Atlanta Parent spoke with Justin Spizman, trial lawyer and author of “Don’t Give Up…Don’t Ever Give Up: The Inspiration of Jimmy V.” He is father to Dani, 7, and Bella, 5.
What new activity have you and your family started enjoying during this time?
We started gardening. I’m not the most handy guy in the world, but I got wood from Home Depot and built a box garden. We got seedlings for tomatoes, zucchinis and herbs. It’s been a fun project to work on together, doing it with Dani, so she knows it can grow into something wonderful with time, attention and love.
How are you balancing working at home with home/family responsibilities?
My wife is a former kindergarten teacher. She’s been amazing. She’s kept these kids running strong and learning and busy with activities. I’m more of the P.E. teacher, and I’ll take them outside to play. I’m working as close to full-time as possible. We’re hanging in there, taking one day at a time. We get to the finish line and start over the next day. The distractions are both wonderful and challenging. I’m not spending as much time practicing law, but my writing is a source of consistency, as people are turning this into an opportunity to write that book they’ve never written. It’s been very nice to have that uptick in people wanting to bring really wonderful messages to the world.
Do you have any meals that are your specialty?
I really like to cook, and I have heard from my wife that I am decent at it. For Mother’s Day weekend, I did a steakhouse dinner with surf and turf—filet, lobster tail and sides. With the slowness of life now, I can spend the time putting together a meal.
Any at-home projects you have been able to tackle?
We cleaned out the garage, which is something we needed to do. We’ve given away a lot of clothes or toys that we no longer need to charities.
Any funny dad/kid(s) moments from this time?
How amazingly adaptable my children are. Watching my 5 year old talk about coronavirus and social distancing, put her own definition on it, and social distancing the puppy from other puppies. She kind of gets it, she kind of doesn’t, but it’s cute to hear her explain it.
How do you plan to celebrate Father’s Day?
If we’re in a healthy place, I’d love to go out to dinner and be served and have someone clean up after me. Spend time with kids, go see a movie, play basketball with my buddies.
Any other advice for dads during this time?
Celebrate the silence. This is an opportunity to slow it down. It’s God’s way of saying, ‘Take a step back and slow down.’ Let’s do the numbers fours and fives on our list—doing what we don’t normally do, since we always have the time and energy to do the numbers ones and twos.