Switching it up this week to a Super Dad and new author Joe Khoury. He is taking real life lessons and turning them into children’s stories.
Each book follows Anthony and Mia (his real life children’s names) as they learn important values they will need to take to heart as they grow up. Whether it’s courage, kindness or the importance of family, the reader explores these concepts thru engaging stories set in the midst of a loving family environment.
The tales avoid lecturing or preaching to the readers. Rather, these lovely stories make their ideas very real and accessible by placing them firmly in a world that young readers can relate to and can understand. By reading these enchanting tales with their parents, children will learn about important core values and will be keen to emulate their new friends, Mia and Anthony.
And the best part about Joe; he doesn’t just write about these topics he lives them daily. He is one of the nicest and most real guy you will ever meet!
1. Where are you originally from and how long have you been in the area?
I am originally from Lebanon. I moved to the US in 2006, received my Masters from the University of Bridgeport then moved to Fairfield in 2008 after I’ve met my other half, Brandi.
2. Children / Age(s)
Mia & Anthony are 5.
My 4 step kids are: Joanna 17, Jillian 19, Deanna 21 & Dominick 22
3. One thing people would be surprised to know about you?
I was born and raised during a war in Lebanon, and I learned how to snowboard in the Middle East because Lebanon has mountains and snow, but no desert.
4. One thing you wish someone would have told you about being a Dad?
Having lost both of my parents at a very young age, I didn’t even know what it was like to having a parent, let alone being one. I can’t think of anything I would have wanted someone to tell me, and I’m glad because I’m really enjoying learning what kind of dad I want to be without having any preconceptions.
5. Favorite local things to do in Fairfield?
Going stand up paddle boarding at the beach.
6. What’s your favorite thing about raising a family in Fairfield?
Fairfield has a little of everything: downtown, beach, hiking. We love the community, people and schools. Fairfield has a great balance in so many ways.
7. Do you have a favorite family friendly restaurant? Date night?
Our favorite restaurant is Luigi’s. Great people, great food. Also, it’s the place I discovered that Brandi really loves me 😉 Brandi, her mom and I agreed to meet there for lunch so she could introduce us to each other, not knowing that I’d already stopped by the house and met her mom, brought her flowers, and plotted to trick Brandi into thinking that mom did not like me at all. The look on Brandi’s face when she heard what her mother was saying was priceless, but I knew she really cared about me when she was defending me and our relationship to her own mom 🙂 good times.
8. What is your go-to activity for your family? For yourself?
We’re so busy during the week, but we love our Saturday morning traditional family workout, then walking to the deli by our house and eating breakfast on the picnic table outside. And on Sunday mornings, we have a morning bonfire and have coffee and hot cocoa.
For myself, lately, I’ve been teaching myself to play guitar.
9. Funniest part that you’ve learned about parenthood?
There are no breaks, and there’s no end game. Ever. 🙂
10. Best dad hack that makes your life easier?
Netflix! 🙂 No seriously, the best hack I found was to try to focus on one thing only. When I’m with the kids, they get my full attention. When I need to do something for myself, I dedicate time to that. Otherwise, dividing my attention becomes frustrating for everybody.
11. Best advice for dads who experience the inevitable guilt handling a career and helping support a family?
Become involved from day 1 even if mom is going to be the primary caregiver.
Support your spouse and kids, and act like her real partner in parenting; I understand how hard it is to have a full time career, and being an involved parent at the same time. But the more involved you are, the easier it gets for your kids to understand that sometimes you have to work, but they’ll know that they’ll have your full attention when you’re with them.
I feel like the role of a dad has evolved and so many dads understand the importance of being involved, showing up and providing the safety and support kids need to feel safe and brave to venture through life and try new things.
12. Who has most influenced you to be the father that you are today?
I didn’t have much time with my dad, but this is what I remember: He came home every night carrying groceries and treats, we had dinner together as a family, he took us out every weekend even if it was just a car ride to the mountains. And it was obvious to me even at a young age how much he loved my mom and respected her. He was very involved in our progress in school and disciplined us when needed.
Also, he waited for bedtime when things got quiet and he had our full attention to sit by our beds and discuss important lessons he wanted us to learn.
13. What advice would you share with a new dad or other dads?
What’s really worked for is know that I have to take care of myself to be able to take care of my family: that means exercising, reading, having a hobby, meditating, visiting with friends.. work on yourself, take responsibility of your life and actions and become the best example you can be for people around. What we do affects so many. It takes extra effort to balance all that with work and family but it’s absolutely worth it.
14. You just wrote your first book. How did you get started, how long did you know you wanted to write a book for and where do you get your ideas for different topics in the “series”?
I’ve been wanting to write this series for few years now. In 2019 I found a few notes in my mother’s handwriting; Having lost both my parents while so young, I realized that I didn’t really know much about them: what were their likes, dislikes, hopes, fears and even points of view on certain topics? I decided to begin writing so that – in the event that something should happen to me, my children and even future grandchildren would be able to know the core values and life lessons I hope for them to learn.
15. Besides writing books now, what is your background and “other” career?
I have a background in Computer Science and software engineering and have a Masters in Technology Management. I also used to own a company that designed electronics accessories, up until when the twins were born.
I love my current position as an Engineering Manager at Adobe, and I help my wife run her Home Organization business, Minimal is Bliss (Enjoy the shameless plug babe)
16. If you weren’t being an author what would you be doing?
I am only an author because I am a father and I wanted to make sure my children know the lessons and values I wanted them to learn. If I wasn’t being an author, I would start a non-profit company that teaches lower income kids computer programming for free, which help them start a good career even if they don’t have a college degree.