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May 31, 2022

Life Lessons from Dad

Celebrate Hilton Head Magazine

Photography By

Two Lights, One Stand Photography
Everyone likes to pick on Dad for his jokes, funny taste in sneakers, and his obsessive control over the family thermostat. But at the end of the day, Dad is the rock of the family unit—the hard-worker who provides and hardly ever complains. In most cases, when a man decides to have a family, it’s […]

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Everyone likes to pick on Dad for his jokes, funny taste in sneakers, and his obsessive control over the family thermostat. But at the end of the day, Dad is the rock of the family unit—the hard-worker who provides and hardly ever complains. In most cases, when a man decides to have a family, it’s the most important thing in the world to him.

This month, we feature a few good dads. They share advice on raising children, talk about self-sacrifice, and impart a few words of wisdom they got from their own papas.

Read on … and don’t forget to CELEBRATE your father on June 19—and every day!

Brad Marra
Children: Emma, age 11; Peyton, age 10

At what age did you know you wanted to be a dad?
Essentially, I have always wanted to be a dad and always envisioned starting in my early 30s.

What is your favorite activity to enjoy with your kids?
Bike rides to the beach.

If your children could learn one thing from you that carries them throughout adulthood, what would it be?
Treat others how you would like to be treated.

What is the hardest part about being a good father?
Balancing time spent with your children and taking away from TV and electronics that are raising them.

Life lesson you learned from your dad:
My dad was always a great protector of his family. I try to mimic this trait.

What do you personally sacrifice as a father?
Nothing. I love being a dad.

Advice to new dads:
Cherish every moment. You always hear how fast it goes by, but the reality of it is astonishing.

Patrick Boulware
Children: Patrick Jr., age 6; Charlie, age 3

At what age did you know you wanted to be a dad?
As long as I can remember, I wanted to be one.

What is your favorite activity to enjoy with your kids?
We love going out on the boat and playing at the sandbar.

If your children could learn one thing from you that carries them throughout adulthood, what would it be?
Hard work, without a doubt. If they want to be successful in this world, they are going to have to work for it. Nothing is ever free or easy, and the ones who want it most are going to work the hardest.

What is the hardest part about being a good father?
The hardest part for me is making sure my boys know they are never forgotten. Being a high school wrestling coach and coaching kids on the national level, there are many times I have to leave. I never want them to think I am forgetting them.

Life lesson you learned from your dad:
To believe in myself. My dad is my best friend and the person I look up to the most. No better role model to have, and without his guidance, I wouldn’t be the dad I am today.

What do you personally sacrifice as a father?
When I found out I was going to be a father, I was pursuing the dream of playing professional baseball. I was drafted six months prior, bouncing around from team to team before I got the news. After a major injury, I knew that lifestyle wasn’t the best when bringing a child into this world and felt I needed to leave that dream and focus on my family. It was very difficult, but I wouldn’t change being a dad for the world.

Advice to new dads:
Enjoy all the busy moments that happen when you become a dad. This is a journey you can never prepare for. Also, dad jokes are the best. “Want to hear a pizza joke? Never mind, it’s too cheesy.”

Jevon Daly
Children: Bri, age 15; Kass, age 13; Pierce, age 20

At what age did you know you wanted to be a dad?
I never really knew I wanted to be a dad, but I hope to one day be a cool grandfather. I like the idea of family. Get togethers will be fun in the future.

What is your favorite activity to enjoy with your kids?
Sushi, car rides, and when they are ready to talk, I listen.

If your children could learn one thing from you that carries them throughout adulthood, what would it be?
I hope they learn to wear their seat belts and the importance of appreciating life.

What is the hardest part about being a good father?
Not flipping is important to being a good dad. I haven’t mastered it yet. Also, I’m learning to not worry so much about money. I know—silly 😜

Life lesson you learned from your dad:
My dad taught me to stay busy. I’m also building a little Jerry Garcia museum in my spare room. Call it whatever u want.

What do you personally sacrifice as a father?
I sacrifice my patience to the gods!

Advice to new dads:
My advice to new dads is just be yourself, and don’t let your kids sleep in your bed (impossible). Watch our guide to flowers!

Jacob Hunt
Children: Gracie Mae Hunt, 14 months old

At what age did you know you wanted to be a dad?
I’ve always thought I wanted kids one day, but I never thought too seriously about wanting to be a dad until I was in my late 20s.

What is your favorite activity to enjoy with your kids?
My wife and I love to take Gracie to the pool, the beach, or out on a boat. Gracie loves the water. We have a great time playing with her and watching her entertain herself playing in her pool floaties, in the sand, picking up seashells, or splashing in the tide pools.

If your children could learn one thing from you that carries them throughout adulthood, what would it be?
Be kind to everyone you meet. You never know what someone else may be going through.

