Elton Colbert (R) asks his father, Jim (L), about life as a single parent.
Elton Colbert (EC): When the separation occurred I was 13 and being the oldest, I think it kinda hit me the hardest. How did it hit you when you found out that you were going to get sole custody? Jim Colbert (JC): It was a huge change in my life. At that time I’d been, you know, spending time with you but not being the sole provider of everything from cooking to cleaning. It sure gave me a whole new appreciation for single moms. I think that first month I probably hot-dogged-and-hamburgered you guys to death. And I remember one of you saying, “Please Dad, anything but hot dogs or hamburgers. We’ll eat cereal!” And I went, ‘Cereal! Jeez, I wish you would have told me that earlier!’ (laughs) EC: (laughs) Yeah, I’m sure. You didn’t grow up in the same kind of atmosphere. Can you tell me some of the things that lacked in your relationship with your father that you tried to instill in us? JC: My dad and my mom got divorced when I was three and I lived with my dad and um…I don’t ever remember my dad telling me he loved me. I don’t ever remember my dad giving me a hug. I do remember my dad being super-critical. If you didn’t do something the way he wanted you got pounded. And so I decided that, if I ever had kids, I was going to have it differently. I was going to tell them how much I loved them and I was going to hug them and spend time with them and make them feel special. EC: Wow. JC: So that’s what I tried to do. EC: You accomplished that. We are a result of that love so thank you for making that effort. JC: Well, thank you. I don’t think that there’s uh, a higher calling that a man could have than to be a dad.