Always a Father

Ian Kennard
MDI President

Being the father of a grown man doesn’t stop me from always being a father.

My son Braden is now in his 30’s. We have a solid relationship, although it was not always that way. Mentor Discover Inspire has created the space for a lot of healing.  

For me, one thing never changes about being a father: concern for the wellbeing of my child.

When Braden was 10, I would worry about him riding to school; at 30 I worry about him driving to Toronto for a concert. At 10, I needed to let him make some of his own decisions and support him through the consequences if any. At 30, that urge to support him through decisions and consequences is still there, but I now trust that he has acquired the skills and knowledge to navigate them on his own.

We have two very powerful connections. We work together at my establishment Willie’s Café. Braden runs the kitchen, and I run the business. As well, we have been on the same men’s team, London Calling, for 10 years.

Both of these have allowed us to build that solid relationship and mitigate the pitfalls, ups and downs of a father/son, employer/employee relationship. We have the tools and knowledge to speak directly with each other in a mature masculine way when needed. We support each other and call each other out. We laugh and have fun while doing it. At the end of each day we still hug before saying goodbye.

We are both very lucky. I am extremely proud. I am very grateful.

He is my son, and I am his father … forever.

In 2018: Three generations of Kennard laughing it up and living it up. Brandon, Antony and Ian. Funny story, they all wore purple without planning it. Says Ian, “I guess the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree after all.

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