The Dish on Being a Dad

. June 2, 2014.
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Being a father is hard work, yet these four dads want only one thing on the day dedicated to them: to spend time with their families.

Brent Finlay

Father to Kelsey, 18, Ethan, 22, Jarryd, 26, and Tiffany, 33
Hometown: Findlay

If you ask Findlay Family YMCA President and CEO Brent Finlay, fatherhood thrives off of one key element: time made for and spent with your kids. “Being a father is definitely not a sprint, it’s a marathon,” Brent said. “It’s not measured in minutes or hours or days, but in years and decades. Love is T-I-M-E and being there when the moments matter. We live in this crazy, busy world and- Google it as much as you want- you can’t get time back.” Brent and his wife Julie have four children and he says there is nothing more gratifying than having a family He continues to enjoy being there for his kids as their relationship evolves. An ideal Father’s Day for Brent would be grilling out and spending time with his family. “I’m not a big gift person,” Brent said. “We can’t always be together so even a call, the gift of time, when we can listen and chat a little bit is really great.” Brent said many of his favorite memories as a child happened at the local YMCA, just playing around with his family.

Aaron Roush

Father to Lola, 5, and Clark, 2
Hometown: Findlay

An ideal Father’s Day for Aaron Roush is one lived outside, playing with his family, leaving all his cares behind. “I love spending time with my wife and kids.”  It’s always great to have the chance to not do the things that need to be done, to be a kid with your kids.” Aaron and his wife, Courtney, have two children. The Roushes adopted Clark when he was a newborn. They were able to be at the hospital when he was born in Columbus. Aaron said there is nothing quite like being a dad. It is packed with responsibility, but coupled with so much fun. He treasures handmade gifts from his kids. “When you get those opportunities to play with your kids, hang-out and shape their lives, it’s the best,” he said. “It’s just the greatest.” There is no doubt Aaron will enjoy his Father’s Day. His face brightens just at the mention of being a dad. “It’s my favorite thing to be called.”

Jim Tomlinson

Father to Emily, 8, and Andrew, 6
Hometown: Findlay

Walk into Jim Tomlinson’s work area at Marathon Petroleum Corporation and you’ll find photos of his children and family, framed handprints of the kids and colorful pieces of their artwork that brighten his day. One of his favorites is a little foam frame that his daughter, Emily, made at church, when she was only 3 or 4 years old, when they lived in Colorado. “It’s just special that she made it,” Jim said. “Her picture is in it, and I’ve had that a long time.” Jim and his wife, Sara, have two children. He described fatherhood as “awesome” and “a real responsibility with a lot of reward to it.” The 35-year-old said his Christian faith mandates that  family comes first. “That’s where we get our first parenting advice,” he said, motioning above. The Findlay residents don’t have a set tradition for Father’s Day, but it usually means being together, sometimes with a visit from grandparents. One Father’s Day, Jim and his father even built the kids a swing set. Advice for a new dad, Jim says, is to always be there for your kids. “You can’t replace time spent with them. Every season has its challenges, but they’re temporary and you forget about them– you look back and there are so many awesome memories.”

John Haywood

Father to Eric, 27, and Griffin, 23
Hometown: Findlay

For Findlay resident John Haywood, this Father’s Day is a momentous one for a life-changing reason- he can now be called “Grandpa.” On April 13, John’s son, Eric, and his daughter-in-law, Kasey, had a son. John, who is president and CEO of The Findlay Hancock County Alliance, and his wife, Patti, were thrilled. “For me, and for Patti, it just brought back so many memories of 27 years ago when we were having our first. It feels like it was yesterday– it’s hard to believe.” John’s younger son, Griffin, graduated from The Ohio State University in May and plans to begin work at Marathon Petroleum in June. John has truly enjoyed being involved with his kids’ lives, listening, and providing advice to help make decisions from the time they were babies to today. He values his role of supporter, and encourages young fathers to keep an open mind to spend time with their kids– even if it means coaching a sport you know nothing about. “Fatherhood has certainly been the best experience of my life. Raising two boys into really nice young men; I’m so proud of them– they’ve done such a great job.”