Learning From The Kids
Louisiana native Jeff Goudeau (35) is one busy man. He's a forensic scientist supervisor and firearm examiner at the Louisiana State Police Crime Lab, a focused triathelete-in-training, a loving husband to his wife of 10 years and father to their two active children, Todd (6) and Will (3).
Like most families, the Goudeau family looks forward to their weekends together. For them, adventure is at the top of the list. Favorite memories include fishing, spending time in their travel trailer, and camping at the beach or mountains. While their weekend journeys are great fun, for Jeff, it's the daily lessons of fatherhood that mean the most to him. In it all, he follows a sentiment passed down from his own father. "My dad always told me that anything worth doing is worth doing right," Jeff recalls. "Those words can be applied to anything from marriage, to parenting, to school or work, to doing projects around the house."
"One thing I hope to teach my kids is goal setting," Jeff says. "I believe that, when they see me set a goal and work hard to obtain it, they will do the same in life, whatever it is. Part of the reason I love running, biking and swimming is that they see me train hard and then put it all together to finish a race." Jeff looks back on his first mountain bike race when his contact popped out of his eye 50 yards into the race, which was followed by four crashes during the course. But after each fall, he hopped back on the bike and tried again. His courage and perseverance paid off that day, however. "That afternoon, Todd took his training wheels off and has never looked back," says Jeff. "He realized that even grown men fall."
Learning from the kids
Jeff acknowledges that, when it comes to his children, sometimes he's the student. A few years ago, Jeff was loading his four-wheeler into his truck as his son Todd stood nearby, watching. Jeff made a mistake and forgot to put the stop block in. The result was shattered glass. "Needless to say, I was very mad, and when I turned and looked at Todd, he just said, 'Daddy, why did you break your truck?' I had to laugh. His innocent question made me realize that there was no point in being upset or angry."
As for Father's Day gifts, Jeff normally receives the traditional tools, but the best gift was a nice air compressor. He says, "It sure makes blowing up inflatable toys a lot easier!"
Now, that's a spoken like good dad.
Meet more dadsBryan McCathan
Frederick J. Goodall