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John Legend: Raising a Son | Gillette #TheBestMenCanBe

You want to come sit and play piano with me? I love being a dad. I love seeing my kid’s face light up when I come home from work. I love playing with them. Just, like, every moment we have so much fun together. I grew up in a small city called Springfield, Ohio. My dad worked for a truck factory there. And my mom stayed at home with us. And she was also a tailor. My dad was also a tailor part-time. My dad is and was a great father. We lived with him throughout our childhood and even after my parents got divorced, when typically a lot of kids end up moving in with in with their mother, we ended up staying with our father because he was in a better place to raise us at that time. So my dad was a single parent for quite a long time. My grandmother had just died, and my grandmother was extremely influential to me and to my mother. And so when my grandmother died my mother went into a deep depression. And it ruined their marriage and just tore our family apart. It led to a really long period where she was estranged from the family and was in a really bad way. She’s in a great place now. And we’re all very close now. It’s remarkable to see the turnaround. [Katie Couric] And that was a lot of responsibility for your dad, as a single parent. It was a lot for my dad. It was a lot for us too. Like, I would basically cook the meals for the family. All of us did chores around the house, whether it was washing the dishes, vacuuming the rug, cleaning the bathroom, we all figured it out together. And you know, we just made it work together. In a way that was good training for you to be a really great partner to Chrissy. Yeah, I think we grew up with the understanding that everybody shared responsibilities around the house. And so it was a never a sense that men did certain things around the house and women did certain things. It was almost by necessity but even before my parents got divorced, my mom would start teaching us those things because she wanted us to be able to take care of ourselves. And do your fair share. And do our fair share. And I don’t think people understood it at that time that that was a thing we should aim for, doing your fair share around the house and making the home a more equal place for all that unpaid labor that kind of is off the books but that folks are doing and a lot of times women are doing. We do everything together here. Like, Chrissy and I both cook together. And they see us doing stuff together all the time and don’t think of that as, you know, “Mom cooks and Dad doesn’t,” or vice versa. They see us doing all these things together, and I think that’s good. Our challenge is to make sure they grow up appreciative and we want them to be good people. [Katie Couric] How has parenthood changed you? Well, it changes your priorities when you have two young kids to take care of. You think about your time differently. You think about work differently. You think about the world you wanna build differently. All those things, I think are impacted by me having kids. [Katie Couric] Was there something special about having a son? You know, it’s been fun having a son. You know, he looks so much like me and his personality reminds of me so far. So in a lot of ways it’s like lookin’ at myself as a kid. It’s kind of exciting. I think that’s probably one of the joys of parenthood. It’s exciting to watch him develop. And I’m so curious to see what he’s gonna be like once he’s really talking and walking and doing everything. [Katie Couric] You wrote a song for Luna. Have you written a song for Miles yet? The chorus was like “Early morning, sleepless nights. I’ll be giving you the next days of my life. We’ll get it wrong, we’ll get it right, but we’ll go on and on.” It’s about basically about how we’ll all make mistakes but we’ll, like, grow together and be there for each other. I’m always thinking about how to be the best dad and the best husband I can be. [Katie Couric] What did your dad teach you that you want to pass on to Miles? My father taught us about character. He taught me about humility. He taught me about respect. He taught me about being a loving partner and being considerate and romantic and all these other things. He’s really a great father. I think I want to teach those to Miles. I want to model that kind of behavior to Miles as well So when I think about the kind of father I wanna be a lot of times I think about the example my father set.

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