Wise Young Dad on the Street: Ross Klabon

Wise Young Dad on the Street Ross Klabon buchanan dam bridge

Whether he’s working on a new engineering project or enjoying an adventure with his six-year-old sons, Wise Young Dad on the Street Ross Klabon has great style!

Meet Ross

Ross is a devoted father to his twin six-year-old sons. Born and raised in Wisconsin, he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities in 2012. During that time, Ross had the opportunity to participate in design work for the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, after which the USPTO granted a patent application. He also worked for the University of Minnesota’s biomedical engineering department, where his medical device research secured future funding for tremor patients and tuned mass damper devices. For the last seven years, he has navigated a successful career in the oil and gas industry throughout North America, most recently in West Texas.

Ross is an active member of multiple societies, including the West Texas Geological Society (WTGS), the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE), and the Society of Petrophysicists and Well Log Analysts (SPWLA). He leads at SPWLA through board membership as treasurer. He serves Grace Lutheran Church as a junior high ministry leader and member of the Children Youth and Family Life Ministry. In addition, he volunteers both as a youth sports coach through the YMCA and at other non-profit organizations in his community. Ross currently resides in Midland, Texas with his two sons.

Wise Young Style

Which three words best describe your style? How about traditionally modern, classic.

What are your favorite places to shop? There is a small clothier north of where I live called H.G. Thrash. The selection is nicely curated, and the service is impeccable. There’s also a rapidly growing gem founded here in Texas called Mizzen+Main. Get some Würkin Stiffs collar stays to go with it and you’re all set. You now have all my secrets.

Who’s your favorite style icon? His name is Jeremy and you can find him at H.G. Thrash. Okay, now you really have all my secrets.

What’s your best style advice? Just find something that works for you and stick to it. If it really works for you, buy multiples before they discontinue it. I utilize this strategy all the time for my growing kids’ clothes and shoes, a much trickier bear to tackle. Tall genes are the enemy of shopping.

What fashion/style did you love at the time, but now cringe when you see old photos? Well, that’s a leading question. Alas, take my eye, but don’t take my sweatpants and cut-off collection! Alright, I’m a professional, and there are standards. Nevertheless, weekends are still a casual domain.

Facial hair or clean-shaven? You’d be hard-pressed to find me without a clean shave. I’m not anti-facial hair, but I amanti-facial hair on me. I think most guys figure out what works for them before they hit 20. Still, there are a few outliers, and it’s our responsibility to help them.

Wise Young Superpowers

I never pass on an opportunity to discuss my superpowers. I survived the ‘terrible twos,’ twice, simultaneously. And I can clean up hotel breakfast vomit on the side of the highway in record time after driving through Texas hill country without even saying, “I told you to stop eating after four Texas-shaped waffles.” I always answer the question my sons are reallyasking rather than the question they actually asked because nobody wins in that never-ending conversation gridlock.

Plus, I might as well be Santa Claus’s personal defense attorney because when faced with an unexpected double dose of arguments proving his nonexistence beyond a reasonable doubt, I doubled down by offering to call my next witness in exchange for a lifetime of no Christmas presents. Brilliant, I know. Most importantly, I always let my unconditional love for my sons shine through in every capacity: parent, teacher, and role model.

Wise Young Family Meals

What’s your go-to family dinner?

Pour brown rice in the rice cooker. Prepare stations and call for assembly line formation. Connor rolls chicken breasts in egg, Collin covers them in bread crumbs, and dad puts them in the oven. In the meantime, one bowl of peas, one bowl of corn, and one bowl of salad. We’ll eat our vegetables, but not the same vegetables. “We’re out of peas!” Connor will eat green beans, but it’s going to take him twice as long because he breaks off the end of each individual green bean. Dishes are unlikely to get any attention until morning. Voila, dinner is served!

What’s your favorite family restaurant?

Well, if we took a vote, I would be outnumbered. The result: Chick-fil-A. I don’t mind Chick-fil-A occasionally, but it is fast food, and I would much rather eat home cooking. We had an enjoyable experience at the downtown Aquarium Restaurant in Houston once and maybe I can get the boys to sway their vote to the Aquarium Restaurant. Mozzarella sticks obviously taste better when clownfish and snapping turtles watch you eat them.

Wise Young Parenting Advice

Save the iPads for that uncomfortable flight! In the digital age, I think too many parents use electronics as a parenting crutch. It’s a useful supplement to parenting but not a replacement. We all need breaks, but every hour spent swiping when commanded by a robotic voice is one more hour parents could spend learning about Pete the Cat or Captain Underpants. Bob Books were the best tools to teach my sons how to read. Any game made by ThinkFun teaches problem-solving and critical thinking through clever puzzles and challenges. Contraption Maker is an excellent Rube Goldberg-type computer game. It’s made by the same people that made my first computer game two decades earlier, The Incredible Machine. If you do happen to download Contraption Maker and solve either the “Rocket Garage” or “Captive Candle” puzzle, please, send us a hint!

