Growing Bright Together: Celebrating Milestones in October
As the leaves change and the crisp autumn air fills our days, it's clear that October has arrived in Idaho. This month brings the excitement of new seasons and an opportunity to reflect on the growth and development of the children we serve.
Every Day is a Holiday When You Have Family
Josh and Aubrey Naylor escape the Idaho cold for the beaches of Florida and California when the family budget an timeline allow, and trips Switzerland, Iceland, and New Zealand are on the short list, says Josh, because the kids need to see the world.”
“I like seeing their reactions when they visit new places,” he said. “Vacations are great because there’s no distractions, just focusing on the kids and doing things together.”
He Values Today While the Clock Ticks Away
“Being a dad is the greatest gift a guy could ever have; cherish it and respect it because that’s the best thing that could ever happen to you,” says Joey Few of parenting one-year-old Aiden.
“Even when you’re tired, even when you don’t feel like doing the stuff, you just have to do it; you only have one opportunity,” he advises.
Father, son, and two cats hang out in the shop frequently on the Few property and Aiden drives his dad’s excavator from his dad’s lap now and then. “The number one thing is spending as much time as possible with your kids— being there and showing them stuff,” he said.
He Makes Time to Interact with His Children
Dylan and Allison Herman put their children at the top of their priorities, and Dylan’s interactions with the kids are meaningful, if sometimes challenging.
“I’ve taken Remi fishing ever since she could walk,” Dylan said of his six-year-old daughter. “I try to get her out of the house as much as possible. She caught her first fish in Alaska—a beautiful rainbow trout—and that just kind of stuck with her. She likes hunting with me too, so we do that anytime we can.” Sophie, 5, is content “just spending time with me, and she doesn’t care what we’re doing if she’s with me,” Dylan said warmly “She likes it when we read books together, especially our National Geographic book with dinosaur information; we look at the pictures a lot.”
He Makes the Most of Living Close
Ken Gregor says his grandchildren’s unique personalities require unique interactions. That’s why he talks with ten-year-old Ashden by phone most mornings and why Jasce, 2, gets cuddled.
He Gets Worn Down, But He Rallies For More
James (Jay) Aragon says children need love, understanding, patience, and boundaries. The father of adult daughters Holly and Katie—and the grandfather of
Holly’s two-year-old daughter, Arielle—says he and Sally Aragon (grandma) brace for action whenever Arielle comes over.
“She likes jumping on the bed and doing flips,” Jay explained. “As soon as I flip her over, she yells ‘do it again, do it again!’ She’s like a little gymnast; she likes to jump around and flip around on the bed and the trampoline. ‘Only jump in the center and not on the edges because I don’t want you flying off the side,’ I tell her.”
He Parents With Purpose and Practice
Drop by Clinton Blettner’s house in the evening and you’ll find six-year-old Addilyn and her brother Landon, 5, devouring the spaghetti or casserole their dad made. After dinner you’ll see a father reading books to—or watching a movie with—two children.
“Addilyn is the TV show one, and Landon is the runner,” Clinton said, noting that running is a useful skill for an aspiring superhero. “Landon and I run around holding superhero figurines and pretending like we’re fighting the bad guys—that’s a typical game in our house,” he said.
Clinton became a single dad four years ago, landing him in a world he didn’t comprehend. “I was not raised to understand how to raise kids, so when I got thrown into (that) situation being a single dad... it was a very growing, stretching experience for me,” explained. “(When) it’s only you, you actually get outnumbered by the kids,” he said wryly.
Trusts his ability to communicate with his son
C.J. Stark and his son Leon, 7, may be settled in on the sofa watching another episode of the old TV show Family Matters if you stop by their place. You might see father and son walking around Midtown, Coeur d’Alene, too, talking about
anything and everything with Leon leading the conversation with questions. C.J. says trust and conversation are keys to successful parenting. “I didn’t have bad parents; I really have great parents,” he said.
“Growing up in my house you couldn’t really tell your family what you were up to as a kid, or if you were doing something you shouldn’t.” So, all topics are on the table with Leon, C.J. said. “I want him to be able to talk to me about anything, and I make it a point to ask him if there’s anything bothering him.”
He takes fatherhood seriously - with a dose of humility
Chad Oswald says a good father makes time for his children, listens to them, teaches new things, plays with his kids, and encourages them to move on from their mistakes, just like he moves on from his mistakes.
“Being the father of four is a nonstop endeavor; it’s a lot to do. My wife Megan and I waited to have kids until we were
ready so that helps, but it’s a huge responsibility. Being a dad is the most important job I’ll ever have. My kids will only have one dad; it’s important for me to do that job right. I’ve got responsibilities at work and other places, but those (responsibilities) all have to be secondary to parenting,” he says.