When you know that Dennis Leary grew up as one of seven siblings, then it’s not so shocking that he and wife Kristin, who recently celebrated their 20th anniversary, make nine in their family. Yes, seven kids. He says, “Kristin is a blessing to me and our seven beautiful kids and is the driving force behind what makes our family so special.”
What’s the most rewarding part of being a dad?
If fatherhood rewards could be collected like points, I’d be in the Platinum Club. My daily interactions and conversations with the kids are great. Teachable moments happen every day. The kids are pretty good about making sure I learn something.
What is your favorite thing to do with your kids?
I have really enjoyed coaching my kids throughout the years. It started with flag football 10 years ago and, most recently, I helped coach my older girls in softball. My career win/loss record is something like 12 and 97.
What is the most challenging part of fatherhood?
Paying for it.
Who in your life influenced the kind of father you are?
My dad. He is the most honest, ethical man I have ever met. I have never seen him compromise his principles for anything or anyone. If my kids can say that about me 30 years from now, I have done well.
As a father, how do you view your responsibilities?
Like a deer in the headlights. That’s when I pray for God’s strength, guidance and direction to help Kristin and I to execute His plan to reveal and make the most of the unique gifts in each of our children.
What advice would you give other fathers?
Love your wife. You are the couple that your kids are likely to emulate.
It is often difficult to balance a career with spending time with your family. How do you deal with this and make time for them?
Finding that balance is an art form. Kristin stays on top of all of our schedules so we use that planning to stay ahead of the curve to the degree possible. When we can’t make a kid event, we start apologizing a week in advance.
What is your biggest fear?
I fear that when my wife is out, my kids are going to gang up on me and tie me down like a scene out of Gulliver’s Travels. (I carry a nail clipper in my pocket to cut myself loose if the scenario actually plays out.)
What makes you happy?
Being with my family and watching them grow. With our oldest going off to college in a couple of months (Hook ’em Horns!), it has put into perspective just how quickly it goes by. Summer travel with the family is the highlight of the year as we get away from the daily routine and the kids enjoy the opportunity to spend my money in other states.
Where is your favorite place to go in Tampa?
C’mon, all the fun stuff is in St. Pete – the Trop, the beach, dinner downtown and sampling the new craft breweries. Preferably kid free on the last one.