Wise Young Parenting True Confession

I have probably accumulated quite a few of these. The most recent one I recall was in the weeks preceding Christmas 2018 when I decided to give some gifts a test-run on my sleeping sons before wrapping them. Careful not to wake them, I slid the black Ray-bans onto each of their slumbering faces and slowly laced up their new shoes. Everything appeared to fit perfectly, so I took a step back to admire my online shopping successes.

My eyes shifted from their shiny New Balance kicks up to their Mickey Mouse pajamas, nightly toothpaste stain in the usual spot, and finally the wayfarer shades sitting on their stock-still faces. What started as a mundane task evolved into an unforgettable night of dad antics. Then began a lengthy, video-documented dialogue that was mostly onesided apart from the occasional snore or nose wrinkle.

I asked Connor, an interviewee, some very pointed questions about his resume that he refused to answer. President Collin Klabon wasn’t any more talkative when I pressed him on the government shutdown and several other hot-button issues facing our country. It’s okay, being awkward and weird is all part of the dad gig. The anticipation of unveiling that video at their graduation is extraordinary. I had a similar, albeit less wholesome, experience in high school once (you know who you are). If you’re reading this, we’re all really sorry and I swear it wasn’t my idea.

Wise Young Life

What’s your favorite show to binge-watch?

I don’t really watch television aside from the occasional Disney movie or a Paw Patrol episode with my sons. The last time I recall binge-watching a television show was the summer of 2010 and I had just had open shoulder surgery. I was on bed rest, remote lost in the couch for days, and the show was Parks and Recreation. I thoroughly enjoyed it even after the painkillers wore off.

If you could pick anyone to star as you in a movie based on your life, who would it be?

Ben Affleck. I don’t know anything about him, but, to be honest, I can only name a few actors and he is the only one I can think of who isn’t short.

What’s your favorite sport and why?

I played hockey from the time I was five years old until graduated from high school. Even though I still enjoy watching it, it’s a little too physical for my aging dad body. I stick to tennis when I’m feeling sporty.

What’s the best song to dance to when nobody’s watching?

I am a dad. If I’m dancing, someone is definitely watching.

If you could hang out with anyone from history, living or deceased, who would it be?

My father. He was the most impactful person in my life and his time on earth was too short. He imparted wisdom in a simple, straightforward fashion that made it memorable. I really cherished that and would love an opportunity to spend some bonus time with him. He is the only man I’ve ever looked up to in life.

Wise Young Nightlife

What’s your favorite way to unwind at the end of a long day?

Are you ready? It’s 8:45 p.m. and I have just finished reading the last book of the night. I look to my left, and then to my right. Both sons are fast asleep. I have now transformed into an unstoppable machine built to crush every lingering task and pesky chore that’s compounded for weeks. I’ve got 90 minutes until I collapse, and the clock starts now. I get the touch-up paint out of the garage and lug two bags of water softener salt out of the utility closet.

On the way out, I spot two kites and Connor’s magnifying glass on my workbench all requiring fixes and pause for a moment of contemplation. Sure, why not? I have 88 minutes left! Hands full, I spin around and race back into the house to grab a new air filter but not before toppling over three water tubes left out from last weekend’s adventures. I spend 20 minutes stuffing the tubes into a box and place it in the attic because someone is totally going to die if I don’t eradicate this deathtrap.

Back inside, I decide to make lunches first. Obviously, I’ll get the other stuff done, too, but just in case, right? What’s that? I hear footsteps and proceed to investigate. Collin, groggy as can be, is standing in front of the toilet peeing everywhere except in it. He finishes up and I approach. He turns toward my arms and falls into my embrace.

I tuck Collin back into bed and take a minute to reflect as I look on at my two greatest blessings. What an amazing life. How did I get so lucky? I finish up lunches and fill out the baseball registration forms that are due tomorrow. Okay, task time. Ready, set, go. I reach for the air filters. …We’re all out of air filters. Alright, seriously, it’s 11:09 p.m. and tomorrow is an early morning because it always is. I humbly scribble “air filters” and “pee on wall” on a PostIt and stick it to my briefcase. The night is gone, but the dream is still alive. Good night!

Your Wise Young Style

Ross brings such a unique wise young perspective to his life and style! His style is comfortable and classic, and always ready for the next new adventure. The coordinating family sunglasses are fantastic– both stylish and functional! But as much as we’re fans of the Klabons’ style, we especially love Ross’s devotion to his sons, and the way he’s investing so much in them during these early years.

To learn more about Ross and his sons, be sure to follow him on Instagram @klabonandsons. And for more amazing dads, be sure to check out FamilyApp’s Dad on the Street page!

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