So it just absolutely absolutely flies by

Speaker 2: Blows. My mind is having, I've said it a hundred times, having kids feels like you're getting into doing a DeLorean, like having kids is time travel. Yeah.

Speaker 3: Yeah. How much, how often do you see yourself [01:05:00] in your kids?

Speaker 2: That's a question that is written down on this sheet. Yeah. I don't, I see it often. Um, I wanted to say I don't, but because they're so uniquely then, but there, there are overlaps definitely where it's like, he's super evil in this way. That really resonates with me because I can do that. Or like she's Grayson is a physical specimen. Like she's got this great athletic body [01:05:30] and she has no idea what to do with it, but she doesn't like, it doesn't stop her. And like that physical recklessness I can relate to. She probably got that from me and like her and I wrestle constantly me and him wrestle like, um, yeah. Yeah. Like he, he and I are more apt to like sit there and I don't know, I don't know it, but it's so much fun to see as they grow and get older, like the influence, the [01:06:00] genetic influence and the socialization influence. Are you, are you seeing even like, even though there's not biological, you know, relations, do you see Ethan like picking up some of your calls?

Speaker 3: I'm sure. I'm sure. Mannerisms and stuff. Um, you know, he, he looks so much like his dad that it's hard not to, you know, I mean he physically, he looks like his dad and, and, and, and, you know, and, and that's, uh, that's easy to see, you know, but yeah, I'm sure with mannerisms, with sayings, little influences that I've had on, [01:06:30] on his, on him, even though I came into the picture later in his life. Absolutely. And then with the baby with Cohen, you know, it, it doesn't hurt that the, you know, going and I look very, very similar. I mean, it's, it's kind of creepy how much he looks like me when I was a baby. My mom says it's kind of weird to hold him because it feels like she's holding her kid, you know, 35 years later. Um,

Speaker 2: It's timeless, like ageless. She's got the same energy that I remember. Yeah.

Speaker 3: And years ago. Yeah. And it's cool watching her getting [01:07:00] to be a grandma too, and seeing the, the excitement there and my dad as well, man seeing him, we FaceTimed with them yesterday cause we had the snow storm and stuff. And so we were just around the house and uh, and FaceTimed with them. And it was really fun, you know, watching my dad in the background, waving to the baby and stuff. And you know, my dad doesn't really do technology. So it's like kind of one of those cliche things where he's in the back, you know, you know, Hey God, you know, talking way louder than he needs to like screaming into the phone

Speaker 2: Based holding FaceTime up to his yeah,

Speaker 3: Yeah, exactly. [01:07:30] Exactly. But um, you know, getting to watch them be grandparents is really fun, really neat, uh, to see, you know, they're, they're acting, they act like kids again.

Speaker 2: I've never seen my parents happier. And like with grandkids, it's gotta be the only thing better than having kids.

Speaker 3: Oh gosh. It's hard to believe that that can be true, but maybe,

Speaker 2: Uh, talk about socialization, uh, for anyone listening. Stephen's mom is my daughter's teacher and uh, she will be, uh, you know, [01:08:00] playing pretending to, you know, do whatever, but, um, Sarah I'll go, oh my God, that's Kelly. God. Like your mom has made an impact on my kids. Awesome. Yeah. It's like, that's a Kelly tree right there.

Speaker 3: Yeah. Yeah. Well hopefully, maybe listens to this. I don't know. But uh, but yeah. Yeah. Good job mom. Keep up the good work.

Speaker 2: Yeah. It's, it's a, it's a lot of fun to see. Yeah.

Speaker 3: And you're not the first person I've heard that from. I've heard other, other parents of kids that are in her class say the same thing, just about how much the kids really enjoy being in her class. So she's doing [01:08:30] something right. There's no doubt about that.

Speaker 2: She posted, she posted on Facebook yesterday. She was like, is anybody else hate that the school day has been canceled because of the snow. I so badly want to see all these kids. It's like how many, how many, as many wonderful teachers as there are. So many of them were like, oh, thank God a day off. I can stay at home or do whatever. But she's at home with a burning desire to be around all these kids.

Speaker 3: Yeah, no, I think, and, and she does have that. And I think that my mom is one of those people that was put on this earth to be a mom [01:09:00] it's her flow state, you know, to be a mom. And, and, and so I think that now that, you know, you know, she's not going to do it all over again and have another kid at this point. But by working with kids, she's able to continue that. And I think that that really is, you know, kind of one of her, her callings really is to, you know, to work with kids. And she did that for so long as a parent. Now she gets to do it, you know, every day with other people's kids

Speaker 2: For 20 years. I felt like when I, one of your mom's kids.

Speaker 3: Yeah, yeah, yeah, absolutely. And [01:09:30] I, and she considers you to be one of them. So I believe,

Speaker 2: Yeah. She's I put my seatbelt on every time I get my car.

Speaker 3: Oh my gosh. I'm 36 years old. And she still, yeah. She still says it to me every time, every time I leave somewhere, you know, if I'm stopped by their house, you know, wear your seatbelt. So it's just her thing, man. And, uh, you appreciate that. I wonder what wonder what our kids will have for us. That's like that.

Speaker 2: Um, we'll tell them, be sure to fly in your own airspace.

Speaker 3: Yeah, yeah. Something, I [01:10:00] don't know what we'll, what we'll say to them, but yeah. I wonder what those little things that are, that are, you know, signature. Do you have any of those from your parents? Like signature little lines and

Speaker 2: For, for my mom, it's it's of course all like health related, uh, you know, that, that, that pan has Teflon in it and the chemicals are going to get into your, uh, the burger that you cook on it. So go get ceramic or something like that. Those are all pretty consistent, but nothing, uh, no like mantra, like, no, like if, if this happens, that [01:10:30] happens. Not like clockwork. Yeah,

Speaker 3: Yeah, yeah. Yeah. With my, with my mom, it's always, yeah. It's always been wear your seatbelt. Always what she says when we walked out the door. Yeah. Yeah. And we do so as we do, because it's working.

Speaker 2: Yeah. So last question. Oh gosh. That's official anyway. Okay. Uh, in the event that this recording lasts forever and Ethan's kids, Cohen's kids, their kids, their kids' kids. And so on [01:11:00] this message gets to be played to generations to come. What is a message that you would like to convey to them? Okay.

Speaker 3: Obviously just, you know, that I can't how much I love them, how much I'm sh I'm, I'm proud of them, how much I courage them to go out and to go out of their comfort zone and, and experience life, live life, [01:11:30] you know, don't, don't let, don't let fear, don't let anything stop you from doing what you want to do, what you should be doing, you know, just li just absolutely live life, live life to the fullest. I hope I did a good job of preparing you for life. I hope I did a good job of showing you what it means to be a dad, what it means to be a husband, a friend, and just a good person. But you know, the, the, the main message man is just, just how much I love him. [01:12:00] I, you know, I, I failed to find the words for it, but just, just, uh, with all of my, all of my soul, everything, I am love you a

Speaker 2: Little bit, little bit, right.

Speaker 3: That's a wrap man. All right. Well, like I said, yeah, it's an impromptu impromptu. You want to do it? Sure. Yeah. Yeah. Why not? Why not? You know, so, um, yeah. It's been fun. Yeah. So appreciate it. Keep up the good work, man. Thanks bro.

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