Father figures

. October 30, 2012.

It's June, and it's time to celebrate fatherhood. Being a father can be overwhelming, humbling, inspiring and joyful.
We asked Ann Arbor dads, from first-timers to veterans, to share the lessons they've learned.

Neel Hajra
c.o.o. & v.p. at a nonprofit organization
with his children Ian , 8, and Vaughn ,10
“Fatherhood is something that never stands still. Every time you think you’ve got the hang of it, your kids have the audacity to change! I think it’s important for fathers to embrace this constant state of evolution. As much as I’ve enjoyed watching my boys grow up, I hope that I'm also changing and growing along with them."






Rian Barker
mortgage consultant,

with his daughters Ava Marie, 5 and Camille Rose, 2
“Fatherhood is completely awe- some! I enjoy every minute of it. It definitely can be very challenging at times, but the joy and satisfaction that I get from watching my girls grow more and more everyday overshadows any form of stress or frustration that I have endured. My advice to other fa- thers or fathers-to-be is to stay involved in your children’s lives as much as you possibly can — they will not always be chil- dren. It still seems like yesterday I was holding my little babies in the de- livery room and now my oldest Ava will be starting school this year, which is mind-blowing to me. Consistently I always remind my girls how much I love them. I believe this will have a great impact on my relationship with my girls as they grow into young ladies and eventually adults. I always want my girls to know that they can always come to their father for anything.”







Dan Edwards

with his two boys Zachary, 7 and Jacob, 4
“Fatherhood is one of the most difficult but also one of the most rewarding things in my life. My wife and I laugh about it, but we call our little guys GIT’s, or gentlemen-in-train- ing, and teach them things like holding the door open for others, saying please and thank you, using polite table man- ners, etc. I just want to raise my boys to be good people. I want them to be able to make good decisions and be proud of themselves.”







Andrew Bank

with his children Della, 21 months, Leila, 5, and Asher, 8
“Be fully present when you’re with your kids. Give them 100% of your attention. They will notice it, appreciate it, and behave better because of it in the short- and long- term. And believe it or not, your own momentary trials and tribula- tions will melt away for a while. Being present with your kids is like an emotional massage that puts everything else into proper perspective.”