Being a father takes lots of energy
By John Gregory
Eugene Long, known as Gene by friends and family, is an experienced attorney; a veteran of the United States Army; a graduate of Virginia Military Institute and the University of Chicago School of Law; a participant in distance runs, competitive obstacle courses and mud runs; and a sailing enthusiast. Most importantly, he’s a father of two rambunctious sons.
Fatherhood, for Gene, requires a large amount of energy, not to mention a large dose of involvement in his sons’ activities. For energy, Gene trains and participates in an occasional obstacle race, sometimes getting his sons to enter the kid’s version. The involvement aspect of Gene’s fatherhood tasks is reflected in his plans for this Father’s Day weekend. He and his sons are camping at the Pack 1216 Scout camp out at Indian Wells, and Gene seems just fine with that.
His family includes wife Carol; Evan, a soon-to be fourth-grader at Miramar Ranch Elementary; and Rory, who will be entering seventh grade at Marshall Middle School.
Gene and Carol keep their sons occupied with plenty of positive activities. Both children participate in organized soccer and lacrosse. Rory is a Boy Scout and Evan is a Cub Scout in a den in which Gene serves as leader.
“They are both getting more mature,” Gene said, adding that he hopes one day they will both attend college following their high school graduations.
Gene said, as a father, his number one objective is “to make sure they’re well provided for and, after that, to make sure they’re healthy.”
Gene and Carol were planning to have children a few years after their wedding, and Gene’s response to discovering he was going to be a father was a not-uncommon reaction.
“I was pretty excited and nervous,” he said. “It was very overwhelming and, once Rory was born, I was even more overwhelmed.”
So, how does it feel to add a second child to the family? Does the pressure subside and does parenting get any easier?
“I think it added to the pressure, but at the same time there is a certain ease and comfort in knowing that, okay, I’ve done this before,” he explained. “It’s not going to be any different, particularly if you have two boys, you kind of have an idea that this is the pattern that we are going to go into.”
Gene still enjoys a good relationship with his own parents and is appreciative of the opportunities his father provided.
“The big thing is that my father was always there for me,” Gene said. “He was always very supportive of everything I wanted to do in life and he put me in a good position by allowing me to get to the right schools and basically allowed me to be set up for success.”
When asked about any advice he would offer young fathers or men about to become fathers, Gene explained that fatherhood is a time to be appreciated and that the challenges change as children grow.
“I would just say enjoy the time because they get older before you know it,” he said. “Realize that it’s probably going to get physically easier as it goes on, as they’re getting older and sleeping through the nights. But it will definitely get mentally harder as you start dealing with more and more homework and personality things.”
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