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The art of fatherhood

In celebration of dads everywhere, we rounded up some of MagnaReady’s favorite customers to explore the meaning of Fatherhood.

by Alison Hessert, writer

While the role of mothers in a child’s life is touted regularly, the impact of fathers is often overlooked. Possibly more than genetics, a father’s role in his child’s life makes a world of difference. All about quality, not quantity, fatherhood is more than watching TV together. It’s about being engaged and present. Every family has its own distinct personality and traditions. Every family has its own approach to Fatherhood. Here is some wisdom and advice from fathers who have lived through wars, disabilities, laughter, love and more.

GLENN MOSCOSO, 50 years old, Wheelchair Daddy
Fatherhood to me is like being a coach. It’s my job to give my son the skills and knowledge in order to reach his peak performance in life, says Atlanta Dad Blogger Glenn Moscoso, aka Wheelchair Daddy.

“No matter the obstacle, if you think outside the box, then that obstacle is just a speed bump in the road.”

Glenn Moscoso

Like many parents, when his wife became pregnant, Glenn drove himself crazy with fears, doubts and questions. But the moment the nurse put his son in his lap, he looked down at him and instinctively had the feeling of his son telling him “we got this”.

To Glenn, fatherhood is like a gift from God. “It’s as if God said – Glenn, here is small clay figure. Shape him and mold him in the way you believe the future society should be. Fatherhood is a gift and an honor.”

As his son grows, the moments he cherishes are the everyday ones filled with laughter and knowledge. Goofing around and playing jokes on one another. Teachable moments regarding both skills and just life. Helping with homework. Just talking, nothing specific but just learning about each other.

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The State
of Solitude

by Hadley Horton,12

I try to keep my father’s lessons wherever I go. Carrying around his wisdom and his smile. He accomplished great things and changed many lives. One of the main goals of my life is to live up to his legacy. No matter what I go through or how many wins and losses my family takes home, we carry his class and humbleness.

The fact of never seeing someone that you love, that was a part of your life every day, never again is the definition of hardship. Now, every memory my family makes is cherished into my rhythmic heart.

I try to grasp everything that’s happening. You have to remember the exhilarating times more than anything. Whenever I go in for a warm, comforting hug, I pause. I get transported, everything stops, and I remember. Taking in a deep breath, the fragrance that is swiftly rippling through the air runs down my cool back. I feel protected by my father. He is an angel, with his burly arms spread above us, watching our every move with his bold blue eyes. His ocean eyes, full of life yet so uncertain, remembered every hug.

The constant roller coaster of emotions, the waist-high mud, the bitter memories, and the nightmares have taught me a great depth of life. They have opened me up, and let me love.

Gene Rothkopf, 85 years old,Father, Grandfather, Great-Grandfather

After many decades in the fashion industry running and consulting on many businesses, Gene Rothkopf officially retired at age 85, only to head into his office the very next day. Is it any surprise he and his wife continue to thrive even after a month in bed with Covid-19?

“Be there for them when they need you, but let them live their lives.”

Gene Rothkopf

The patriarch of three children, six grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren, Gene describes fatherhood as wonderful and attributes his ability to be a great father to his wife and her partnership. When it comes to fatherhood, he says, “Where I shined was whenever there was a problem, I was there.” For example, when his eldest son was contemplating dropping out of college, Gene flew up to Boston for dinner and a pep talk. By breakfast, his son was back on track and excited for school.

“Fatherhood is a two-way street,” says Gene. To him, it has been a wonderful experience watching everyone grow and seeing how he can help, but also learning from them. The key is to always be involved in their lives, from little league to adult business advice. He says, “Keep your eyes and your ears open. You’ve got to know the things going on.” Even Covid-19 couldn’t put a damper on fatherhood. One of his sons does drive-by visits and driveway chats. Last weekend, his granddaughter and her family came over for a social distancing lunch in back yard. And then there’s the weekly Zoom and Facetime calls with everyone.

HENRY FLORA, 102 years old Father, Grandfather, Great-Grandfather

Henry Flora has seen a lot over the years. He served in WWII and worked for IBM for 31 years. With his wife for 72 years, he got married right after receiving orders to go the South Pacific. He first learned about his son’s birth via V-mail during WWII. The consummate dad, these days it’s Henry who is buying that son MagnaReady® shirts.

To Henry, fatherhood was the start of an amazing adventure. He lost his own father at an early age so being a dad wasn’t something he felt he had training on. That said, he loved being a dad and watching his children become parents. His son now comes and spends time with him during Covid-19. Along with the later generations, they have virtual patio parties to keep in touch during these extraordinary times. To Henry, fatherhood can be summed up as “rough times, good times, and blessed times.”