Local Fathers Reflect on Fatherhood

June (9)

Father’s Day is a time to celebrate dads. Four local dads shared their joys of fatherhood and Father’s Day.

Kyle Summers

Wife: Jessica
Daughters: Sophia (3) and Norah (1)Father_s-Day-Feature---Kyle-Summers-celebrates-Easter-with-his-girls_

My favorite part of fatherhood is their smiles. I love seeing Jess be a mom. The girls are happy with everything. If we all could see life the way they do, everything would be simpler and happier. I love slowing down and seeing the world through their eyes. As for Father’s Day, the girls are so young, we don’t really have any Father’s Day traditions yet. I know Jess tries hard to have the girls understand what the day means. But with my dad and his dad, we’ve always tried to get together–all three of us–and that means even more now that I’m a dad.

We’ve always gone fishing in Canada every year. I’m excited to go this year because Jess’s dad is going with us so that’s going to be a cool experience to have them all there. It’s not Father’s Day exactly, but that’s what I remember the most about my dad. I love the trip so much because it’s a tradition and so I’m excited for us to create traditions. I want that for the kids and our family, but they’re so young that it’s mostly survival right now! I just love being around them. I’m very lucky. I think God gave me what I was supposed to get with my girls.

Ben Dolan

Wife: Emily
Children: Sam (11) and Norah (8)Father_s-Day-Feature---Ben-Dolan-views-fatherhood-as-an-opportunity-to-nurture-kindness-and-compassion-in-his-children_

My favorite part of fatherhood are those unexpected moments when my kids show understanding and empathy. The moments sometimes take me by surprise, and it makes me happy to see my kids show grace to others. For example, a few weeks ago, my son told us about a fundraiser his class was conducting for MOAS, a humanitarian organization assisting Rohingya refugees fleeing Myanmar. After reading information with both my kids about MOAS and discussing reasons why people might flee their homes, my daughter promptly found her wallet and emptied it. She said she was saving money for vacation but that other people needed it more.

I encourage my kids to look for opportunities to help others; when they go a step further and sacrifice their own desires to reach out a helping hand, I know they’re on the road to becoming thoughtful, compassionate adults. My family’s Father’s Day tradition is letting me sleep late and bringing me breakfast in bed. My favorite Father’s Day was arriving in Grand Teton National Park after a 3-day road trip from Findlay. We started the day swimming in the hot springs in Thermopolis, WY, and ended the day hiking in the Rockies.

Ed Erner

Wife: DeeDee
Daughters: Kristi, Melanie and Jana
Grandchildren: Alex and Leslie Doone, Ryan and Kyle FisherFather's-Day-Feature---Ed-Erner-and-wife-DeeGee-celebrate-with-daughters-Kristi-Erner-and-Jana-Doone-after-participating-in-a-performance-with-the-University-of-Findlay-Concert-Chorale

For me, fatherhood has been a wonderful chance to be a positive, persuasive role model for our children and grandchildren. Both boys and girls must learn what’s important in developing productive relationships they can choose to treasure. Certainly, they will face complicated situations from time to time.

I have asked myself questions like: “How can I be of help to them as they learn how to succeed and how to fail during their lifetimes?” “What does respectful love look and feel like?” and “What are key differences between male and female’s behavioral patterns?” Typically, we have had modest Father’s Days. I have been gifted with an excellent wife and three talented daughters and I have been treated well (including receiving presents). We usually have a wonderful meal late Sunday afternoon or evening.

One memorable Father’s Day, we were in Ventura, CA. My older sister’s husband, Dick, and I were presented with matching Father’s Day shirts we wore the whole day. We received a lot of attention, as you can imagine. Wow!

Martin Bennett

Wife: Jennifer
Son: Charlie (8)Father_s-Day-Feature---Marty-Bennett-and-Charlie-cheer-the-OSU-Buckeyes-at-a-recent-spring-exhibition-game.-Go-Bucks!

I love getting to take care of my son and see him grow and become the little man that he is. I love teaching him new things. But mostly, just appreciating the gift we’ve been given. On Father’s Day, I usually sleep in and do some father-son stuff. But throughout the year, we have “Dude’s Day” traditions and we’ll probably add to that this year. They correspond with our haircuts. We get haircuts, then McDonald’s and ice cream and then something fun.

Probably my favorite Father’s Day was when Charlie was three and Jen had decided to do an art project with Charlie. They took a white t-shirt and put “Happy Father’s Day 2013,” and it had his handprints and footprints in five different colors all over the shirt. So that’s definitely a keepsake, and I remember that because it was a little bit of him for me.