Greg Kevan

Greg Kevan

Father of Three

Greg Kevan isn’t good at waterskiing. His kids are. But when his three boys, Jack (13), Sawyer (12), and Noah (10), laugh at the fact their dad can’t stop from falling face-first into the water, Greg doesn’t mind. He’s just happy to see them smile. And as a stay-at-home dad—his chosen vocation after years in the Navy and working as an attorney—he gets to see them smile throughout the day. We sat down with Greg to chat about his unique approach to fatherhood, as well as about childlike wonder, difficult conversations, and Daddy Quest.

Greg Kevan

August 12, 2022

What did it feel like to become a dad for the first time?

I have these great pictures from when each of my kids was a baby. They’re holding my face and just staring at me with this huge smile. Whenever I look at one of those pictures, I remember how incredible and terrifying and phenomenal and scary it was to become a dad for the first time. When it happened, I had this realization that I was no longer the center of my own life. I was now depended on by my children for everything, and they had complete trust in me. That’s a crazy shift to have to make, but it is absolutely the best.

"I wanted to be a part of the small things in their lives every single day. I wanted to be responsible for their growth."

What made you decide to make parenting a full-time vocation?

The moment I became a stay-at-home dad was after two years working as a civil rights attorney for juveniles. I was basically dealing with prisoner rights abuses in these juvenile detention centers, and it got to the point where I realized there was no positive outcome. The conditions and situations in these detention centers were as bad or even better than the kids’ home environments. So, when my wife couldn’t take an extended maternity leave, I decided I would stay home and focus on cultivating lives for my boys that were full of joy and wonder. Then, I briefly went back to work after my youngest was born, but we quickly realized that it was better for our family if I stayed home. I wanted to be a part of the small things in their lives every single day. I wanted to be responsible for their growth. By choosing to be home full-time with my kids, I have the special opportunity to invest more time into my job as a parent. And I've realized that being a father is the only job that has ever felt like something I was truly made for.

Which mindsets are core to how you approach being a dad?

I want this to be as magical a childhood as possible for them. So, fun has always been at the core of what we do. There’s a saying—"you’ve never seen joy like a four-year-old with bubbles"—and that’s what I want to create for my kids. I want as many things as possible to feel amazing and wonderful, because I want them to be people who find the joy in life. And making things fun isn’t just about buying fun toys. It’s about creating an experience—like when I came up with Daddy Quest.

"My goal was to make each day both educational and magical, and I approached it like a job."

What is Daddy Quest?

Daddy Quest was something I started when my youngest was turning two. Their daycare had a program called Summer Quest where the kids could participate in a bunch of different activities every week, but it was pretty expensive. So, I decided to come up with our own version. Each week, we would pick a theme and then come up with ideas around that theme. We did Theater Week where we wrote a silly little play and built the sets and designed costumes. We did Science Week where we did a ton of fun experiments together. And of course, we made t-shirts every year. It went on for five or six years, and it was so much fun. It was all about making every single day fun while also teaching the boys new things. My goal was to make each day both educational and magical, and I approached it like a job.

How do you navigate difficult conversations with your boys?

I like to keep very few things taboo with my boys. Because I want them to feel like they can talk to me about anything. Like the other day, I was in the doctor’s office waiting room with my oldest, and he turned to me and asked, “Dad, do you believe in God?” And I thought to myself, “All right, let’s talk about God in the waiting room. Let’s have this conversation.” I think that if you show them that you’re willing to discuss anything, it creates a comforting environment where they will ask you about anything.

"You've never seen joy like a four-year-old with bubbles."

What are the most important lessons you want to teach your boys?

If I boil it down, it’s empathy. I want to instill in them the ability to see the other side. The ability to be objective and to ask, “How does this affect other people?” I want them to be kind and honest, because if you can do that, I think lots of other things fall into place. If you can make an effort to understand other people, then you can escape the tendency to focus on yourself. Then, I think you can interact with people in a way that’s more profound. I think the more I can encourage the empathy and selflessness, the better off they will be as humans in the world.

What are you building?

My end product is three boys who will become three men. So, my impact is pretty narrow and focused, but I think that if I can make them three people who care about others, put others first, and find the joy and curiosity in everyday things, then I’ve just amplified my own self by three. Because that’s how I want to be in the world. Everyone is wired to focus on themselves, and things can feel so dark sometimes, so I think the world needs as much selflessness and wonder as possible.

"I think the world needs as much selflessness and wonder as possible."

What drives you to do that?

It all comes back to the thing about watching a four-year-old with bubbles. I get to be around that kind of joy and wonder every day, and that is so much better than anything else I’ve ever done for work. It’s exhausting, and a lot of times I fail or feel like not being around them in certain moments, but I get so much out of it by continuing to be there through everything. I get their hugs and their questions about stuff. I get their respect and admiration. I get to laugh with them and watch them figure stuff out. And I get to watch them grow into people who will find joy in life and make the world a better place by caring for the people around them.

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