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My granddad wanted to become a sign painter and designer, but was stopped; my dad would have had a real talent for language, but was stopped. When I expressed a desire to become a graphic designer, I was not stopped.

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I’m a husband and a dad. Two thirds of my day is spent being that character. It’s a huge part of my identity and why I pursue things I do. I’m interested in questions my son asks me, like, "Why do animals fight? Why do you have to leave us to go on the road?" Everything he asks gets me thinking. If I’m going to do this, sacrifice time with family and friends, sacrifice resources, I need to think carefully about what I going to say and how I’m going to say it.

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I’m a husband and a dad. Two thirds of my day is spent being that character. It’s a huge part of my identity and why I pursue things I do.

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When I was a kid, I said to my father one afternoon, ‘Daddy, will you take me to the zoo?’ He answered, ‘If the zoo wants you, let them come and get you.

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I feel like if I’m going to give you a book about my dad, then I really want to give you my dad, because he is interesting and he is funny and if you’re buying a book about him, I don’t want you to have to sit through stuff that’s not him.

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My mum and my dad they both like to sing they have really nice voices and my sister and my brother actually they are good singers too. I’ve been really blessed actually more than most to have a really good people around me.

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I started playing drums at a pretty early age because my parents were musicians. My dad was an amazing multi-instrumentalist and I can play a lot of instruments, but my dad actually played all the instruments I could play and then added another twenty five or thirty five different categories on there …he was incredible! He got an act actually in Vegas, my parents Bobby and Phyllis Sherwood.

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My dad hates umbrellas, said Deeba, swinging her own. When it rains he always says the same thing. ‘I do not believe the presence of moisture in the air is sufficient reason to overturn society’s usual sensible taboo against wielding spiked clubs at eye level.

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The hardest thing in the world is to have a relationship, to be committed to one person and feel vulnerable. Recently one of my son’s came to me and said ”it’s hard for me to have a relationship, you and dad have been married three times each.”

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I know my mom still wears lingerie and jumps out of closets to scare my dad. She’s always joked that she tries to give him a heart attack so she can get his coin collection. But now she’s actually worried that she might give him a heart attack. And the coin collection may not exist, so she’s being gentler on him.

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The child who ran weeping to you with a cut finger is now brought home, smiling gamely, with a broken collarbone and incredible contusions- ‘it wasn’t Jezebels fault, Dad.’

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A little kid asks my dad why that man is chopping down the tree. Dad: He’s not chopping it down. He’s saving it. Those branches were long dead from disease. All plants are like that. By cutting off the damage you make it possible for the tree to grow again. You watch – by the end of summer, this tree will be the strongest on the block.

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What do you miss about being alive?" The sound of my mom singing, a little off-key. The way my dad went to all my swim meets and I could hear his whistle when my head was underwater, even if he did yell at me afterward for not trying harder. I miss going to the library. I miss the smell of clothes fresh out of the dryer. I miss diving off the highest board and nailing the landing. I miss waffles" – p. 272.

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I shake my head. I pick up the rake and start making the dead-leaf pile neater. A blister pops and stains the rake handle like a tear. Dad nods and walks to the Jeep, keys jangling in his fingers. A mockingbird lands on a low oak branch and scolds me. I rake the leaves out of my throat. Me: "Can you buy some seeds? Flower seeds?

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Do you think the ability to sleep in counts as a special skill?” I asked Dad, trying to sound torn over the decision. “Yes, list that. And don’t forget to write that you can eat an entire meal in under five minutes,” he replied. I laughed. It was true; I did tend to inhale my food. “Oh, the both of you! Why don’t you just write down that you’re an absolute heathen!” My mother went storming from the room.

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Well, the one thing I’ve thought about is having dad give me away. You know when he takes your hand and he puts it in the hand of the person you marry? That’s the only part I’ve ever wanted.

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My dad is a carpenter, a joiner, and I used to watch him make things. So I always imagined that I’d do something where I made things, too. I was really more interested in architecture growing up because I would work with my dad on houses.

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To me I’m just a regular person going to the mall with friends, and now I’m in Forever 21 and I see this random group of girls staring at me and taking pictures. But now I usually have my dad, who is a really tall and intimidating person with me, so he’s kind of my bodyguard.

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My dad is such a good man. You know how when you are a child you think your dad is invincible? Well, I still think that – he is so wise and everything I do I ask my dad’s advice about first.

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When I was really little I would sit in the back of my dad’s car when he’d be playing old-school music. He’d turn down the music and turn around and I’d be singing and know all of the words but I didn’t even know how to talk. From then on I’ve always wanted to be a singer.

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To win the X Factor would mean the world to me and my family. I’d buy mum and dad a house and then I think I would buy myself a car and have a little shopping trip.

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I may not be loud but that doesn’t mean I’m not strong within myself. My mum and dad instilled in me to stand up for what I believe in – and I do.

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I do love a bit of fashion. I grew up around a lot of it as my mum and dad had clothing stores so my mum was always designing a lot, and I definitely had that as an influence.