WHEELING - Wheeling resident Justin Brown believes a father's most important job is simply taking the time to be with his children.
"Spend as much time as you can. It's borrowed time - you don't have them forever," Brown said.
Brown, father of Dalton, 5, and Blaney, 2, and husband of Julie Brown, were among the many parents enjoying Wheeling Park's playground on Saturday.
Photo by Shelley Hanson
Wheeling resident Justin Brown poses with his children Dalton, 5, and Blaney, 2, at the Wheeling Park playground.
"He is a great dad," Julie Brown said. "When he was growing up he had his stepdad. His biological dad wasn't around. He wanted to do the opposite of what his biological dad did."
Brown, she said, makes time to coach his son's T-ball team, and he attends his daughter's dance classes.
"No matter what their interests are he supports them. It's about unconditional love," she said.
Wheeling resident Matt McCardle was celebrating his daughter Jenna's fifth birthday at the playground, along with his 18-month-old son, Jett, and wife, Natallie. McCardle said his favorite part of being a father is having fun playing with the children.
"Mom does 80 percent of it. I help when I'm needed. ... I do all the playing," McCardle said.
Wheeling resident Ray Cappone accompanied his grandchildren Sydni Roell, 13, and Evan Roell, 6, to the playground. When asked what makes their father, Thomas, great, they both said his willingness to play with them. Important qualities, Sydni said, include funniness and intelligence.
"That makes good lunches - our dad is that," Evan added.
They noted an important grandfather quality involved the ability to provide dessert.
"He takes us out for ice cream and he answers our questions," Sydni said of Cappone.
Evan added, "He spoils us and lets us go to the park and have ice cream."
During their stay at Oglebay Park, Johnny Roy and his wife Jenessee of Aurora, Ohio, brought their children Taylor, 4, and Camden, 3, to the Wheeling Park playground. Roy said it is important for dads to enjoy their children and the "small moments" with them.