Action Father Figure

Anders and son Luke     Photo: Photograph by Mark Anders

It's hard to beat correspondent MARK ANDERS in the Fun Dad department. Living on the coast of North Carolina, he religiously surfs and takes his sons—Luke, 7, and Nicholas, 4—on his 16-foot skiff to fish, hunt crabs, and play pirates on nearby islands. Here he attempts, with wife Ilene's help, to find out what their adventures with Dad have taught them.

Dad: Nicholas, what's the most fun thing you can do outside?
Nicholas: Ummm, run.
Luke: Run is a good idea.
D: Luke, what's your favorite piece of gear?
L: Dog. They're fluffy and they can keep you warm if you're in a tent, and they're just like blankets.
D: Good job, Luke. [Nicholas runs away.] Hey, Nicholas, come here. What's your favorite piece of gear?
N: You.
D: Why am I gear?
N: Because I get to play with you.
D: Hey, Luke, can you come over here and help me? [Both boys run away.] Listen, guys, this thing is for a magazine, and—
Mom: Mark, you need to try again later. This is so not the time. They're tired and grumpy, and you're way too formal.
[Five hours later, over a dinner of macaroni and cheese...]D: Guys, if you could do any sport in the world, what would it be?
N: Skateboarding.
L: Surfing.
D: Why?
L: Because you can be awesome.
D: What should moms and dads do to get their kids to go outside?
N: Push them out! Roll them out with a truck!
L: Slap them in their tenders!
M: [Under her breath] I hope no one ever reads this...OK, what would be a fun way to get you out?
L: Get the dog to go out.
D: What's the best thing I can do to get you guys outside?
L: Well, it's a hard question. I love you and I go anywhere that you go.
D: Oh, that's a good answer.
M: That is the answer.

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