Howard Tarplin, from Jersey City, N.J., is our Lead Dad of the Week.
Howard has two adult children, a son and a daughter, and was a Lead Dad before the term existed. He’s spent his career working in the pharmaceutical industry.
His kids are 32 and 30 and he has great memories of cooking together on Tuesday nights, of heading to the Jersey shore for beach vacations and of instilling a good work ethic in his kids. One winter his son said if only he had a better shovel, he’d be able to clear the snow better. So Howard drove him to Home Depot and let him pick whichever snow shovel he wanted. “We put his name on it and that was his shovel.”
Today his son Henry lives outside of Philadelphia, and they do The New York Times crossword puzzle and Wordle together each day. His daughter Olivia lives in the same town and they get together to cook meals and watch favorite shows.
While he’s been divorced for 12 years, he’s a glass half-full guy. “I’m so proud of how they’ve grown into responsible, respectful, hard-working, successful, kind, funny and loving adults,” he said. “When things get tough for me, I think about how great they are.”
The three help each other. His daughter recently took Howard to cataract surgery – and lunch afterwards. That same weekend, he traveled down to his son’s new house to help him paint it. “Any opportunity I have to be with them, I take.”
Welcome Howard to The Company of Dads!