Name: Clayton Smith : Toronto, Ontario Canada | @cl8n
What does being a father mean to you?
It means doing and everything you can to set a good example of what a father and husband should be. Being a father of 2 girls puts a huge responsibility on your shoulders to make sure they see how me and my wife interact with each other.. how we speak, laugh, hold hands etc. I want them to see loving relationships at home.
Describe your experience with your father growing up and how that impacted you today.
My parents divorced when I was 9. It’s not that I didn’t know him, He just wasn’t there for important stages in my life. In my teen aged years we would go and see him for a few hours, have lunch get some pocket money and that was it. When I got to my 20s he had a stroke and I assisted as much as I can with doctor appointments. He had another stroke that put him in a hospital where he later died. It was hard for me cause I didn’t really know him. Didn’t know his childhood, where he grew up, his struggles and his success. I didn’t get the knowledge that I can pass down to my kids (who ask about him and wish they met him).
What things did you take from your experience growing up into your own fatherhood journey?
I’m conscience to make sure they have meaning and memorable experiences everyday.. pretty much everything i didn’t get from my father, they’re getting it from me. But to do that we have to work and as much as I was present when I got home or on weekends where I wasn’t working or traveling I was there for them. The blessing with covid is that we spent a lot more time together, a lot of meal times, movie times and bedtime. So for me it was a way to do things differently than what i experienced.
What advice would you give others new on their fatherhood journey?
Don’t take your spouse for granted.
Have fun in anyway you can.
Document it – take as many pictures and selfie’s that you can with them
Tell them you love them.
If you could write a quick letter to your father, starting with “Dear Father,” what would you say?
I wish we had more time together. I wish you made more of an effort. I do thank you for letting me atch you work with your hands as later on I’ve been able to navigate around the garage and build stuff. Wish you met your grandkids. Wish we could have a beer together legally. Wish I was able to take you all the sporting events that I have access to. Just wish you got to see how your boys grew up to be men, fathers and husbands.
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