What is the hardest part about being a good father?
So far, I’d say the hardest part about being a good father is balancing professional responsibilities with household and family responsibilities. Working full time while also having some other professional/civic responsibilities doesn’t leave a lot of time in the day, but at the same time I want to be present for my daughter and wife as much as possible. I’m not always as consistent as I’d like to be with that balance, but I’m learning to be better at it.

Life lesson you learned from your dad:
Family always comes first, no matter what.

What do you personally sacrifice as a father?
I’d say I sacrifice some time with friends and family and doing my hobbies. It can be hard to make time to do things with friends and family when you have young children because you really have to plan around the kids’ schedules. Having young kids makes travel a little more difficult, which also makes a great reason why friends and family should come visit us.

Advice to new dads:
When baby sleeps, you need to sleep. This sounds so simple, yet it can be hard to force yourself to do.

Robert Moul
Children: Robbie Lucas Moul, age 3 on August 1

At what age did you know you wanted to be a dad?
I always thought about what it would be like to be a father. But the moment I truly knew I wanted to be a dad was when I met my wife Sandra. I couldn’t wait to see little Sandras running around our house.

What is your favorite activity to enjoy with your kids?
Every morning I get up early to start my day and get my son out of bed while my wife gets to sleep in an extra hour. It’s my time to be one-on-one with him, and I always love our morning routine together. It’s our daily bonding time!

If your children could learn one thing from you that carries them throughout adulthood, what would it be?
Take the different road and break free. Do not follow; find your own path. It’s your life. Why not take control?

What is the hardest part about being a good father?
When you realize this little guy looks up to you for everything, it changes how you think. You have an opportunity to shape him into someone who cares, who is thoughtful but also strong willed. It’s hard to figure out how to teach him these life skills.

Life lesson you learned from your dad:
My father was always a hard worker—shirt-and-tie kind of guy. I always remember his suits and dressing for success. I think he taught me about the importance of your image and that it must match your hard work and dedication. I am probably one of the only real estate agents who wears a suit and tie consistently. That’s my image.

What do you personally sacrifice as a father?
I think you sacrifice time and your relationship with your first love—your wife—when you have a child. Life as you know it changes completely. It’s magical but sometimes stressful and full of emotions. You have to consciously focus on reconnecting and continuing to build that relationship through the stages of life with a child. You can’t forget your partner because someday when your child leaves the nest, you will only have each other.

Advice to new dads:
One day you’ll pick your child up for the last time. You’ll never know when that day is coming but for the first few years of their life, you need to be there. You will never get that time back. To experience all of those “firsts.” I am truly grateful that my career allows me to step away and spend that time with my family. It’s been an absolutely incredible experience.

Shane Harpham
Children: Calista Christine Harpham, age 7; Caleb Allan Harpham, age 6

At what age did you know you wanted to be a dad?
I don’t know if there was a specific age, but I grew up with a large family and was always excited to have the opportunity to be a father.

What is your favorite activity to enjoy with your kids?
I really enjoy watching them accomplish their goals. Whether it’s their first bike ride, first time ice skating or surfing a wave, it’s just so much fun to be a part of it with them.

If your children could learn one thing from you that carries them throughout adulthood, what would it be?
To have faith in the Lord and to trust in Him.

What is the hardest part about being a good father?
Probably having to discipline them. As much as my wife and I love our children, it is also our responsibility to establish quality character traits at a young age.

Life lesson you learned from your dad:
To treat people with respect and to work hard for what you have.

What do you personally sacrifice as a father?
Probably sleep! But honestly, I do not really feel like I am sacrificing anything that’s more important than time with my kids.

Advice to new dads:
Love every moment and let them know you love them. “Let’s not forget these early days.”

Troy Rice
Children: Oliver, age 7; Brooke, age 11

At what age did you know you wanted to be a dad?
Mid-twenties.

What is your favorite activity to enjoy with your kids?
Outdoor sports.

If your children could learn one thing from you that carries them throughout adulthood, what would it be?
To always do the right thing.

What is the hardest part about being a good father?
Never feeling like you give enough to your kids.

Life lesson you learned from your dad:
To always work hard for the things you want.

What do you personally sacrifice as a father?
Some of my own hobbies in order to push the kids towards their own.

Advice to new dads:
Don’t take the time with your kids for granted.

Marcos Farr
Children: Marleigh-2, Caroline-3

At what age did you know you wanted to be a dad?
I am not sure of my exact age but, when I was in my early 20s, I had the honor to watch my goddaughter grow from an infant to toddler to a little girl, and every time I saw her or spent time with her, my heart grew. It was at that point I knew I wanted to be a dad.

What is your favorite activity to enjoy with your kids?
Driving in the car with them, belting out the Frozen soundtrack with them.

If your children could learn one thing from you that carries them throughout adulthood, what would it be?
Have an open heart that is warm and willing to help anyone in need.

What is the hardest part about being a good father?
Patience. Every day I have to work on patience. Being patient with them and being patient with myself.

