Our 801st Dad in the Limelight is Mike Bizett . I want to thank Mike Bissett for being a part of this series. It has been great getting connected with him and now sharing Mike Bizett with all of you.
1) Tell me about yourself, as well as how you are in the limelight for my reader’s knowledge.
My name is Mike Bissett, I am 36 years old. I am a husband and a father of a four-year-old miracle named Reznor. I’ve grown up in Southern California my entire life, and I’ve had four dream jobs. In college I worked as a lifeguard at a community pool. For 10 years, I worked for at a Haunted theme park in Orange County called Knott’s Scary Farm Halloween Haunt, where I was able to scare the crap out of people each October. During that time my “day job” was as a production manager for ESPN in Glendale CA, where I was the liaison between ESPN/ABC and the ESPN Zones. Currently, I care for killer whales at SeaWorld in San Diego, CA. I’ve also been fortunate enough to work with sea lions, walruses, otters, seals, dolphins, and pilot whales. I’ve also been part of the rescue team, assisting sea lions and seals get a second chance at life.
2) Tell me about your family
My wife and I met at work. We started exercising together doing while training for triathlons in San Diego. She needed someone willing to swim laps with her at 4am, do open ocean distances at 5pm, and run up trails at noon. I needed to hang out with a cute girl, so I agreed. Our workouts started becoming excuses to see each other, and we started to hang out more than we worked out. Afternoon runs became “first, let’s listen to some music”, or “hey, after this bike ride, let’s get some ice cream and watch the sunset.” Rooftop yoga morphed into “I’m going to stare at her doing warrior two…I hope she doesn’t catch me.”
I gave her a ring on top of Cowles Mountain. We were married in 2010. We wanted a dog, but it had to be a rescue. I’ve only ever had male dogs, so that’s what I was hoping to adopt. We already had his name picked out: Reznor, after Trent…the frontman for a band called Nine Inch Nails (whom my wife and I idolized). We went to El Cajon to adopt a husky-mix, only to find he had been scooped up already. We ended up getting a female puppy…another tiny miracle we named Harley Quinn. However, we always loved the aforementioned name and never forgot it. • We decided to wait on the gender of our baby, and picked out several names for each sex. Somehow, almost as a nod to our little lost puppy, reznor stuck around.
After 30 hours of labor, we saw a tiny baby boy in April of 2013. He didn’t look like any of the other names we’d discussed (Charlie, Max, etc). But he looked like a Reznor. Welcome to the world. • We love the outdoors, music, and cars. Disney Channel, sports, and animals. One day, mini golf, bowling, and hockey are his favorites. The next day we have to play basketball and climb on ladders and slides.
I’m close with my mom and sister. I lost my dad to liver disease in October 2013. My son met his grandfather only three times. What has been the largest challenge you have had in being a father? • I’m going to blow some minds here…sleep! It’s probably the one thing I regret about raising him so far. My wife and I didn’t agree on much with his sleep patterns, and I wish I’d been able to compromise and communicate more. But when you’re that exhausted, it’s tough to meet in the middle.
3) What has been the largest challenge you have had in being a father?
The latest challenge for me is watching him grow up so fast. When they’re newborns, you hear “it goes by quick!” all the time. It’s annoying. But I should have listened to that. I feel like I took advantage of every single moment I’ve had with him, but it’s not enough. I’m extremely proud of him and all his accomplishments, but please stop growing up so damn fast. He was on the monkey bars last week, doing them himself, and I thought…well, he’s not gonna want hugs soon. Heartbreaking. What advice would you give to other fathers?
4) What advice would you give to other fathers?
Be there. Show up. Whatever it takes. I was at a father’s day breakfast at my son’s school, and only one dad wasn’t there. This little guy stared into empty space and didn’t want to eat with the rest of us. My heart broke for him. Dads: get it done. Do things around him constantly. Laugh. Cry. Wrestle. Fart. Work. Cook. Explore. Fail. Cry.
5) How have you come to balance parenthood and outside life?
Shockingly well. My wife and I have always been fans of exposing our son to the things we love. So, if he’s allowed to go and it’s not too late at night, we’ll go. I’ve completely fallen in love with being a father, and every single day I get deeper into that.
6) What have you learned from the fathers that you have interacted with?
I haven’t really looked at other fathers, honestly. The example I mostly follow is my own father. I’ve taken all the things I loved about him, and increased them with my son. I’m also cognizant of the things he did that bugged me, and try to avoid those.
7) What have been the most memorable experiences that you have had thus far as a parent?
Overnight trips to Mexico. Reading comic books. Assembling Legos. Listening to Metallica, Tenacious D, and Wilson Pickett. Showing him animals. Playing instruments. BBQing and bowling. A mini-golf hole in one.
If you have any questions for Mike Bizett, please leave a comment here and I will make sure that he gets them so that he may be able to respond!