Our 273rd Dad in the Limelight is Scott Brown . I want to thank Scott for being a part of this series. It has been great getting connected with him and now sharing him with all of you.
1) Tell me about yourself, (as well as how you are in the limelight for my readers knowledge)
I play with toys for a living. I’ve spend nearly every day for the last four years playing with toys. My desk and the desk behind me and the bookshelves nearby me are all covered with toys, all waiting for me to play with them. I was in Indianapolis yesterday looking at thousands of toys and I am on an airplane right now flying to New York City to look at thousands more. As Co-Founder and Chief Merchant for Marbles: The Brain Store, it’s my job to sort through them all as I search for the very best brain-building products in the world. From a kiosk in a mall outside of Chicago to 29 stores nationwide by the end of 2012, Marbles continues to be a fun and busy ride.
When I’m not playing with toys, I love to read, watch movies, play tennis and eat out with my family.
Also, I am the US representative for the 2012 World Rummikub Championship.
2) Tell me about your family
I am the proud father of two girls and husband to an incredible wife. My wife and I met in high school where I persistently tried to get her to like me as “more than just a friend.” After eight years, I finally convinced her and I have spent the last eight years trying to convince her that she didn’t make a mistake. We have two amazing little divas, Lily (5) who loves to draw and read and Norah (3) who loves to do what Lily does.
We love to travel, read, watch movies, and are starting to get into camping if you consider an eight-man tent with air mattresses camping.
3) What has been the largest challenge you have had in being a father?
As a father, I want nothing more than for my girls to have a strong sense of their own self worth. I want them to believe that they are strong and capable young girls and I want them to grow into strong and capable women. My largest challenge has been watching moments when doubt hits them. Particularly with my five-year-old, I see moments when she tries something, fails, and then wants to quit because she doesn’t believe she can do it. That’s really hard to watch and realizing that I can only do so much as a father has been a difficult admission.
4) What advice would you give to other fathers?
Find something that you and your kids both love and commit to doing it with them consistently. A few months back, I started feeling like my relationship with Lily was struggling. I would see her for a few minutes in the morning and a few more minutes at night and most of those minutes were spent fighting with her to get dressed and ready for the day or undressed and ready for bed. There wasn’t a part of our relationship where we both could just relax and enjoy one another. We both love to read so I decided to create a Daddy Daughter Book Club. I sent her a letter inviting her to the club and promising her that I would make the time to read with her each week. She accepted. Over the past four months, we have held book club nearly every night. We’ve made it through all of the Roald Dahl books and are nearly through book one of Harry Potter. It has become one of our favorite times of the day and has changed our relationship for the better.
5) Seeing that you (or your position) are in the limelight, how have you come to balance parenthood and outside life? If you are currently not in the limelight per se, please still answer this in regards to how you balance parenthood and outside life.
My balance between work and home has come with looking for ways to involve my kids in my work and learn from them as they play. A great thing about my work is that when I bring work home, my kids love it. Recently, I was driving around with my girls and I was listening to a Kanye West song. I looked in the rearview mirror and realized that both kids were singing along. I was impressed by their ability to memorize the lyrics, but less than thrilled with what they were memorizing. I thought that there had to be music out there that would teach my kids something valuable but that wouldn’t make me crazy listening to it over and over again. I didn’t find much so I developed Brain Beats, a CD filled with brainy music for both me and my kids.
6) What have you learned from the fathers that you have interacted with?
Cherish every moment because, before you know it, your kids will be grown and gone. From my friends with older kids, the advice is modified slightly to “Cherish every moment because, before you know it, your kids will be teenagers.”
7) What else would you share regarding your experiences as a father thus far?
I have loved being a father but it is really hard work. Be patient with your kids, your spouse and yourself.
8) What have been the most memorable experiences that you have had thus far as a parent?
Holding them for the first time after they were born. I wondered if it would feel less impactful with my second, but when I took her in my arms, I was just as overwhelmed with the blessing that each my my girls is and the responsibility that I had been entrusted with. When things are hard with my girls, I think back on those moments.
If you have any questions for Scott, please leave a comment here and I will make sure that he gets them so that he may be able to respond!