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The Power of Paternal Love

Five influential Ahwatukee dads share their journeys, wisdom and fatherhood experiences

Jerry Ervin

Owner, Sire Consulting Group

Describe being a dad.

Being a dad is about pouring love into your children, encouraging them, picking them up when

they feel down, guiding them and believing in them along the journey of life.

What has made the biggest impact on you as a father?

Becoming a Christian has made the biggest impact. I would have carried a lot of baggage from my childhood and early adulthood into my marriage and the way that I would have raised my kids. I still made some mistakes as a father, but I also received a lot of healing that helped me along the way.

What advice do you give your kids?

Love Jesus and God, follow your passions in life, surround yourself with the right people and try

to make a difference in the life of one person at a time.

What’s your happiest memory with your children?

Traveling throughout Europe with them in 2014 – 2015. We lived in Switzerland for a year and

were able to travel to many countries like France, Germany, Austria, Italy, England and Ireland.

How do you show your kids you love them?

I show my love to my kids by one saying that I love them all the time, and by talking to them and being an active listener. I also show my love by doing things for them that help to support their development, goals and dreams in life.

Dr. Anthony Quihuis

Dentist and Owner, Shine Dental Arts

What is the most surprising thing about being a dad? 

The most surprising thing about being a dad is how busy and more enjoyable your life becomes. 

Favorite things to do with your child in and around Ahwatukee? 

There are so many fun things that we love to do in Ahwatukee. I would say hiking in South Mountain tops the list. 

Best advice you’ve given your child? 

We will see! I feel I give my son good life advice and many times his response is something like "Can we have mac and cheese tonight?"


Proudest parenting moment? 

Watching my son swim all by himself for the first time.

Describe being a dad. 

It is the best endurance sport you could ever be a part of. 

Best dad joke?

The first "Dad Joke" I remember saying to my son was after stepping on a cherry tomato in the kitchen. I turned to him and said "Look, I have toma-TOES." He looked at me with a completely expressionless face, and shook his head. 

Mark Breyer

Owner and Trial Lawyer, The Husband and Wife Law Team

What is the best advice your father gave you?

I can accomplish whatever I want if I stop saying “I will do it tomorrow.” He has given me so much advice that it is almost impossible to pick one, honestly. I was a procrastinator my whole life; always meant to get to things and always planned to do them the next day. He said this to me when we went to dinner right before I went to law school. I have remembered it many times and tried to find a way to get something done that day instead of pushing it off.

What is the most surprising thing about being a dad?

How much time the kids want to talk to or spend time with my wife and me, even after they are grown and start leaving the house. (If I were them, I am pretty sure I would only want to spend that much time with their mom!)

What advice do you give your kids?

I say the same six things over and over but the most common is: “Control the controllables.” This works both ways. If you are upset about something and have a chance to influence, do not sit back.  Go and take action to get the changes made you can control. On the other hand, if you are upset about something you cannot change or control, accept that fact and move on when possible.

What is your happiest memory with your children?

It is not one, but the many times all 10 of us are together talking or playing some meaningless game – like “Psyche” – together. 

What is your happiest memory with your father?

In 2009, my dad and I flew back to Detroit – where we are from though he now lives here – for about five days when Michigan State (Go Green!) made the Final Four in our hometown. A weekend with just my dad for something that exciting was amazing.

Dr. Garth Cupp

Principal, Kyrene Monte Vista Elementary School

What is the most important thing you want your kids to know?

I try to instill in my children the importance of being kind to others. I want my children to know that everybody deserves to be treated with compassion and respect. We may not always understand what others are going through and we certainly cannot control how others treat us, but we can choose to treat others with compassion and kindness.

How has becoming a father changed you?

Becoming a father has changed me in so many ways. It has had a big impact on my career as an educator. I see kids in a different way than before - they are someone’s child and how their parents feel for them is how I feel about my own children.

 

Best advice you’ve given your children?

The best advice I’ve given my children is that it is okay to make mistakes. This is how we learn. So many of us grew up afraid of failure and feeling the need to be good at everything. I want my kids to be able to learn from their mistakes, try new things and not rely on the approval of others.

What’s your happiest memory with your father?

Some of the happiest memories I have with my dad are going fishing. We had a little fishing boat that we would hook up to our truck and head up to the lake for the day. We would get up there well before sunrise and have our poles in the water and talk about everything and nothing. I don’t remember the fish we caught and to tell you the truth, I don’t think we ever caught many, but I do remember our conversations and the hours we would spend together on the lake.

Best dad joke?

I live with three Swifties, so this one always goes over well…Why didn’t the vampire attack Taylor Swift? She had Bad Blood.

Alex Benezra

Judge, Phoenix Municipal Court

What is the best advice your father gave you?

If something seems too good to be true, it probably is.

What has made the biggest impact on you as a father?

Seeing others around me be wonderful parents has given me the confidence that I can fulfill this most awesome and important responsibility.

How has fatherhood changed you?

Although the constant back pain has taken time to grow, fatherhood changed me in an instant. It completely recalibrated my world the second my son arrived, making his safety, security, and growth my top priority in life. It has made my wife and I work in concert more than we ever had in the 19 years we knew each other before we became parents.

What advice do you give your child?

I have a toddler so most of the advice revolves around eating, but I always make sure to encourage my son to be brave and to be kind.

What is the most important thing you want your child to know?

I want my son to know that he always has the backing and security of his parents behind him, and I want that feeling to be so innate and automatic that he never has to give it a thought. 

Best dad joke?

Not quite a joke, but whenever someone asks what's the word, my answer is always grease. Grease is the word.

"…fatherhood changed me in an instant. It completely recalibrated my world the second my son arrived, making his safety, security, and growth my top priority in life."

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