one outstanding dad
A father should be strong but sweet. He should be kind, patient and a teacher. Sean Connor personifies what it means to be a dedicated dad and a role model to his children. There's a duality in his philosophy of fatherhood. He believes in the importance of disciplining your children but finding the humor in your children's mistakes. According to Sean being a hands on dad is extremely important but giving them unstructured time to learn life's lessons is necessary as well. When you meet Sean's three children: Nolan (10), Conlan (8) and Ella (7) they are shining examples of his and his wife Kara's hard work, love and dedication. They are good kids.
Just the facts:
- Grew up on East Fifth Street near P Street until seventh grade. Then moved to L and East Third Street.
- Works of the Boston Water and Sewer Commission doing GIS mapping
- Married to Kara (Gill) for 11 years. "We've been together since I went to Kara's sophomore semi-formal 20 years ago. She's an incredible wife and mother and I'd be lost without her."
- Coaches South Boston Pop Warner Football and South Boston Little League. "I started with the D team(9 & 10 year olds) under Richie Linehan and then the A team(13 & 14 year olds) under Bobby Ferrara. For the past five years I've coached the 5 and 6 year old team with the help of John Clifford.
- For baseball I started coaching when my son Nolan began playing. I never played so I do my best to partner up with guys that know what they're doing. I also ask my younger brother Billy - Coach of South Boston's Senior Babe Ruth's Conference Champs 4 of the past 5 years, for advice."''
Father knows best:
Best part about being a dad in Southie?
The people. Guys like the Ferrara brothers and Billy Collins that dedicate their time to the sports programs. The families too - many that I've known since grammar school and others that have only recently moved in, but decided this would be a good place to raise a family. Southie is a great community to raise a family. That's why it's so important to be involved.
Advice to a new dad?
Have a ton of patience and be firm when the kids need to be punished but have a good laugh about it with your wife later. It's amazing the dumb stuff kids do and what they think they can get away with, but more than likely you did it yourself at their age. It's like a Bill Cosby standup routine. Also it helps to have a ton of support from family and friends. I'm very lucky in that regard.
Favorite spot to take the kids in Southie?
I like to run them by their grandfather's benches outside the bank, at the World War II Memorial and the red bench. My kids got to spend some, but not a ton, of time with their grandfathers and I like to remind them what amazing men they were. Pa Connor's generosity, Pa Fred's wisdom and Pa Lefty's sense of humor are the qualities I'd like my children to inherit from them. My dad is the "last Pa" and my kids would swap me for him in a heartbeat.
On a typical Saturday in the fall, you can find Sean at the Pop Warner Football field with two dozen five and six year proudly wearing their Fighting Irish uniforms. He motivates them to play their best. He wipes tears, picks them up literally and figuratively, and teaches them the importance of being a member of a team. That same Saturday you can also find Sean at the the soccer field at one his kid's games. With the same words of encouragement and positive guidance that he gives to his young football players, he offers his own children. "Do your best," he says. "And have fun."
Sean's dedication to his family as well the children of South Boston make him an outstanding role model for fathers everywhere. He is a hard worker, kind and extremely patient - as anyone can attest to witnessing an F-Team game on an unseasonably hot and humid Saturday in September. Sean never loses his sense of humor and has words of support at the ready. It's no big deal to Sean- it's just part of his job and he's happy to a part of it all. We are proud to have Sean Connor as our neighbor and we thank him for being such important component that makes our community a little bit stronger.
Photography by Deborah McCarthy