The quest to find the right man for the Spotlight Dad feature was challenging. With so many incredible dads, it was difficult to narrow the field so I found three who could shed a little light on fatherhood.
I sat down with the hard-working dads who all moved to Blount County from other states. While their stories and perspectives vary, the dads share a common thread: they all love their families wholeheartedly.
Paul Branch is a native of Bronx, N.Y., and has a 2-year-old daughter, Kaitlyn. He works at The Rush Fitness Complex and is a web designer.
Rick Denton, from Sacramento Calif., is raising Genavieve, age 5, Jonas, 4, Abigail, 1 and is a foster dad to a five-month-old daughter. Denton is a teacher at Maryville Christian School.
Greg Floyd moved to Blount County from West Palm Beach, Fla., and has three children: Andrew, 8, Tyler, 7 and Parker, 5. He is the student pastor at Victory Baptist Church.
What surprises you most about parenthood?
Paul: Many people talk about how much kids take away from your life. I am continually surprised at how much Kaitlyn brings to my life; like love, happiness, laughter...that’s more valuable than the cost of diapers and food.
Rick: I cried during movies before having kids, but I never knew I would cry over every movie, television show, commercial, or song on the radio that had a little girl growing up or getting married. And I mean every time.
What is your most embarrassing dad moment?
Greg: Parker went in the restroom with me at Walmart and started giving an exceptionally loud play-by-play commentary about the noises and smells that were occurring in the stall next to us. The guys in stalls around us were cracking up.
Paul: While ordering at Lemon Grass, my 2 year old was singing “Jesus Loves Me.” I was so proud. Then she got excited and yelled the F-word about 30 times at the top of her lungs. She was trying to say “bucket.”
Do you find yourself doing all of the things you vowed to never do?
Paul: When I was single, I worked at the airport and saw many parents with their kids on a leash. I thought. “how cruel.” Four years later, I shake my head and think to myself, “what a great invention.”
What is the biggest difference between your pre-dad days and post-dad days?
Rick: Niki and I could sit down at night and watch TV or play a game without ever having to say “No, you don’t have to pee. You just went 5 minutes ago.” Also, I don’t think that poop was nearly as much a part of dinner conversation as it is now. On the serious side, being is dad is far more enjoyable and rewarding than anything else I can imagine.
Greg: Less sleep. Less money. More migraines. More hilarious stories.
During the course of my research, I discovered dads are also exhausted. I suppose it’s par for the course when it comes to parenting. As we look towards Father’s Day this weekend, I’d like to encourage everyone to celebrate fatherhood. Put dad in the spotlight and give him a round of applause.
For more of Rebecca’s interviews, visit blountmomstoday.com.