How Bode Miller Keeps It Cool With His Kids
In honor of Father's Day, 6-time Olympic medalist and father of 3 Bode Miller teamed up with his dad and Jose Cuervo's Reserva de la Familia campaign to celebrate the unique bond between fathers and sons. The cool part? Bode designed the Cuervo box as a gift to his dad, Woody. "I've gotten trophies that are more or less superficial representations of a ski race and this is representative of a lifetime of work and the relationship he and I have," says Miller. Arts and crafts, always bringing family together.
Parents talked to Miller about the values his father instilled in him that led to his success, living life with his newborn, Nash, and the chucklesome difference between raising his daughter, Neesyn, 6, and his son, Nate, 2.
P: So, do you have any special plans for Father's Day?
BM: I live in California now and my dad is still in New Hampshire. Usually, it's just a call and a nice long conversation. My family is going camping this year, which I've been pushing my wife to do for a while because I grew up camping. Some of my best memories are me and my dad camping out in the woods and doing stupid things.
P: You're bringing all the kids? Even the new baby?
BM: Nah, my wife won't let me. But I'm gonna keep working on her. She's surprisingly malleable if you give her enough time. If I sprung it on her it would be a definite no. It's only right outside our house, it's not that dramatic. I just thought it would be a fun thing and my kids agreed to it.
P: What is the greatest lesson you ever learned from your dad?
BM: Patience and tolerance seem to be the most valuable to me in my everyday life and throughout my career. There's been so many things that really tested me and I think without his example that he's set and the way that I saw him tested by circumstance gave me a really solid foundation. He's a super thoughtful person, so being able to process what's happening and think about it rather than being reactionary has been an unbelievably valuable asset.
P: What do you take from your upbringing that you try to instill in your children?
BM: It's that same thing. Patience and tolerance. I was a very boy-ish boy. My dad used to home-brew beer, it was a hobby of his that he just loved. We snatched a bunch of his home-brew beer because the bottles made a cool noise when they popped on the rocks. For a father to come out and see us smashing bottles, it was destructive in like six different ways. But he didn't spank me, he just expressed how upset he was. He understood that I didn't know what I was doing. That patience and tolerance is a critical component of being a good parent. There are times you're going to be upset, but making sure that you are patient, that you see them through it, that you let them know they did something wrong—but you still love them—and nothing terminal here you just have to get through it. He's exhibited that my whole life.
P: You have a new baby at home, born just about a month ago. How's it going?
BM: It's amazing. Definitely sleep-deprived. We don't do anything. We go to the store quickly to get supplies and that's it. This trip was the first time I've been out of sight of my wife and kid for a while and I hope it's the last time. It's definitely a test of my abilities.
P: How is your relationship with your daughter different from your relationship with your older son?
BM: The relationship itself is exactly the same. I love them equally and I love spending time with them, but they couldn't be further apart. My daughter is 100 percent girl. When she was 3 years old all she wanted to do was talk and make plans for the next day and talk about our feelings. I couldn't get her to throw a ball to save my life. I gave her a golf club and she hit the ball and that was it. I was like, "Okay let's do it again," and she said, "I already did that." But she's so creative, and she's very smart. It's been a test for me because it's such different things than what I do on a normal basis. My son couldn't be more boy. He smashes himself and goes "Aw, dangit" and he doesn't cry. He's constantly climbing. My daughter was so risk-averse it's ridiculous. Stairs were completely out of the question. Never climbed on anything. It was like "That looks dangerous, no thank you." My son...he'll do whatever.
P: He sounds a little more mini-Bode than your daughter.
BM: Yeah, for sure. It's been fun to watch their relationship grow, and I think it's going to be more so with Nash in the picture. My daughter has become much more bold and brave because she has a little comrade who will go around and she can run as a test dummy for anything that she wants to do. Once she sees him do something she's more confident. In the same token she's a great balance for him because he idolizes everything she does and follows around everywhere. Parents do a lot of parenting, but so do siblings, I think.
Ruthie Fierberg is an editorial assistant at Parents. Though she does not have children of her own, she's practically been raising kids since her first babysitting job at age 11. She is also our resident theater aficionado and has interviewed over 40 celeb parents. Follow her on Twitter @RuthiesATrain.
Image: Joe Seer/Shutterstock.com