Life lesson you learned from your dad:
Work ethic. From as far back as I can remember, my dad has been a hard worker. He rose through the ranks in the US Marine Corps, and after his retirement of 27 years, he taught high school student for several years and now he is a SC State Trooper. This man has always worked hard for his family, and more importantly, has always spent quality time with us.

What do you personally sacrifice as a father?
Nothing! There is not sacrifice being a father. There are only rewards. My daughters have taught me how to be a better person and the best version of me.

Advice to new dads:
Be patient! Children are the best gift that you could ever receive.

Daniel Moskowitz
Children: Amara Poppy Moskowitz, age 7; Eloise Clara Moskowitz, age 4

At what age did you know you wanted to be a dad?
“Know you wanted” implies prior to being a dad and with conviction, so at no age is my technical answer. I never knew prior but was generally excited about the idea. Now that I am a dad, I would not have it any other way.

What is your favorite activity to enjoy with your kids?
Any activity where I am introducing them to a new life experience that builds their confidence and comfort in something where they were initially intimidated. Experiences might include ziplining at their grandparents’ home in the mountains, tackling the ropes course at Adventure Hilton Head, getting up on snow skis, or learning how to swim. There is nothing like seeing them overcome their fears and finding great joy in an experience after achieving confidence.

If your children could learn one thing from you that carries them throughout adulthood, what would it be?
No matter how bad that moment, experience, or circumstance might seem, you possess the power to change it.

What is the hardest part about being a good father?
The hardest thing is being present in the moment. Living in the age of connectivity and being immersed in the real estate industry delivers many moments where the work/home balance is pressured because you want to be there for your work family as well.

Life lesson you learned from your dad:
“The evil that men do lives after them; the good is oft interred with their bones.” He drops that quote multiple times a visit.

What do you personally sacrifice as a father?
I laughed when I read this as I thought maybe I should consult with Jevon Daly on a response. I choose to focus on what I gain.

Advice to new dads:
Committing to the time is easier than finding the time. The years with your children fly by, and you will never get the time or the reward back.

Thomas Reilley
Children: Juliette, age 7; Vera, age 4

At what age did you know you wanted to be a dad?
Ten years old when I found out where babies came from. At that moment, I knew I was either going to be a dad or die trying. Plus, at that time, I was only told about Catholic rules—no goaltending.

What is your favorite activity to enjoy with your kids?
Playing a game I made up called “Keep it or Can it.”
• I fill a box with improperly stowed or neglected items, while Juliette and Vera take their seats at the judging table.
• Items inside the box are presented one at a time.
• Judges use handmade signs to indicate whether they want to “keep it” or “can it.”
• If they don’t agree, they plead their cases to the “ME”-diator. Best argument wins.
• Judges are incentivized to reach a predetermined “canning” percentage.
• It is a lesson in hoarder avoidance that they continue to embrace. They get a chance to influence the outcome, but more important, accept the ones they do not control. They also are reminded to value the things they have and learn to say goodbye to things that no longer have value. (Lesson Level: Mature Adult)

If your children could learn one thing from you that carries them throughout adulthood, what would it be?
I hope they honor the present moment, staying consciously involved in life as it unfolds. I hope they seek uncomfortable experiences, run towards their fears, and embrace the complexity of those they encounter along the way. (That counts as one.)

What is the hardest part about being a good father?
Letting them… Sometimes I wish I could give them my notes, but letting them struggle at times is difficult for any good parent.

Life lesson you learned from your dad:
“Take a deep breath.” I am sure he will never get the credit he deserves as a pioneer in breathwork, but this is timeless advice that I frequently use to calm my children and myself.

What do you personally sacrifice as a father?
I was stubborn in the “diaper days,” but I can say now without hesitation that everything that gave my life value before has been willingly reduced for my kids. The rest of my family, my friends, my career, my time, my golf, my social life, my sleep, and my space; all were (and still are) very valuable to me. My kids, however, occupy the overwhelming majority of my focus.

Advice to new dads:
There are 7.9 billion people on the planet. How many of them look up to you?

Ryan Larson
Children: Piper Emma Larson, age 3; Laney Hillier Larson, age 1

At what age did you know you wanted to be a dad?
Probably in my mid-20s, however, I knew I wasn’t ready then.

What is your favorite activity to enjoy with your kids?
I love taking them on trips, specially to the mountains but also love taking them out on the boat.

If your children could learn one thing from you that carries them throughout adulthood, what would it be?
Everybody is their own person, and they should respect that no matter how they feel about the person’s thoughts, decisions, or likes.

What is the hardest part about being a good father?
Knowing when to say no.

Life lesson you learned from your dad:
Treat everyone you come across with respect and understanding despite differences.

What do you personally sacrifice as a father?
Sleep.

Advice to new dads:
Enjoy every moment and don’t take them for granted. Be patient and learn to love what they do.

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