We believe it is important to celebrate fathers and the paternal bonds with time that shape who we are. In light of Father’s Day, we interviewed Chris Calderon, also known as @loveandsupply, on the challenges and most rewarding moments that have been brought to life through fatherhood. Today we are honoring all the dads, in all forms. Wishing all of the dads out there a happy Father’s Day. Thank you for all that you do!
Describe fatherhood in your own words.
I would describe fatherhood as I would describe everything else, which is a practice. It really keeps you growing at a nice pace when you look at things as unfinished all the time. I never want to get too comfortable as a father because there's always things to learn. We tend to label our child or ourselves as something and forget that we can change.
What has surprised you most about becoming a father?
The thing that surprised me most about becoming a father is probably the amount that it changes you or challenges you to change without warning you, without letting you know. It really happens from the moment someone tells you you're going to have a child and you’re like I'm going to have a child? What do I need to do? How do I prepare? Nature really kind of just forces you into preparing to be better in a very general way.
What’s your favorite way to spend time with your son?
I would say my favorite way to spend time with my son is learning together. The best times I've ever had with him are sharing something that you value in your life and then seeing him come to value that in his life. Or my son shares something with me that I didn't know and then I start to value that in my life.
Are there any special experiences from your own childhood that you hope to share with your son?
I grew up in a split environment where my parents weren't together and my son's parents are not together and I think just helping him through that and understanding that's okay and understanding that everyone still loves him and cares about him is something I really try to do daily. My family would take certain trips, no matter how small and we would just connect and I would like to do that with him no matter the trip. Whether it’s Upstate or I would create some sort of ritual every year where we go spend time together, check in on each other and just grow together.
Many parents feel time passes in the blink of an eye. How do you experience this? How do you stay present?
I think many people are challenged by time and I just think I'm not one of those people. I don't ever think about time, to be honest, the moment is really now. If we're not here, then you're really not anywhere. You can be somewhere in your mind but it's really taking away from the present moment. The best time I've ever spent with my son or anyone in life is right now, it's the best meal you could ever have in your life, is the one you're eating right now because the other one doesn't even exist anymore.
What’s the most challenging part of being a father?
I think the most challenging part of being a father or a parent, in general, is probably handling differences with your child and accepting it. Accepting that they might not like anything you like. The common factor is joy but it's really hard to see, sometimes you try to share things with your son or your child and they're not really into it as much as you are. It’s a little challenging to navigate and I think that goes back to just keep practicing being there for your child or your son in an open way where you can keep relearning them.
Keeping your child vulnerable in such a rough world, no matter what stimulates. I used to have a blog where I wrote three or four entries and it just had four topics and I would just keep adding to them and one of them was strength. I was describing to my son how vulnerability is strength. You actually can't be strong without it, so to have the strength to be vulnerable is something really special.
What’s the most rewarding part of being a father?
The most rewarding part of being a father is... having a child is like your greatest piece of art ever. Even if you're not an artist which is kind of impossible because we all are in some way. You get to see your fruits of labor and you put in this time, this work and this effort and there's a lot of things like nature will have happened on its own but there's really nice things you can teach them. Seeing those things come to play or come to life is almost like watching a flower bloom and it’s just really beautiful in that way.
Creative Direction: Kendall Falcon
Photographer: Kalan Briggs
Art Direction: Corrina Mackinnon