“Fatherhood is the reason I’m here!”
- Eric Levine, father to Lincoln, age 3 and Felix, age 1. He plays with Mr. Hoo in The Alphabeticians and teaches high school English.
Q. What is your favorite thing to do in Portland with your kids?
A. I love hiking/exploring/walking with my boys. You can’t always cover much ground with a 3 year old and a 1 year old, so sometimes a hike is just one time around the block. Still, I’m always impressed with how naturally my kids are absorbed by the outdoors.
Q. What do you like to do on sunny days in PDX?
A. Sunny days are best for our favorite activity, of course. And when it’s warm enough, we love a park with a fountain or water feature. We also love checking out the Timbers Reserves or U-23 squads: daytime matches, lower prices, sit anywhere! Yahoo!
Q. What do you like to do on rainy days in PDX?
A. Although it almost never rains here in PDX, when it does, we like to catch a local kindie rocker at a coffee shop (we are frequently attenders of those ABC Guys’ shows, of course). At home, we do a lot of art projects and we find ways to make hockey, basketball, soccer and football indoor sports. Not sure how much longer we’ll be able to pull that one off!
Q. How do you balance being a dad with other priorities (work, hobbies, etc)?
A. For me, my family and kids are my #1 priority, and I feel blessed and lucky to be able to arrange my life around them. Mr. Hoo and I keep our families involved in our Alphabeticians “work”, and I’m lucky that my other “professional” life is child-centered, and therefore my colleagues are very understanding of my choice to make my family my #1 priority. Being a teacher is a rewarding career in that regard: I can be home well before 5pm on most days, and the built in vacations allow me to spend my summers being “Daddy Day Care”. I chose to wait until I was older to be a dad; a tricky balance, but it worked out for me very nicely. In my 20s and early 30s, I was able to get my ya-ya’s out, go to grad school, rock out in “grown up” bands, etc. Good thing too, because once I met my sons, I didn’t care about doing any of that crap anymore!
Q. What’s your favorite story/memory of being with your kid(s)?
A. I really listen when people repeat the adage that “they grow up fast; you’ve got to cherish this time with them”. I already get a little weepy when I think about Lincoln riding on my shoulders for the last time, or how someday soon Felix won’t want to sit in my lap anymore. I try to remember how fleeting it all is on a daily basis. Yesterday Lincoln and I walked down to the store; he packed two things for our “hike”: M&Ms and a measuring tape. I let him lead. About 10 yards from the house he said “Dad, I think we should take a little break now”. I knew he was thinking about the M&Ms in his backpack. We stopped and ate some. Then he remembered his measuring tape and he measured the heights and widths of a handful of shrubs. In his mind, he was reliving a measuring scene from a “Wallace and Gromit” episode. I soak up moments like that, then I squeeze them tighter than I hug the boys and promise myself that I’ll write these moments down before I forget them. I almost never do, but it helps me feel like the moment might last just a little bit longer. Hey! I wrote this one down! Maybe there’s still hope.