It was 15 years ago that Garth Brooks made a decision to take a break from the limelight, and become a stay at home single Dad. At the time, Brooks was touring, and playing in front of thousands of fans in sold out stadiums, arenas, and other concert venues. The quiet time, while staying at home with his children he admitted took some getting used to. He did however wind up acclimating well, and became the stay-at-home dad that most fathers would aim to be. The time that Garth Brooks took away from touring and playing music, equipped him well with valuable life lessons on being a father.
When Brooks decided to take a step away from music he was doing well musically, but was faced with the conflicts of family. Namely his three daughters Taylor, August, and Allie that he shares with his ex-wife. Brooks went through a tough year in 1999. He divorced his then wife, and mother of his three children Sandy Mahl, and his mother Colleen had passed away after a battle with cancer. It was then that he did some soul-searching, and realized that he needed to step away from his career, and care for his daughters. Brooks said the adjustment of being with them full-time took some getting used to. He initially would just stare at his daughters, not sure if he really knew them.
After some time, he became acclimated in his new role as a stay at home father. He chose a cozy one bathroom bunk house at his ranch in Oklahoma as the place he was going to stay and raise his daughters. Brooks says he was able to get through the tough transition in getting to know them by combining discipline with fun, and that is when he really began to grow as a father. He went the full ten yards complete with making them lunches for school, along with handwritten notes. He had them do chores around the house, and participated in their after-school activities like soccer, and school plays.
Brooks was grateful that he was just another father, hanging out with his daughters. While at school functions, or at the ball fields, parents of other children viewed him as if he was one of them, and he greatly appreciated it. He felt as if he was becoming at one with the community, and was not looked at any differently because of his fame.
When his daughters were old enough, he was then faced with a reality that so many parents are. His children had all graduated from high school, and were leaving the house. Brooks was looking at the prospect of an empty nest. This acted as the catalyst for him to stage his comeback, back into the music world.
A year ago, he officially announced his resurgence back onto the music scene. In the announcement, he disclosed that a new album was being recorded along with a follow-up world tour. As a result he is currently touring with his current wife Trisha Yearwood, and is having a heck of a time doing it. Brooks will however always look back at the period of time that he stepped out of the spotlight, as time well spent.
By Alec Rosenberg
Picture by Carlos – Flickr License