“It all comes down to being a good human,”
Steve Coiro has a clear message when conducting this conversation and his life. Steve is the type of man who doesn’t wear his heart on his sleeve. He is reserved, until you really get to know him, but is one of the most genuine people you could ever meet. If you know Steve, and he cares about you, you understand that there is little he wouldn’t do for you. I would know, as he is my husband of just about 10 years, and my partner for over 18. Going into this interview was interesting, here is a man that I have known for more than half of my life - since six months into us becoming friends we became a couple, and here we are today. For the sake of telling his story I will be referring to our children and family as his, since these words, and perspective, are all him.
“So should I spell your name Steev or the way you spell it now?” I ask, since when we first met he spelt is name differently as he does as an adult, “Could you please just spell it the way its spelt” he laughs. This has been a conversation held over the past few years - but I just can’t let it go. I suck it up for the sake of integrity, and proceed with questions to get the conversation started. Steve has an unmatched thoughtfulness about him. Every single turn of the conversation he pauses. He thinks. He doesn’t just talk until he gets somewhere, he actually forms the answer he wants to say. Steve may not be a chatterbox, but when he does speak, you want to listen.
Steve at 34 has never touched an experimental substance or drink. Instead, he gets into creative projects. As his personal form of escapism, you can find him painting or woodworking. Essentially he strives to make something useful and beautiful with his time. “Honestly to me self care is using your brain to learn something, there isn’t a hobby or skill that I find cool that I don’t want to learn. I don’t have to be great at it, but I want to try it.” I can vouch for this as he one built a forge out of an old grill using a hair dryer and a pipe to somehow bend metal. He was hammering knives, cutting and molding sheet metal flowers ten years ago, and today he is turning wood. For his kid’s birthdays he transforms them into characters, painting figures and attaching their heads onto them and creating face-in-a-holes or anything for the sake of fun. For his nephew’s first Christmas he built him a vintage truck as a prop for his photos and he even built me a huge sleigh for my Holiday Mini Sessions one year which now serves as a Christmas decoration. When it comes to his family and people he cares about, the acts of service are endless.
You can usually spot Steve wearing a band t-shirt when you meet him, his catalogue of listened to music is wide and vast. “Knowing where someone is at a certain point of their life, and them being able to put it through lyrics or an instrument just really gets me.” Just as he is thoughtful in conversation, when he listens to music he hears the lyrics first, and then how the song is mechanically put together, and it stays with him. The same affection he puts into hobbies he can put into instruments as well. He’s a self-taught guitar player and doesn’t let a day go by without him playing. While there have been other instruments that he has attempted, guitar is really the one that has stuck. Steve caters to musicians as a whole, people who write and play their own stuff. Getting a sense for a persons chapter in their lives within an album means something to him. If Steve tells you that a song hits him, it's his way of trying to connect, since he connects so deeply with music it's something he loves to share.
“My perfect Father’s Day is just being at home with my wife and kids.”
I asked him if he had any set advice for future or new Dads in the spirit of the upcoming weekend and he texted me what he wanted to say later on, since he wanted to sit with it a while. When he came out with it, roughly he wanted to convey that you learn your kids, their interests, and support them in whatever they love because they’re not going to be exactly like you and shouldn’t be. Steve truly wants his children to find themselves, meaning he will support whatever endeavor they want - without projecting his own interests onto them. “Time doesn’t do us any favors” he goes on, “so remember that you are never too old or too cool to go down the damn slide, just do it!” During the Pandemic his kids really struggled with not going anywhere or seeing anyone - Steve scoured craigslist for free swing-sets and added to the one we already had making his backyard the kid’s personal playground. Almost every outdoor toy his family has was found, tracked down, or built by Steve. He takes being a Dad very seriously. If anyone ever refers to him as a babysitter or asks him if he’s ‘watching the kids’ the annoyance is clear. Having Holden, his oldest, in his arms for the first time knocked his socks off. He knew he’d be devoted to having this kid’s back forever - and Steve is a man of his word. When Townes, his second son, and Sawyer, his daughter were born, he drowned out every single person who made mention that he wouldn’t be able to handle taking them out, or having them home with just him. “There should be no stereotype to being a Dad, you have children, you commit to that, end of story.”
Mental Health, and emotions in general, are topics that Steve does not shy away from. A big part of who he is, as a Father and as a person, is because of his interest and ability to go inward, think about things, and then talk about it. “It is really easy to generate a one-sided opinion about anything, and logic is a great tool but without understanding or seeing people’s emotions, it doesn’t make you very considerate” he smiles, knowing that he tends to lead with logic, this is something he’s taken to heart. Steve was a man with very strong opinions growing up and has learned that knowledge and perspective are great, but being 100% on one side of things really closes you off to learning more, or understanding people you care about. In the here and now, connection is truly something he values. Once he learned that it’s really ok to figure out why you are reacting to something some way, he gained a new appreciation for growth and for other people. Communication isn’t always confrontation, “It takes more effort to be a shitty person with shitty things to say” he hammers out “Just try to not do that, again, just be a good human."
Steve Coiro is not a man to be underestimated. I can vouch for the fact that he will be the kindest person in the room, and also one of the smartest. He is a man that values the people who have his back, and in return stands behind those he loves with two very strong feet firmly planted in the ground. The man moves through life quite humbly, but deserves to be seen. He doesn’t demand attention - honestly it makes him uncomfortable, but if he is speaking, he appreciates being heard. I hear him, and I see him, for all of the beauty he brings into this world with his personality and the things he makes. His children never have to worry about their Father judging them, or resenting their differing interests from his - he cares about what they’re feeling as much as what they are doing - and I cannot really convey to you how that makes me feel as his wife. I was so excited when he said he would let me interview him as my first non-small business owner piece, and since I know he reads these every time I publish, I want to say this to him:
Happy Father's Day Steve, every single day you step up to the plate and it amazes me. When I am exhausted and at the end of my rope, you will rise to the occasion even if you equally match my energy. Without fail, you work day in and day out for not just our children, but for anyone who needs it. Thank you for letting me share a piece of that interesting brain and kind heart with whoever reads this - I am so proud of the Dad you are to our kids, and I love you, always.
Happy Father's Day to every Dad & Father Figure out there today!