Growing up with two older brothers and a younger sister was fun, and Nathan Cowan wants his son to know the joy of having siblings. “It’s important to me,” says the Venice native. For now, Cowan and his wife are enjoying their time with son Patrick. Like dad, he’s a sports fan and even has some moves.
What’s the most rewarding part of being a dad?
My favorite part of the day is when I come home from work and Patrick crawls up to me. It makes all of the nonsense of the day disappear. To have someone who relies on you for everything puts life in perspective.
What is your favorite thing to do with your kids?
Patrick and I love to watch ball games. It doesn’t matter the sport but he really likes football. He has even learned to yell at the television. He also likes to tackle dad.
What is the most challenging part of fatherhood?
Balance. I never want the pitfalls of a day at work to be taken out on him. Time management is challenging, too. My wife and I always have to be on schedule so he always has someone there.
What role model in your life influenced the kind of father you are?
My father influenced me a ton. I was blessed to have my dad as a coach for my teams and even as my teacher in middle school. My dad taught me a lot about discipline. He was hard, but he was always fair. That’s something I always want to be with my son. I really want to teach him right from wrong.
As a father, how do you view your responsibilities?
I have to teach him right from wrong, and how to treat people. There are the basics — food, clothing and shelter — but being a father is more than that. I want to make sure my son has the same or better opportunities than I had.
What advice would you give other fathers?
I haven’t been doing this long but my only advice would be to take as much time with your children as possible.
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?
I try to take him to daycare in the morning and I give him baths when I’m home. My employer is also understanding with my schedule. I pick Patrick up on Wednesdays and Fridays, and those nights are family nights. They are respectful and don’t call me unless it’s urgent.
What is something people don’t know about you?
I have a great memory.
What is your biggest fear?
I don’t have a lot of friends but the few I have are great. My biggest fear would be ruining one of those relationships.
What makes you happy?
Sports make me happy. I enjoy grilling with friends and watching ball games all day.
Where is your favorite place to go in Tampa?
I like going to friends’ houses and kicking it. If I have to pick a place, I would say Harvey’s on Fourth Street in St. Petersburg.