Every morning Mayor Mitch Colvin wakes with the weight of the City of Fayetteville on his shoulders. He lives each day in a fish bowl, where every decision he makes is critiqued by the masses. Mayor Colvin is a native of Fayetteville, and his passion is to help improve the city. He realizes that his job comes with an enormous responsibility, and he does not take it lightly. When asked how he copes with the pressure and stressors of the job, he responded with one word, “Family.”
During an initial encounter with the Mayor, it is evident that he is invested in the city and its residents. It is also evident that he has a strong sense of family with a keen awareness of the significance of his role as a father. Recently, the Mayor spoke on how the relationship with his father significantly impacted his life and how it influenced the relationship with his daughters.
What was your relationship like with your father?
“I had a good relationship with my dad. My father was an entrepreneur, so he worked a lot of long hours. He taught us early that hard work was required of a man. It was certain responsibilities that a man had. My father was very strict and provided a great deal of guidance that is still useful to me today.”
How does the relationship you had growing up with your father influence your relationship with your kids?
“I pretty much knew it was necessary to approach them differently. I have three daughters, and with my girls, I try to make sure I make time for them since I work a lot.”
What is your fondest memory of your father?
“Growing up, there was an open field in my neighborhood that was overgrown with brush. My friends and I needed the area cleared in order to play baseball. My dad worked in construction and had access to various pieces of heavy equipment. I remember telling my friends that I could get my dad to clear the area because my dad could do anything. I remember seeing my dad driving down the street to clear the area, and that moment gave me a huge since of pride because my dad came through for us in that situation.”
How different would your life be if you hadn’t had kids?
“My life would be very different. I started having kids at a young age…20, 23-24. They play a critical role in who I am today. They’ve made me accountable early; they keep me grounded.”
What does fatherhood mean to you?
“It’s everything. God has blessed me in a number of ways to do a lot early on, but the most valuable blessing is my kids.”
What is something that your kids do that remind you of yourself?
(Laughs) “Oh! Wow! It’s a lot! I have 3 daughters and each one of them has a different personality. I taught each of them to reach for the stars and set high expectations for themselves. That’s something about me – I’m very ambitious, and I like the fact that they are too.”
In your opinion, what impact do you think you have made on your kids?
“I hope that I’ve had a positive impact. My ex-wife and I just recently finalized our divorce, but we maintain a great relationship. I tell my daughters that as they look to get into a relationship to remember the important things I’ve tried to show them. A man is supposed to protect his family; he is supposed to provide and be the safety net. I told them to expect that out of the person they enter into a relationship with.”
What is something you would like everyone to know about you that we probably don’t already know?
“Well, I kind of live in a fish bowl, so there really isn’t much they don’t already know. They just need to know that family is everything to me and fatherhood is probably the most important role that I have out of everything I have going on.”
It’s normal, when we think of individuals in the public eye, to put them on some type of a pedestal. We tend to think that their lives, struggle, and daily experiences are different than our own, but it is just the contrary. They breathe the same air, experience the same ups and downs, and cherish the same things we do. In this case. It’s FAMILY.
Written by Keith Sykes