Peter Brudny is on the "Daddy Track." So is Michael Warren. And even though all of Joseph Beeman's children are grown, he certainly did his share of fathering with the nine kids.
"He always helped with everything," Beeman's wife, Dorine, said. "Financially he did everything for them, and no matter how old they get he still helps them."
As this Father's Day approached, the Brudnys, Warrens and Beemans talked about how being a dad has changed and what the moms think of the job the fathers have done.
Nita Brudny said she has observed a special bond beginning to form between her husband and their 8-month-old son, Barry.
"He gets really excited when Peter spends time with him, speaks with him, and teaches him how to play with his toys," said the 31-year-old mother, who is staying home with her son. "Barry really enjoys him a lot. You can see it in his eyes even when he hears him on the phone."
Peter Brudny, a 40-year-old lawyer, said, "When my father raised me I don't think there was as much expected from a father. There was a feeling that the raising was left to the mother, and the discipline and good times were left to the dad."
Brudny knows that's not the case these days and he cautions that all new parents have to adjust their lives for their children.
"Prepare to make your home your world for a while. Also, if you work hard and long hours, forget coming home and thinking you can give your child 20 minutes of quality time. By the end of the day your wife's going to be tired, too," he said.
That extra time with a child may not be all fun and games.
Angela Warren, 23, is proud to share the story of the time Michael spent all night at the hospital with their new son Andrew. At a month old, the baby developed an intestinal disorder that required emergency surgery.
"He was up all night keeping an eye on him, feeding and changing him, and checking on him every minute. Afterward the nurses said, "You've got a pro for a father," recalled Mrs. Warren, who also is working as a full-time mommy now.
Andrew, the first baby born at AMI Town & Country Hospital's Birthplace about four months ago, is the Warrens' second child. Their daughter, Ashlee, is 3 years old. Warren, 26, was in the delivery room for both of their births.
"It's indescribable. It's a feeling that's better than any high you can receive," said Warren, who works for United Parcel Service. "It's definitely a rush seeing something you created being born."
For men like 54-year-old Joseph Beeman, who became fathers before delivery rooms were opened to them, those tender moments came later in their children's lives.
Somewhere in the Beeman family photo album, said Mrs. Beeman, 52, is a picture that shows 18-month-old Joseph Jr. on his father's shoulder, both fast asleep. The memory is even more touching because Joseph Jr., the oldest child, died last year from injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident.
The other Beeman children include Paul, 29, John, 28, Mary, 25, Mark, 24, Richard, 23, Andrew 21, Stephen, 21, and Dina, 18.
Although the Beemans acknowledge it wasn't easy raising such a large family, they recall having shared many happy experiences with their children. Beeman, who spent 20 years teaching in military colleges and academies for the U.S. Army, coached youth soccer and eventually all the children became involved in the sport.
Other inexpensive family activities included going to $1 drive-in movies. Daughter Mary remembers one such outing.
"I remember when we went to see The Jungle Book. We all went in this big van, and we brought our own food," said Mary, who is now a schoolteacher.
Thriftiness is part of Beeman's advice to all fathers.
"Work at being a father and pass on what you feel is the right thing to do. Don't give them everything they want. Give them what they need. They're going to make mistakes. Just be there to guide them so they don't make them again. In other words, do the best you can."