Grey’s Anatomy actor Chris O’Donnell and his children were photographed for the cover of Life Weekend magazine back in May, for their Father’s Day issue. Although it’s now September, I just came across the issue and thought the photo was too cute not to post! Chris and his wife Caroline have four children – Lily Ann, 7, Christopher Eugene Jr, 5 1/2, (whom they call Chip) Charles McHugh, 3, (aka Charlie) and new baby Finley, (nicknamed Finn) who turns 6 months this week.
Some excerpts from the interview:
The time when he feels most like a dad: When the family is at church! "[At Mass], it’s my time of the week I’m most in touch with my dad energy, because I’m all about making sure everyone is behaving." However, "half the reason the kids are so good during the service is there’s a doughnut in it for them as long as they don’t act up!"
On having many children: "The jump from one kid to two was okay. The jump from two to three was absolutely insane. Three to four? You just gotta go into zone defense. So much of the day is spent managing things – meals, tears, expectations, rides to school. People who raise puppies must have great kids because it involves similar skills: being consistent, setting limits, getting them on a schedule, potty training. And having a baby nurse for the little one definitely helps."
On kid emotions: "I’d throw myself in front of a train for my kids. Two stories: I had this plate I won at a gold tournament on the top shelf in my library, and Chip wanted to see it, so he climbed up. Naturally, the thing fell and shattered into a thousand pieces. I came home and you could just see the devastation. He felt so bad. He couldn’t even get it out of his mouth: ‘Daddy, I…I…I…br-, br-, br-.’ It was so sweet. Talking about my kids, I get emotional. [After Finn was born], Lily just killed us. She had wanted a girl so bad, she would say, "I’ll tell you right now, if that baby comes out a boy, I am packing my bags and I am outta here." So when Finley turned out to be Finley she felt so bad she wrote a letter in that adorable kid handwriting that said, "Mom, I’m so sorry. I’m not packing my bags. I’m never leaving you." The innocence. It hits you right in the gut. Your whole focus is your family growing up, but it’s so much more powerful when you have your own kids."
On being famous and raising kids: "You want to give your children a chance to live in a normal world. My wife and I try to keep things in perspective for the kids, which is tough in Los Angeles. You go to toddler parties and there’s valet parking. There’s so much flash, it’s distorted. But last night, for instance, Lily was crying that Chip got to watch a movie and she had to get to sleep to be ready for school. I just said to her, "Lily, life isn’t always fair. That’s the way it’s going to be sometimes."
Thanks to CBB reader Colleen for scans and article.