Doing this website, I’ve been choked up way more times than I’d ever expected. The loss of a child… I’m thankful I haven’t been in the position to find the necessary strength to move on with life after that. Thank you, Josh for sharing your family’s story.
Name: Josh Torpen
Josh and the family
Number and ages of children: 3. Elijah was 33 days old when he passed away, Ian is 3 and Graham is 1.
Location: Strum, Wisconsin
Profession: Factory worker
1. What are your personal drug and alcohol-free recreational outlets? What are your favorite things to do with your children?
Being a father and working full time leaves little time for “fun” stuff. What I do enjoy to do is go to shows when possible and collecting records. As I’m sure most of the dads here do 🙂
Things I enjoy doing with my kids… Pretty much anything they are into. My son Ian LOVES dinosaurs, so we play with all of his dinosaur toys and pretend to be dinosaurs. Haha. When it’s not freezing here we hang out outside, go to the park or go for walks together.
And the 24th letter of the alphabet is..
2. What pieces of art, music, literature, etc., inspire you at this stage in your life?
I’ve never been big into art so for me I guess it all comes do to music and literature. As I get older I find myself going back to the musicians that got me into what I love. It’s not so much looking for the next big band. I grew up loving all the Rev bands but the thing that really got me back in to hardcore would be older Bridge 9 releases and pretty much all of Rivalry records releases.
For the literature aspect of it. I’ve always been a huge WWII nerd. Reading all the stories from that generation just make me proud. I feel that for the most part they knew what had to be done and did it. It seems that recent generations have forgot that not everything should be handed out and hard work does actually pay off. That is something I want to instill in my children.
3. What does being a good father mean to you?
After my wife and I lost our first son, it made me realize that every day is a gift and not to take even the little things for granted. So I support my children no matter what and am excited every time they do anything. I’m like every other father who can get frustrated at times but I just think back on what we lost and try to see the positive. What I’m trying to say is guide them with a loving but strong hand. They need to know you support them but they need to know the rights and wrongs.
4. How does your partner feel about your drug-free choices? If single, how do your closest friends and family members feel about your drug-free choices?
My Wife supports me for my choices. She’s gone as far to say that if I started to drink she would leave me because that’s not who I am. I guess in a way it’s never been that big of a thing in our relationship. It’s just a choice I made before I met her and still hold strong to this day.
5. Why did you decide to be drug and alcohol-free as a father (or beforehand)? Are there other major life choices that complement your decision?
For me it was a choice I made when I was 15. Some kids I knew got into a really bad car accident and it made me realize that drinking isn’t worth my life or those around me. I can’t really explain it better than that. It was just something that pushed me to the straight edge life style.
Dude looks pretty skinny for a grillmaster.
6. How do your experiences as a son influence your choices as a father when it comes to drugs and alcohol?
My parents were both never big drinkers. It wasn’t a big thing in my family either. I’m not going to push what I believe on my children. If they choose to follow my example thats great. They aren’t around it now so I don’t think they will really want much to do with it later. But who knows. It’s something I will have to talk to them about when they are older.
7. As a son, what is something you would you like your dad (or mom) to know?
I just want my dad to know that I’m sorry for how I acted when I was younger. I didn’t know what it was like having a family. I want him to know that I get it now and I love him and I’m thankful for what he did when I was growing up.
8. How do/will you talk to your children about drugs and alcohol? How have/will you address drug and alcohol use among the friends of your children?
I’ll be straight-forward with them and I’m sure they will know how I feel about all that way before they get to the age to talk about it. At the same time it’s a choice they will have to make for themselves.
When it comes to their friends I’ll probably have a talk with them as well. Letting them know that drugs and alcohol aren’t all they are cracked up to be.
9. How do religion, political ideology, or other philosophies play a part in your choices as a father?
For me being a Christian, my children will be raised to know Christ. It’s important for me that they grow up with that mindset. I’m not saying that they won’t be able to think for themselves or anything. I just feel a good foundation is a necessity. I feel that Christian get a bad wrap and the news makes us all seem to be nutcases. Some of my closest friends don’t believe which is fine. I also want my kids to see that just because you don’t believe the same stuff doesn’t make you a bad person. I want them to treat EVERYONE with respect no matter what they believe. After all we are supposed to love our neighbors 🙂
10. If you drank/used drugs, how will you address your past with your children?
I don’t really have a past with drinking. I was too young to really have any experiences with it. I’ll be honest and let them know that I tried stuff and it just wasn’t for me.
Packers shirt must have been in the wash.
11. What pitfalls exist for drug-free fathers? How successful have you felt at overcoming them?
I honestly can’t think of anything.
But, at least the kid’s got the right idea.
12. What are your greatest hopes for your child(ren)?
I hope they grow up to be themselves no matter what anyone tells them. I hope they aren’t afraid to speak their minds and stand up for what they believe in.
And maybe one day look back and be proud to call me their father.
x xdfdx x