There are loads of Dad’s out there. All of us came in part from one. All Dad’s are bonded by the common factor of experiencing fatherhood. For some of us, it bonds us. Despite this similarity, most of us are quite different, whether it be profession, hidden talent, parenting style, etc., we all tick differently. This feature, Who’s Your Daddyo & What Does He Do? features a different Dad each time, each filling out and answering the same questions.
Dave from Dads Roundtable is a seasoned veteran when it comes to Dads in general. You may have heard his voice without even knowing it, he can teach you about everything from iMovie to Zoology, he’s written a book. Man, I have done nothing with my life compared to this guy! Get to know David a bit more.
Name: David Stanley
Location: Flint, MI
Current Gig/Job/Way of Spending Your Day:
When Aaron was little, I was a stay-at-home (most of the time) dad for his first 16 months or so. Back then, in the early 1990s, that was code for unemployed. But I wasn’t. I was in finance, and I was able to keep up with my clients in the Internet Dark Ages just enough to keep everyone happy.
I was a high school teacher from 1999-2012. In the main, I taught sciences: biology, zoology, chemistry, physics, and human anatomy. My minor subject was English so I also taught language arts. My last two years teaching, I also taught computer tech courses: how to use a wide range of Web 2.0 tools – how to properly construct presentations, edit things in iMovie or Moviemaker. Going backwards in time, I was in finance, retail management, and I was also a privateer professional bicycle racer.
When my late brother’s cancer returned in 2012, I left teaching to be his caregiver. I began to write a lot, and have since become a freelancer. In addition, I am also a voice-over actor. I do a fair number of clips for YouTube and business websites. As an audiobook narrator, I have 26 books to my credit on Audible/Amazon.com.
Finally, I am also an author. My book, Melanoma: It Started with a Freckle was published in the spring of 2016 by McGann Publishing in Oregon. It was the #1 new release in dermatology for 2 weeks in April. Since then, it has been top ten in the category. As a result, I’ve spent a fair amount of time doing media things that relate to the book; TV/Radio, plus fundraising and awareness events that relate to skin cancer issues.
I am currently back in the job market. My ideal job would be to use my education and business skills and be a C-Level Learning Officer for a cool company- one dedicated to health, the outdoors, sports, or fitness. My dream job? Probably a wine and beer sommelier at a sweet bistro somewhere. I do enjoy a beverage. Maybe two. But no more. I am a responsible drinker. Plus, I never used to get hangovers. Times change.
Number of kids: One young man. He’s 23, nearly done with his university degree, and currently employed at a large housewares chain. He lives with me and my wife, and also with his mom and her husband. We’re a pretty good happy family. We worked out the divorce issues early enough; Aaron was four, that we are good friends. We hang out. It’s good.
What one thing (tool, device, accessory, etc.) makes your life as a Dad easier?
Today, it’s texting. My folks are in their 80s, and my Mom can text. As we live nearby, I’m able to be there when they need me without lots of chit-chat to interrupt my workday. My son and I text just as any two friends would. It’s a great way to keep in touch.
What’s your favorite thing about being a Dad?
When I lost my brother in 2012 to oral squamous cell cancer, my then 20 year old son got moved into the position of “dad’s closest related friend.” Since he was mostly grown-up by then, it’s worked out fine. For me, anyway. Maybe he feels differently, but I am aware that as a young adult guy, he needs space, so I try to be there, but in the background. We like hanging out together. We’re interested in a lot of the same stuff, and I believe I respect his space. It’s a good thing.
What every day thing are you better at than everyone else (doesn’t have to be Dad related)?
I’m disciplined. Not in the Army drill instructor sense, but in the “get things done, don’t avoid the unpleasant task” sense. I’m also pretty good in the “be in the moment” sense. I’ve had a mindfulness practice since my early 20s, and I’m getting better at not getting attached to things that don’t require attachment: moments in your head, good and bad, things that we can’t change, stuff like that.
What do you do that makes your kids think you’re a super hero/super dad?
These days, I think it probably relates to the answer above. I get stuff done, and I enjoy my life. That’s pretty super. When Aaron was little, it might have been my ability to juggle a soccer ball and play goal. I played in college, and was reasonably skilled. For a few years, it was also my tennis game, but that faded around the time I wrote this: When You Play a 1st Grader with a Big Forehand? You Lose. He’s played at a high level all his life, ended up playing in college.
What centers you when the kids are acting up?
When I learned how to step away for a few moments, either literally by leaving the scene, turning my back, taking a few deep breaths before a response, or in my head, that was the turning point. It’s all about perspective, anyway. Short of the kid juggling a butcher knife, or darting into traffic, about 90% of what we get wound up about matters not one little bit in the big picture.
What’s your favorite way to unwind?
I’m a gym rat and a bike racer. I need to work-out. I do something 4 days out of every 5. Day five is a rest/recovery day, and then we start over again.
I’m also a musician -I sing, play guitar and piano. One of my favorite regular gigs these days is once a month I play for a joint Jewish/Russian/Hindi senior citizen group at their lunch meeting at the local synagogue. They have an awesome Yamaha baby grand.
I do a theme- some months it’s Sinatra, sometimes it’s show tunes. This month I have a Beatles ballads set on tap. It’s a riot- seeing these folks up and dancing and singing along. My dad is 85. He comes out to have lunch and watch. It’s fun to play when he’s in the room.
What’s your best Dad-related tip?
- This too shall pass. Like I said before, short of child safety issues, about 90%, heck maybe more, of what we do, doesn’t matter all that much. Kids will get potty trained when they are ready. They’ll give up their bottle when its time. They’ll want to play a sport or do something artistic because it’s in them. Kids are born with a temperament, and your job is to demonstrate how to function in the world as a compassionate, intelligent man. Your kid will inculcate that into his/her temperament, and will become the best adult possible as a result.
- A word about the teenaged years. As tough as adolescence is on you as a dad, I assure you that it is markedly harder on the kid. Be kind. The teen years suck.
What is your favorite Dad story?
As my kid is now 23, I have accumulated darn near a book’s worth of cute stories. Not long ago, one of my favorite stories about Aaron’s mastery of the bicycle in the neighborhood made its way into a piece I wrote. Early this spring, three young men, in separate bicycle racing incidents, died. It was a horrible feeling. I could have been one of those young men. The part about Aaron is in the last 6 paragraphs. When Young Men Die on their Bicycles, I’m Gutted.
Fill in the blank: I’d love to see _________ answer these same questions.