Friday Jun 15 2012
Dance dad focuses on tech, so daughter can take center stage
By: Sara Seyydin Journal Staff Writer
Other Auburn dads coach and teach
You won?t find Erick Baumeister rolling his eyes at the thought of attending a ballet. It?s actually become a fairly common occurrence in his life. For him, attending rehearsals and meeting with moms on the dance committee just comes with the territory of being involved in his daughter?s life. The Auburn dad to Regan, 5, and Jacob, 4, works hard running technical programs, so Regan can take center stage. Growing up, Erick said he never would have imagined he?d be so involved with dance. ?I didn?t like it. My sister did when I was growing up. I was more interested in gymnastics,? Erick said. ?(Regan) loves dance. Be interested in what they?re interested in.? When he isn?t wearing the hat of dance dad, Erick is a Network Systems Engineer for AT&T in Auburn. Heather Tremlin, director of Obrien Childhood Development Center, said his willingness to break the mold makes him a standout dad. ?It?s all about his kids. His daughter does dance. He meets with all of the moms on the dance committee. He is an awesome dance dad," Tremlin said. Lisa Baumeister, Erick?s wife, said it is unique to see a father involved in dance. ?I think he?s a great dad because he enjoys doing all the activities of his daughter?s liking,? Lisa said. ?You don?t find a lot of dads who are willing to go through all the rehearsals and every single show. He likes to keep them involved.? Regan dances at the Northern California Dance Conservatory in Roseville and does performances at the Placer Theater Ballet. In August she?ll audition for a part in the Nutcracker and is hoping to be a Bon-Bon. The family also enjoys taking trips to the beach via train, making homemade jam and working on projects together. Erick said when it comes to raising children, time is precious. ?Being a working dad you realize you don?t have that much time with your kids, so every hour you can spend with your kids or put them first and try to involve them in everything you do,? Erick said. ?No matter where you send them to school, they are still learning the most from you.? Dad passes on love for learning to twins For Shawn Silva, of Auburn, watching he and his wife Donna?s 5 year-old twins Ryan and Annabel grow up has been one adventure after another. In the past year they have learned how to write their names, count to 100 and taken their first walk across the Golden Gate Bridge. Silva, a high school teacher at Silver Springs High School in Grass Valley, is always trying to teach them a new facet of life. This summer it?ll be how to swim and ride a bike before they head to kindergarten. ?They are ready,? Shawn said. ?I have seen it right before my eyes. This last year has been drastic.? Silva said with both he and his wife working he has been involved every step of the way, too. From changing diapers to doing dishes, he likes to share the responsibilities. ?It?s rewarding,? Shawn said. ?They can come to me just like can to their mom.? He loves the serious, committed nature of his son and the sweet-natured temperament of his daughter. He said the twins can also be cautious, one characteristic that could save him from some headaches when they are teenagers. ?They watch out for each other,? Shawn said. ?The No. 1 rule of life is to be kind. They look out for other people, too.? Ryan said he likes to play soccer with is dad and learn from him. When asked why his dad is a cool guy, Ryan said ?because he is a teacher.? Annabel said she has special memories of going to a Giants game with her dad and loves family ?bike rides, bike rides, bike rides!? This summer she is looking forward to swimming with her Dad and taking more bike rides around Lake Natoma. Aside from spending time learning and staying active, Annabel likes to take time to play games with her dad. ?I like to play Yellow Puppy on Head,? Annabel said. ?We have a yellow puppy and I put it on my daddy?s head.? For Shawn, watching his children experience their first time in the city is a memory that will always be close to his heart. ?I like the city and being able to expose them to something different than they were used to seeing, I think they liked every part of it,? Shawn said. ?The Golden Gate Bridge was magical for them.? Father and sons bond through sports Charles Atkinson, 31, of Auburn, will admit it hasn?t always been easy being a young dad, but it has been rewarding. His oldest son Dillon is now 13 and five years ago his son Connor was born. They attended a Father?s Day appreciation barbeque together at Hugs-and-Smiles Little Fox Preschool in Auburn on Thursday. Some of his favorite memories center on sharing sports with his boys. He is usually a coach or assistant coach on their athletic teams and likes to spend time with them outdoors. ?The first time they caught a fish, the look on their face is always shocked,? Charles said. ?The first time he (Dillon) made a tackle in football. He made it look so easy.? This weekend they plan on going fishing at the Berkley Pier with Charles? dad. Along with bonding through activities, he said he takes an active role in teaching his children about life. Dillon said he is thankful his dad understands him. ?He is younger, so he kind of gets how I am,? Dillon said. ?He knows what I like to do and he liked to do the same things.? Kristin Atkinson, Charles? wife, mom to Connor and stepmom to Dillon, said she appreciates her husband?s involvement. ?He is just really super involved in everything. They do their fishing and all the boy stuff,? Kristin said. ?He just really cares about being involved with them and being a part of their lives.? Charles has a few rules for parenting he likes to abide by. ?Be there for them, no matter what, unconditionally. Teach them right from wrong. Tell them you love them,? Charles said. ?If he doesn?t tell me he loves me when I drop him off at school then he knows the horn starts honking.? Reach Sara Seyydin at firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow her on Twitter @AJ_News.