Dad’s come in all shapes and sizes, but they all have one thing in common: They deserve to be celebrated. So for Father’s Day, we asked four stellar men why they are grateful for their fathers (or the father figures who impacted their lives) and what being a dad means to them.
Drew Brees, Quarterback for the New Orleans Saints
Father to Baylen, Bowen, Callen, and Rylen
“Life really changed with each child we had. And every child is different. Our kids all came from the same place and yet they all have distinct personalities. Each child is handled uniquely based on their needs and temperament. With each one, you try to find ways to bring out the best in them.
Fatherhood brings out the full range of emotions. You can be happier than you ever imagined and at times the most frustrated you have ever been because they did something you told them not to do.
But overall it’s made me a much more patient person. That’s a must as a parent. I always try to be as calm as possible, no matter what the situation. Fatherhood has also given me a greater sense of urgency with everything in life. I don’t want to miss an opportunity to spend more time and to create life experiences with them.”
David Johnson, Running back for the Arizona Cardinals
Father to David Jr. (DJ) and newborn baby Londyn
“Parenting isn’t something that came natural or easy for me, like football, but fatherhood has helped me mature and become a more responsible person. When someone solely depends on you to take care of them, you figure out how to prioritize and organize your life pretty fast.
Everything I do now in life reflects on my son DJ. I never want him to grow up and have to deal with a dark cloud in the future because of a bad decision I made. Day to day, DJ is at that stage where he imitates and follows what we do. So I have to be careful about how I carry myself. Even with my diet, I eat healthier because DJ wants to eat the same foods as I do. Every choice I make are ultimately motivated by the goal of making a better life for DJ and our baby girl. They are constant reminders.”
Josh Schubart, Actor/Producer/Writer and star on Amazon's The Tick
"You don’t have to be a biological father to influence someone’s life. My Uncle Fred, whom I call dad, has been an inspiration to me since I was 14 years old and homeless. He and my aunt took in me and my sisters as kinship foster parents. He cared for us and showed us what it was to be a powerfully loving, compassionate man. He gave us the love that we were lacking, and he taught me how to trust people again.
When people come from the foster care system they can feel like they don’t belong. But we’re not any different from anybody else, and there’s nothing wrong us. As a society, we need to be as open and compassionate with each other as possible. We should help others by embracing them with understanding, just like my uncle did for me.
I’d like to help kids who have stories like mine, so I’m working with Project Independence, a government organization that helps foster kids with everything from small scholarships to classes on how to become independent, successful humans once they leave the system.
I believe that sharing my experience is how true growth and healing can happen. I want to show anyone who has a background like mine that they, too, can do anything."
Won Kim, President of NYC-based creative agency FiveStone
Father to Ethan (pictured) and Jaden
"My father and I are such different people. My dad emigrated here from Seoul, South Korea. He didn’t speak any English and ended up working at a dry cleaner pressing shirts and pants—in St. Louis, Mo. of all places! He showed his care and affection by suffering through really hard, grueling work for his family. My dad demonstrated the importance of consistency and a strong moral compass. If he said he was going to do something, he always did it. I’ll pass that same lesson down to my kids. My dad showed me there are different ways to show that you care.
But fatherhood is never perfect, so you have to go with the narrative that life throws at you. Our oldest son, Jaden, was a complete surprise. The wonderful thing is that there are certain core aspects of fatherhood that I learned with Jaden that prepared me for Ethan four years later. We used to be anxious with Jaden, but with Ethan, we were more confident because we knew the territory. When you’re traveling on a familiar road, you realize you can actually look out and enjoy the view.
I really love being a dad. The only thing that surprised me was how early a child came into our lives, but the levels of care, affection, and love are exactly the same. My all-consuming love for my kids is always the same."