“Fatherhood is mirroring the type of man I would like my boys to grow into. If I want them to be better, then I need to be better.”
- James Rohl, father to Finn, age 6 and Henry, age 4. Stay at home dad - http://sahdpdx.com
Q. What is your favorite thing to do in Portland with your kids?
A. My Favorite thing to do in Portland is hitting up one of the fountains when it’s warm. There is usually a bunch of people there and the kids love playing in the shallow water. There is a sense of really enjoying the warmth after enduring so much rain and grey. Our favorites are Peninsula park and Jamison Square.
Q. What do you like to do on sunny days in PDX?
A. We like going to the fountains, having folks over for a BBQ, or just checking out the parks around town. We run into people we know all the time on sunny Portland days and it makes the city feel small and homey.
Q. What do you like to do on rainy days in PDX?
A. Rainy days are good for checking out OMSI or Playdate PDX if we want to be in, but it is also great for exploring the trails of Forest Park and finding adventure. The boys and I throw on some rain boots and clothes we can get dirty and make a mess of ourselves on one of the trails.
Q. How do you balance being a dad with other priorities (work, hobbies, etc)?
A. For me it’s important finding that time that is uniquely me and I do that through Portland Timbers soccer games. On game day I head in early to help set up things in the Timbers Army and grab a beer with friends. Balancing work is a bit tougher since I work from home and look after the boys so there isn’t a clear cut work vs. family time each day. As with everything in life the balance shifts throughout the day and I have to be mindful of what my priorities are.
Q. What’s your favorite story/memory of being with your kid(s)?
A. It’s seems a bit stalkerish but my favorite memory with my boys is going into their rooms after they have fallen to sleep. I wrote about it one time:
There are times when I go into the boy’s room before going to bed myself and I am hit by something powerful. I well up with tears and I love them fiercely. Maybe its joy, or maybe it’s something else entirely. I am not sure exactly but it is big and it has an intense effect on me. I pull Segundo’s cover back over him, the one that he is now laying on after going to bed with it on top of him. I am not sure the process of going from awake to sleep for Segundo but it involves starting on his back with the blanket on him, to laying on his stomach with the blanket scrunched underneath him like a sky blue body pillow. When I see his face the feeling hits me and I want to live in that moment but I think I would explode. It is too intense to inhabit and so it passes quickly leaving me near tears and full. It is all I can do to not pick him up, wake him, and hold him tight. I have to will myself to move slowly and controlled pulling his blanket out to cover him again.
Then I go over to Primo in his toddler bed and kneel down with my head on his pillow. I tell him important things and smell his hair. I want to crawl in bed with him but I am too big and I have my own bed to get to. These boys have no idea the effect they have on me, even sleeping, especially sleeping. I know I will embarrass them when they are older trying to tell them how amazing it was for me to watch them sleep. They will think I am crazy and they will be right in a way. It really is crazy how much I love those boys. I am consumed with love for them, it is intoxicating and probably the best part of my day is going into their room when they are sleeping. It is crazy, but I don’t care. I’m OK with being crazy.