Rob Slone is the Operations Manager for a Fire Protection Company in Damascus, Maryland where he is raising his daughter. Every Dad of the Week answers the following questions, read on to learn more about Shaun and his daughter!
- What was your first reaction when you found out that you were going to be a father?
- It was a truly transcending moment. I approached Autumn, extended my finger and she grabbed it tightly. Our first “handshake.” I was lucky enough to remember to snap a photo at that very moment, which I cherish today. It was the moment that my life achieved true purpose.
- When you knew you were going to be a father of a daughter, who or where did you turn to for advice?
- My Mother, not only for her loving and trustworthy approach but out of sheer experience. She raised 8 of us on her own, including three daughters.
- How would your kids describe you as a dad?
- I was fortunate enough to receive a random text from Autumn recently, where she referred to me as her “everything.” It doesn’t get much better than that. On a daily basis, she often refers to me as “silly”, funny”, or points out how forgetful I am.
- What has been the largest challenge you have had in being a father?
- Her Mother and I became separated over a year ago, and with that came challenges – many misdirected and unnecessary – in maintaining the same level of involvement and time spent with Autumn that I had previously. Through it all I have continued fighting for her relentlessly, and she and I are now closer than ever as a result.
- Looking back on your life as a father, what would you change if you could?
- Nothing. If my current relationship with Autumn were a painting, I’d want every brush stroke and medium used – good or bad – to be in the exact same place it is now. Life isn’t perfect. Parents aren’t perfect. It’s how we respond and react to adversity, and the example it sets for our children, that creates that landscape.
- What do you do for fun with your daughter(s)?
- She’s recently adopted an obsession with the dance application TikTok. To keep it safe, I created a joint account with her. My plan wasn’t to dance WITH her in the videos, but it has happened and it’s been great. We also love shopping, eating out together, and taking frequent bike rides with each other.
- What advice would you give to other dads with daughters?
- Answer every question, where appropriate. I refuse to “brush off” or ignore inquiries from Autumn, no matter how large or small. For one, it shows them that you are interested in them and care enough to provide guidance and answers. And secondly, you learn a lot about your child by the questions they ask and the things they are curious about. Let them be comfortable coming to you with questions, and that will last a lifetime.
- How have you come to balance fatherhood and outside life?
- My motto for fatherhood, my career and my any other endeavor of mine is the same – work hard and be nice. Autumn and I also began a spiritual and religious journey with each other just over a year ago. She was present and involved in my baptism at age 46, and I wouldn’t have had it any other way. Simply put, I “balance” fatherhood and outside life by moving over into the passenger seat and allowing God to drive.
- What have been the most memorable experiences that you have had thus far as a father?
- Besides her birth, the aforementioned baptism was a crowning moment for both of us. Not only her presence and mutual involvement in our church, but her excitement leading up to and during the ceremony. We often think and talk about being supportive of our children, and being in their corner. When the roles are reversed and our children are supportive of us, and in our corner, we truly become bulletproof.
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