Perhaps nothing can take a man further away from “reality” like fame. But on the flip side, few things can bring him back to it faster than fatherhood. How do we know? We polled actors, athletes, musicians and coaches about the best lessons they’ve learned from being dads—and were pleased by the heartfelt earnestness of their responses. These quotes should help future fathers do a little prep work… while current fathers can just nod knowingly.
Josh Holloway: “I was not prepared for how much love I would have in me. So I’m a little worried: How can I love something as much as I love my daughter? But everyone says your love just grows.”
Matt LeBlanc: “Patience is a virtue I guess. I’ve become a lot more patient than I thought I was capable of.”
Christopher Meloni: “I’ve been reintroduced to freedom of spirit, freedom of expression, the overwhelming need to practice patience and to celebrate my kids’ development. When I stare at them and look at them and experience them, it’s really an awesome journey.”
Ray Romano: : “The one thing I know is that it’s a love that will never go away and it’s a responsibility that will never go away, no matter what age you are. My mother is still around and she’s still worried and concerned, but that’s not a bad thing.”
Keith Urban: “For me the great thing about kids is people always say they keep you young. But it’s not about that. They keep you now. Young or old, they keep you now.”
Omar Epps: “You’ve got to be present, you’ve got to be active. That’s an old lesson because the lessons keep coming. My kids are still young so I’m sure when they grow up, there’s going to be a whole new book of lessons.”
Colin Hanks: “It makes me realize that everything I thought was important is actually not.”
Jeremy Jones: “Travel isn’t worth it when you’re kids are under four. Slow down and keep things in the backyard.”
Jay Wright: “The best lesson I’ve learned is, don’t try to be perfect. Be honest and be true with your kids, because you don’t want them to think they have to be perfect either. Just be honest and be real.”
Ray Wise: “When you become a father, you’re pulled outside of yourself, and all of your concern is focused on another human being. For the first time, you feel like you’re part of everything and you’re not the center of the universe. A child can do that for you. They enhance life so much, and they make it so worthwhile.”
Shawn Donnelly, Steve Mazzucchi and Gerri Miller contributed to this piece.