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Monday, July 22, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Happy Father’s Day: For three Spokane Valley dads, today’s date has taken on a special meaning

UPDATED: Sun., June 16, 2019, 2:57 a.m.

Chris and Jenn Renggli will be celebrating their first Father’s Day with their son Roman,10 months. (Colin Mulvany / The Spokesman-Review)
Chris and Jenn Renggli will be celebrating their first Father’s Day with their son Roman,10 months. (Colin Mulvany / The Spokesman-Review)

“I’m looking forward to her making friends, then me immediately embarrassing her in front of her friends,” quips Allen White, whose baby daughter, Eleanor Yong White, was born Sept. 24 at Valley Hospital in Spokane Valley.

White, a Spokane Valley resident whose mother is Korean, is celebrating his first Father’s Day as a dad, and two other Spokane Valley fathers, Chris Renggli and Eric Foster, who all just so happen to be friends, also are commemorating being first-time daddies this weekend.

Father’s Day is celebrated in the U.S. on the third Sunday in June and observed in more than 110 countries. In Catholic countries of Europe, Father’s Day has been celebrated on March 19, or Saint Joseph’s Day, since the Middle Ages. The celebration was brought by the Portuguese and Spanish to Latin America, where March 19 is often still used for it instead of the U.S. date.

Father’s Day has its U.S. beginnings in Spokane. A Father’s Day celebration took place at the YMCA in Spokane on June 19, 1910, hosted by Sonora Smart Dodd, who wanted to honor all fathers, including hers, William Jackson Smart, a Civil War veteran and single dad who raised his six children in Spokane.

The White family: Hillary, Eleanor, 8 months, Allen and their Great Danes Selene, center, and Helios, right, will be celebrating their first Father's Day. (Colin Mulvany / The Spokesman-Review)
The White family: Hillary, Eleanor, 8 months, Allen and their Great Danes Selene, center, and Helios, right, will be celebrating their first Father's Day. (Colin Mulvany / The Spokesman-Review)

Allen White

Age: 34

Occupation: claims support supervisor

Wife’s name, age and occupation: Hillary White, 30, insurance adjuster

Name of baby, birth date and birthplace: Eleanor Yong White, Sept. 24, 2018, Sacred Heart Children’s Hospital in Spokane

What has been the best part of becoming a new father?

Just seeing her grow and learn and experiencing new things for the first time. We let her try a Cinnabon for the first time the other day, and her face looked like what I imagine mine looks like every time I eat a Cinnabon. Just pure joy and excitement!

What has been the most surprising or difficult part of becoming a father?

The most difficult is probably when she gets a cold. She has only really had one thus far, but you just feel helpless. You can only give her certain medications, and she can’t tell you exactly what’s wrong, so you just have to roll up your sleeves and suck out some boogers.

What did you learn from your parents about being a good father?

It might be because I’m the second child, but they taught me to not really sweat the small stuff. She will get sick again, and she will probably hit her head on something. And while we haven’t fully dropped her yet, I can see it happening sooner or later. You just have to roll with the punches.

What are you looking forward to most about fatherhood?

Well, she’s already grounded, and she’s not allowed to go to prom or date for the next 20 years, so I look forward to trying to enforce all of that! In all seriousness, I look forward to everything. I still see a lot of the same group of friends since we were in the first grade, so I’m looking forward to her making friends, then me immediately embarrassing her in front of her friends.

Chris and Jenn Renggli will be celebrating their first Father's Day with their son Roman, 10 months. (Colin Mulvany / The Spokesman-Review)
Chris and Jenn Renggli will be celebrating their first Father's Day with their son Roman, 10 months. (Colin Mulvany / The Spokesman-Review)

Chris Renggli

Age: 33

Occupation: merchandiser for Coca-Cola

Wife’s name, age and occupation: Jenn Renggli, 34, loan officer at Horizon Credit Union

Name of baby, birth date and birthplace: Roman James Renggli, July 24, 2018, Valley Hospital in Spokane Valley

What has been the best part of becoming a father?

Seeing his personality come out more and more each month and recognizing the similarities between him and myself.

What has been the most surprising or difficult part of becoming a father?

The most surprising aspect of being a new father is not knowing how much love I could have for someone else and the enjoyment I get out of seeing him experience new things.

What did you learn from your parents about being a good father?

My parents always have been supportive and loving. They showed us the importance of doing things as a family such as camping trips and vacations. Doing so helped our family stay strong and close, which is a value I hope to carry on with my own son.

What are you looking forward to most about fatherhood?

I’m mostly looking forward to watching him grow and teaching him everything that I loved doing growing up. Sports played a huge role in my childhood, and I cannot wait to share that with him.

Eric Foster, 33, poses for a photo with daughter Addison Foster on Tuesday at Discovery Playground in Spokane Valley. (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)
Eric Foster, 33, poses for a photo with daughter Addison Foster on Tuesday at Discovery Playground in Spokane Valley. (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)

Eric Foster

Age: 33

Occupation: Co-founder of local cyber security company Cascade Defense

Wife’s name, age and occupation: Nicole Foster, 32, kindergarten teacher

Name of baby, birth date and birthplace: Addison Grace Foster, April 18, 2018, Valley Hospital in Spokane Valley

What has been the best part of becoming a father?

Seeing my daughter experience the world. She finds joy in everything she sees for the first time and every new milestone she meets.

What has been the most surprising or difficult part of becoming a father?

Finding time for everything. We are two working parents with demanding jobs, and we want to spend every moment we can with her, but that means the dog doesn’t get walked quite as often and the house isn’t quite as clean as it used to be.

What did you learn from your parents about being a good father?

Everything. My parents made me the person I am today and showed me how to be a good person. Their support has always helped me succeed in life, and I will always do everything I can to be there for my daughter like they were there for me.

What are you looking forward to most about fatherhood?

Seeing life’s experiences through my daughter’s eyes. Everything we do with her has a new meaning, and we can’t wait to visit new places and see new things just so we can see her reactions.

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